L[i/o]ving cities

Posts tagged ‘efficiency’

THE LARGEST AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD V: DOES THE SIZE REALLY MATTER?

For sure that any time you have asked yourself: Does the size really matters? Well, I am going to answer your question if you are thinking about airports. In former posts I have made some measures of some of the biggest airports all around the world; you can look at these posts to see the maps of the airports:
1. Europe
2. North America
3. Asia-Australia
4. South America-Africa-Middle East

CLICK TO BROWSE THE INTERACTIVE MAP

Firstly I want to show the airports size´s rank (font: CityLines):

AIRPORT AREA (ha)
Dallas Fort Worth 4360
Denver International Airport 4200
King Fahd International Airport 3410
Shanghai, Pudong 3350
París, Charles de Gaulle 3100
Madrid Barajas 3050
New International Bangkok Airport 2980
Chicago O´Hare 2610
Cairo International Airport (Wadi al Jandali) 2550
Beijing Internacional airport 2330
Washington-dulles 2255
Amsterdam, Schipol 2090
New Delhi, Indira Gandhi international airport 1770
Toronto Pearson 1660
Salt lake City 1635
Atlanta Airport 1625
New York, JFK 1525
Frankfurt Airport 1470
Tokyo, Haneda 1445
Dubai International Airport 1445
Roma Fiumicino 1395
Los Angeles International 1325
Kansas city 1290
Hong Kong 1285
Londres, Heathrow 1215
Barcelona, El Prat 950
Rio de Janeiro, Galeao International Airport 950
Moscu Sheremetyevo 875
Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International 855
Sydney airport 820
Mexico, Aeropuerto Internacional Ciudad de Mexico 685
Buenos Aires, Pistarini 670
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai-Delhi) 575

This means that these 33 airports occupies the awesome area of 61.750 Ha that it is more or less Singapore´s size. The mean area for these airports is 1.871 Ha.

Secondly, I also going to show the passengers´ ranking, this is the following:

AIRPORT PASSENGERS
Atlanta Airport 92365860
Beijing Internacional airport 77403668
Londres, Heathrow 69433565
Chicago O´Hare 66561023
Tokyo, Haneda 62263025
Los Angeles International 61848449
París, Charles de Gaulle 60970551
Dallas Fort Worth 57806152
Frankfurt Airport 56436255
Hong Kong 53314213
Denver International Airport 52699298
Dubai International Airport 50977960
Amsterdam, Schipol 49754910
Madrid Barajas 49644302
New International Bangkok Airport 47910744
New York, JFK 47854283
Shanghai, Pudong 41450211
Roma Fiumicino 37651222
Sydney airport 36022614
New Delhi, Indira Gandhi international airport 34729467
Barcelona, El Prat 34387597
Toronto Pearson 33434199
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai-Delhi) 30439122
Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International 30371131
Mexico, Aeropuerto Internacional Ciudad de Mexico 26368861
Washington-dulles 23056291
Moscu Sheremetyevo 22555309
Salt lake City 20440913
Cairo International Airport (Wadi al Jandali) 16148480
Rio de Janeiro, Galeao International Airport 15184350
Kansas city 10469892
Buenos Aires, Pistarini 8786807
King Fahd International Airport 5267000

It is also amazing that the total amount of people that have used these 33 airports in 2011 is 1.384.007.724 (font Wikipedia). This amount of people is similar to China´s population, wow!

But the real question in this post is if size really matters for air traffic and airport management. Well, I think that if we compare the size of the airports with the amount of people that uses each airport we will have some idea about it. Watch the table below:

AIRPORT PAX/AREA
Londres, Heathrow 57146,967
Atlanta Airport 56840,529
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai-Delhi) 52937,603
Los Angeles International 46678,075
Sydney airport 43930,017
Tokyo, Haneda 43088,599
Hong Kong 41489,66
Mexico, Aeropuerto Internacional Ciudad de Mexico 38494,688
Frankfurt Airport 38392,01
Barcelona, El Prat 36197,471
Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International 35521,791
Dubai International Airport 35278,865
Beijing Internacional airport 33220,458
New York, JFK 31379,858
Roma Fiumicino 26990,123
Moscu Sheremetyevo 25777,496
Chicago O´Hare 25502,308
Amsterdam, Schipol 23806,177
Toronto Pearson 20141,084
París, Charles de Gaulle 19667,92
New Delhi, Indira Gandhi international airport 19621,168
Madrid Barajas 16276,82
New International Bangkok Airport 16077,431
Rio de Janeiro, Galeao International Airport 15983,526
Dallas Fort Worth 13258,292
Buenos Aires, Pistarini 13114,637
Denver International Airport 12547,452
Salt lake City 12502,087
Shanghai, Pudong 12373,197
Washington-dulles 10224,519
Kansas city 8116,1953
Cairo International Airport (Wadi al Jandali) 6332,7373
King Fahd International Airport 1544,5748

In this case we can see the incredible variation of the ratio PAX/AREA. From the most efficient airport, that is London Heathrow with 57.147 passengers managed per Hectare, to the least efficient airport, that is King Fahd International Airport with 1.545 passengers managed in 1 Hectare, there is a difference of 37 times more efficiency for London Heathrow.

Well, also considering that the size ratio between the biggest and the smallest of these airports (Dallas Fort Worth vs Chhatrapati Shivaji International) is 7,5 times, we can see how there is a lack of planning & management in the soil occupation of these infrastructures.

Considering the importance of keeping natural soils, I think this example is pretty clear about how infrastructures can be more or less sustainable on soil occupation.

DOWNLOAD THE KMZ FILE WITH THE AIRPORT´S INFO!

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#SPANISHREVOLUTION

In City Lines I have supported different policies and strategies to have better governance and planning for our cities. So, I am happy to celebrate and to participate with this post in the #spanishrevolution movement (also called #acampadasol, #globalcamp, #nonosvamos, etc.), because it goes straight into the core of the democratic system. For a non-Spanish reader, some of the main demands are:

  • Non-appearance of politics with opened investigations or trials in the electoral lists.
  • Clear difference between the politic and the judicial powers.
  • Open lists in the elections.
  • More transparency in the income and possessions of the politics.

I really think that these and other proposals are very important to change the incentives that rule the system and must be assumed by the political parties. But they are not assuming that, so it is a great time to demonstrate our thoughts in the street, as Hessel show in his “Indignez vous!” book.

These are the facts that are now happening, but I want to go further so I will take my crystal ball for the next months. The first thing to say is that the Spanish politics are forced to meet the deficit commitment of the European Union, and probably, it will require more welfare cuts in a lot of issues that concern the Autonomic Governments. So, it is possible that the new Regional Governments will proceed to cut some services related with Health (that consumes 1/3 of their budget) or Education. As an example of this, we can take a look at the new Catalonian Government acts, who advanced their election to the last autumn.

The second important thing is that the Regional Governments could not have into account their deficit and debt in the proper way, as the Financial Times suggests in his article “Hidden debt raises Spain bond fear”. So this is another fact that suggests more budget restrictions in the next months.

Summarizing, on the one hand #spanishrevolution are seeking for a better democracy framework and, on the other hand, we have the different Spanish governments trying to fix their deficit. As a consequence, equity is going to crash with all those efficiency speeches that do not mind if the field does not represent the players. So, my crystal ball suggest a restless new autumn.

EQUITY AND EFFICIENCY IN PLANNING CRITERIA

In a broad sense, city planning is composed by a lot of professional disciplines. This is not a secret, but something that is ignored too many times. What we know well is the speech about the need to coordinate all these disciplines and all the professionals that work around city planning.

Moreover, below the technical speeches lies an economical logic that must be considered too. This economical logic is supported by two main foundations: equity and efficiency. As one professor explained to me one day, efficiency is related to the size of the cake and equity is related to the pieces that you cut from the cake. So, if we focus on every discipline that takes part on city planning, in each of their economic criteria they should talk about equity and efficiency. But, what is really happening?

I have taken two examples to illustrate what I think that is really happening. Firstly, on the one hand, we have some disciplines like Spatial Planning, that is focused on some criteria as to provide life quality and sustainability to the citizens and to the territories. These are equity criteria and usually are not well measured because of their complexity.

On the other hand, we have some disciplines like transport planning that is pointing out to some criteria as the minimization of the trip time or the search for a greater use of public transport. And these are mainly efficiency criteria that can be calculated because transport planners have developed more technical tools to manage some of the main transport parameters.

Obviously, this is a simplification of reality, but sometimes it is not as far from what happens in some planners’ studios. We cannot be satisfied handing out the same little crumbs to everyone or delivering the cake to just a few people, so we have to improve the coordination of efficiency and equity in the social, economic and environmental criteria.

PUBLIC VS PRIVATE SECTOR, IS IT AN EFFICIENCY QUESTION?

This crisis time has brought to Spain and to other countries the need to talk about public and private sector. The great recession has turned the public budget with more outcomes and less incomes, so deficit and debt has arrived to an allegedly sane economy. This background has been quickly taken for public sector critics to praise the efficiency of private sector managing services.

So, here we have two main subjects to consider that I think that can be linked: public services and efficiency. Firstly, in one hand we have to be conscious about the definition of what services have to be public. This should be a political decision, but, at least in Europe and I agree with this, there is a wide accord about education, health services and assistance services, or what is the same the welfare state.

But in the other hand, we have to be also conscious that democracies were born in the XVIII century not to offer services, they born just to promote equality, freedom, security, etc. So we have two main guidelines for public actuation, offer public services and offer equality conditions.

These two guidelines need different organization to work. While equality conditions require non removable civil servants as judges, public prosecutors, policemen and a fix structure that assure the impartiality needed, public services requires movable civil servants and flexible structures that can set services to the instant demand.

So, public services have been planned more with effectiveness criteria as with efficiency criteria, and that is a problem when society has evolve into an economic entity that wants to digest all those public services that can not be provided efficiently because of the public administration organization.

Summarizing, we have to be really cautious when we talk about efficiency in the public sector, because the key is not efficiency, the key is organization.

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