Hong Kong leads the world for sustainable transport, according to the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index from Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy for natural and built assets. The Index was compiled for Arcadis by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) and explores mobility through three pillars of sustainability - social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit) - to develop an indicative ranking of 100 of the world’s cities.
Boosted by its innovative and well-connected metro network and a high share of trips taken by public transport, Hong Kong manages to achieve many of the aims of an effective urban transport system – enabling comprehensive mobility, creating economic opportunity and enriching the lives of citizens, business and tourists alike.
Cities benefiting from ‘money, mass or maturity’, namely high wealth, significant global cities, do not necessarily lead the ranking in sustainable urban mobility. Although these factors can help, we do see wealthy, large and/or older cities not automatically punching their ticket to sustainable urban mobility.
Aside from Hong Kong, two other Asian cities rank highly, taking two of the remaining top ten spots and matching the results of the 2016 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index. 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.
European cities dominate the top of the overall Index, occupying seven of the leading ten spots. Zurich, Paris and Prague are the highest placed European cities, ranking second, third and fourth respectively, with strong scores in the Planet and Profit sub-indices due to established infrastructure, efficient metro systems and commitment to green technology
North American cities are spread throughout the overall Index; while citizens of some American cities enjoy well-funded and comprehensive transport systems, many cities in the U.S. and Canada are undermined by a reliance on private vehicles and underdeveloped public transport options.
Asian Cities in the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index are:
Overall Ranking Asia Ranking City 1. 1. Hong Kong 4. 2. Seoul 8. 3. Singapore 13. 4. Tokyo 16. 5. Beijing 19. 6. Shenzhen 27. 7. Shanghai 30. 8. Taipei 33. 9. Guangzhou 34. 10. Chennai 39. 11. Macau 50. 12. Chengdu 56. 13. Bengaluru 60. 14. New Delhi 62. 15. Manila 68. 16. Wuhan 70. 17. Tianjin 75. 18. Mumbai 82. 19. Kolkata 89. 20. Jakarta 92. 21. Bangkok 95. 22. Kuala Lumpur 96. 23. Hanoi
Overall the top ten cities in the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index are:
1. Hong Kong 2. Zurich 3. Paris 4. Seoul 5. Prague 6. Vienna 7. London 8. Singapore 9. Stockholm 10. Frankfurt
John Batten, Global Cities Director at Arcadis said:
“Cities are in part defined by their distinct urban mobility; installed to traverse their unique topographies and urban realities including density, demographics and design. Whether it’s Hong Kong’s MTR system, Shanghai’s bicycle tracks or Seoul’s subway, the prevailing urban transport system of a city is a distinguishing feature that enables the mobility of residents, travellers, goods and services -- providing the foundation for economic growth.”
“Cities and their policymakers face enormous pressures as they seek to meet today’s mobility challenges. As rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, population growth and climate change continue to challenge our world’s cities, those that choose to make bold moves in advancing and diversifying their urban transport systems will gain a competitive edge –- we see that investing in improved and sustainable mobility will give cities enhanced productivity, attractiveness and overall quality of life.”
Selected city profiles:
Hong Kong: Boosted by its innovative and well-connected metro network and a high share of trips taken by public transport, Hong Kong leads the world for sustainable transport. Hong Kong scored as the best city globally for overall mobility with a score of 65%. Its scoring was consistently good across the 3 P factors but in People, Hong Kong ranked the highest coming in as Number 1 at 81%.
Singapore: The Lion City has the best balance of scores across People, Planet and Profit, with Planet having the best performance with 70%, placing it as one of the top countries on the list. Singapore’s application of digital adoption into its public transport system was rated 100%, as was its bid to encourage residents to switch to and adopt electric vehicles. Beijing: Beijing scored well overall (58%) with a place in the top 20 cities at 16, but it could have featured higher if its Planet and Profit scores reflected the performance of People. The city’s connectivity and digital application scored well, placing transformation as a clear goal for the city, possibly a result of its Olympic legacy. China’s capital city also gained full marks for international and national connectivity via planes and airports.
Shanghai: Shanghai scored 55% on the list and is placed at number 29, which for a major city could be considered underperformance, especially when compared to other cities in China. Its ranking was brought down in the Planet section, Provision for ‘green space’ is very low at only 10%, yet the city’s provision for electric vehicles scored 100% and its bicycle infrastructure was also highly ranked.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s capital city’s performance in the ranking was low (31%) placing the city 94 on the global list. These results are a clear indication that there is ample opportunity for Kuala Lumpur to address its mobility issues which the future High Speed Rail, connecting KL and other cities in Malaysia with Singapore, may help to tackle.