The prevailing urban transport system of a city is a distinguishing feature that enables the mobility of residents, travelers, goods and services -- providing the foundation for economic growth. As rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, population growth and climate change continue to challenge our world’s cities, those that make bold moves in advancing and diversifying their urban transport systems will gain a competitive edge. Investing in improved and sustainable mobility will give cities enhanced productivity, attractiveness and overall quality of life.
In this latest installment of the Sustainable Cities Mobility Index (SCMI), we examine 100 cities across 23 evaluation indicators to give an indicative ranking of each city’s mobility and how sustainable its system is in terms of the 3 pillars of sustainability, PEOPLE (social), PLANET (environmental) and PROFIT (economy).
Among the 23 evaluated Asian cities, Hong Kong leads the world for sustainable transport. Modern metro systems, large airports and low usage of private vehicles help boost the rankings of developed Asian cities such as Seoul (4th) and Singapore (8th). It is however, a tale of two halves in Asia as other cities would score higher were it not for damaging levels of urban pollution and emissions while metropolises such as Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur are some of the world’s least sustainable for mobility.
Cities benefiting from ‘money, mass or maturity’, namely high wealth, significant global cities, do not necessarily lead the ranking in sustainable urban mobility. European cities dominate the top of the Index with strong scores in the Planet and Profit sub-indices. Some American cities enjoy well-funded and comprehensive transport systems, yet many are undermined by a reliance on private vehicles and underdeveloped public transport options.
Sustainable systems depend on the decisions of leaders in the public and private spheres, emerging transport technologies bring more opportunities to create cities that are built to move us into the future. Indeed, now is the time for cities to invest in their future. Budget is but one of the critical success factors. Boldness, audacity and vision likewise are important qualities for urban decision makers to improve quality of life in their cities.
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