Deloitte recently published their City Mobility Index, entitled The Deloitte City Mobility Index: Gauging global readiness for the future of mobility. Using our Shared Mobility City Index as one of their resources, Deloitte’s paper employs a methodology to gather data and examine more than 40 cities on the topic of future mobility. Here, we summarize their findings for you.
City Mobility Index on smart cities and data
What is a smart city? To be truly prepared for the mobility of the future, cities must be adopting technologies and methodologies of smart cities. This new idea of a data-driven city is one which brings many advantages in all areas of life, including transportation, is infused with artificial intelligence. Whilst questionnaires have been used to collect data of cities and its inhabitants in the past, today and tomorrow, platform operators will turn to databases for more accurate data available in a shorter timeframe and at a much lower cost.
The Deloitte City Mobility Index (DMCI) is a scale of smart urban mobility, as well as an “in-depth exploration into the rapid changes occurring in the way people and goods move about, with intermodal journeys, active transportation options, such as sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and public transit playing prominent roles.”
DMCI: How they Measure Urban Mobility Performance
Looking at over 40 cities across the globe, the DMCI takes into account additional measures than what’s simply available today. With this, they explore the possibilities of the future of mobility in a smart, liveable, and economically-sound city. The three key themes are:
1. Performance and resilience
This comes down to the efficiency of urban transportation, where trains run on time all of the time. Interestingly, cities that scored the highest amongst this category also have minimized congestion and travel durations, they maintain their roads and infrastructure better, and they offer multiple different integrated modes of transportation.
2. Vision and leadership
The second theme looks at how forward-thinking a city’s leadership is in regards to its future mobility innovations. Because urban mobility requires such innovation, coordination among stakeholders, and direction, this theme is a key in developing an inclusive and high-performing mobility system.
3. Service and inclusion
This theme comes down to how accessible transportation is to all residents of the city. The best cities in this category had widespread coverage and accessible wait times for transit with affordable options.
The Big Learnings of Measuring Urban Mobility
While the cities that were measured by the DMCI were all very different, a few key learnings came from this process of measuring the forward-thinkingness and urban mobility-readiness of cities.
Integration is Key
One might assume that the higher the population of a city, the more challenging urban transportation becomes and therefore, the more likely it is to be ill-serving to its dwellers. However, the learnings of this report showed quite the opposite:
Cities with high population densities such as London, Singapore, and Berlin scored highest on transportation performance.With more people funding systems that cover less ground, these cities get more bang for their bucks. Cities with large geographic areas, such as New York and Chicago, tend to do better within city limits but do not perform as well in their larger exo-urban areas.
Private Cars provide challenges
In general, any city that relies heavily on private cars, like most US cities do, will perform poorly on many metrics in the DMCI index.
Our analysis—and many others’—reveals a number of deleterious consequences from overreliance on private autos, including congestion, pollution, and accidents. If cities continue to grow— and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 20507 —then public and private players need to find ways to move people and goods in ways that maximize use of space and minimize such social costs.
Culture plays a role in transportation
A city’s mobility system will ultimately be shaped by its culture. Geography plays a large and essential role in mobility, and not surprisingly, widespread cities tend to rank lower for active transportation.
The role of culture is also much more important to the development of a transportation system than we usually assume. Casual ridesharing is common in cities such as Washington DC (where it is known as “slugging”) and New York, but less so in other US cities. Similarly, Amsterdam is quite famous for its cycling culture, but this seems not as common in other cities, even those with similar geographic and population profiles
The Deloittle City Mobility Index and it’s subsequent findings teach us a lot about how the leaders of our cities can help shape and prime their cities for easier adoption of smart city and future mobility innovations. Interested in learning more about our city index which focuses on where to launch your shared mobility service? Get in touch with us here for a free city download.