Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The Millennium Cities Database for Sustainable Transport is a substantial database, funded by the International Association of Public Transport, with over 200 indicators of transport, demographic, economics and land-use data from about one hundred cities. This dataset allows cities to benchmark against “best practice” or similarly positioned cities and it is a valuable aid for better understanding of the status quo, and of the likely trajectories, of cities. In 1995/6 Cape Town and Johannesburg were included in the dataset, but until now the collection of more recent South African data has not been possible. In 2012 a collaboration between three University of Cape Town (UCT) final year undergraduate civil engineering students, staff at the Centre for Transport Studies, UCT, and transport representatives from the City of Cape Town was formed in an attempt to update the Cape Town data from 1995/6 to 2005/6 and 2010. This paper describes the data collected, its quality, and the data gaps which were found. Methodological lessons on this type of data collection are described. The paper ends with some discussion on metropolitan transport data availability and quality, and the implications of this for policy and decision making at a metropolitan level.
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