Guest Article – Arcadis – Sustainable Cities Mobility Index


Australian cities ranked ‘middle of the road’ for sustainable transport

Brisbane leads Australia for sustainable and effective transport, with Perth the bottom ranked Australian city, according to the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index from Arcadis. Hong Kong topped the index and seven out of the top 10 spots went to European cities.

The 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index ranked 100 of the world’s leading cities according to the sustainability and effectiveness of their transport networks. The Index used a triple bottom-line approach of People, Planet and Profit to analyse the cities.

Brisbane was the highest ranked Australian city at 48th, followed by Sydney 51st, Canberra 53rd, Melbourne 55th and Perth 87th. According to the Index, Australian cities largely scored lower than global counterparts due to a lack of a running metro rail network, and low scores across indicators measuring share of total trips taken by public transport, the utilisation of the systems, and the share of commuters cycling or walking to work. No city in the country appears in the top 50 on any of these fronts.

Perth’s bottom quartile ranking was due to it scoring modestly on several key indicators, however the city has several major infrastructure projects under development that will see it improve in future rankings.

According to Roger Chapman, Business Leader Western Australia, Arcadis, “Projects such as Perth City Link and METRONET will increase both public and private mobility options around the city and surrounding areas.

“Perth is a city in transition. The State Government’s commitment to developing a new stage for the city combined with the Federal City Deal should see Perth make great strides towards a sustainable transport system,” Chapman said.

The top ranked city, Hong Kong, was 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.

The SCMI explores the three pillars of sustainability: social (people), environmental (planet) and economic (profit) to develop an indicative ranking of how sustainable urban mobility systems are in 100 of the world’s leading cities. It looks at how sustainable each of the cities are in terms of the social and human implications, environmental impacts of mobility in the city as well as efficiency and reliability of the cities.

To find out more, download the report here.

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