The Future Spaces Foundation today launches its Vital Cities: Transport Systems Scorecard, an interactive data hub that awards connectivity ratings to 12 cities across the world.
The research looks at key factors that make cities thrive – for example, breathability, bike and foot networks, use of data and apps – and ranks each city based on its performance across more than 30 individual measures. Using a mix of qualitative assessments, such as the strength of electric vehicle policies, and hard data, such as the density of transit networks, the scorecard aggregates each individual score to award an overall grade between A and F.
- Copenhagen hailed as most ‘vital’ city as a result of strong sustainability, cycling and mobility credentials
- Sophisticated transit networks boost scores for London, Hong Kong and New York
- Basic infrastructure for pedestrians major challenge for rapidly growing mega cities Beijing, Mumbai and Sao Paulo
The Foundation undertook the research to assess how transport infrastructure can facilitate vitality within high-density cities and to identify how improved connectivity can allow for sustainable growth for future generations.
Ken Shuttleworth, Chairman of the Future Spaces Foundation, said:
“We believe that for cities to thrive, well-networked, efficient, safe and sustainable transport networks are paramount. These equip them to meet the needs of rising and fast-changing populations, limit their environmental impact, and enhance the ability of local residents and enterprises to interact, exchange and innovate. Put simply, the chances of a city’s economic and social success are vastly improved when its connections – pedestrian, bike, vehicle and public transport – are simple, comfortable, safe, and affordable.”
The cities were grouped into four categories: Global Cities (London, New York, Hong Kong), Mega Cities (Beijing, Mumbai, Sao Paulo), Green Cities (Copenhagen, Singapore, Vancouver) and Car Cities (Dubai, Houston, Kuala Lumpur).
While no city scored a perfect A+ overall, Copenhagen – with its first-class record for sustainability, safety and mobility – topped the scorecard with an impressive B+ score. Long-term investment and an ability to adapt to the ever-growing consumer demand for real-time information with innovative data policies have helped Global Cities like London gain pace. In the meantime, Car Cities lagged behind, with all receiving a D or D- grade overall due to their poor efforts to curb car use and promote vehicle-sharing, walking and cycling.
As Mega Cities continue to boom, propelled by industrialisation and mass migration from rural areas, low incomes and rapidly rising populations proved to be particular challenges to improving networks and ensuring that basic infrastructure meets demands in these cities. However, innovative new uses of data and apps to improve connectivity in a cost-effective way is helping these cities to gain pace with global competitors.
Ken Shuttleworth, added;
“Of course, as our research shows, no city is perfect when it comes to connectivity. The Vital Cities: Transport Systems Scorecard has identified some of the key areas – such as good public transport provision, accessibility, affordability and safety – that are essential for a city to be regarded as truly connected. We hope cities across the world will be able to benefit from the insights we’ve developed, learning from one another to become truly connected and vital.”