UMii Report: innovation in Asia-Pacific, Australia & India

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The Urban Mobility Innovation Index (UMii) Final Report was released on 9 November 2017. Sponsored by the Roads & Transport Authority of Dubai (RTA) and implemented by UITP in partnership with Future Cities Catapult, UMii seeks to empower city leaders to implement urban mobility policies and measures that are relevant to their ecosystem and enable innovation, whilst promoting knowledge sharing and dialogue.

Distinguishing itself from other surveys by focusing on good practices sharing instead of pure competition ranking, the UMii Report illustrates the performance of the 30 cities according to the maturity level of their innovation ecosystem. The index has been based on the testing of nine innovation levers divided in three categories: readiness, deployment and liveability. A contextual dimension was taken into consideration for each city when evaluating the performances in the different domains.

The results of the survey will be presented in a series of six different news articles, covering the regions in which the UMii cities are located and their specificities. The third article of the UMii series covers the Asia-Pacific, Australia and India regions, in the aftermath of the successful 17th edition of the UITP Asia-Pacific Assembly in Tokyo, Japan.

Innovation powered by local collaboration

It never is easy to compare countries of a region as vast and diverse as the Asia-Pacific region. Yet, the UMii project team has met the challenge by doing a remarkable job in comparing the level of innovation in 5 major cities in the region, including India and Australia: Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Sydney and Singapore.

The authorities’ priorities in each city are different; the local realities are complex and the objectives divergent; but following a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, the UMii Report presents a thorough analysis of the elements composing the innovation ecosystem.

Being one of the most important hubs in the world for start-ups, Singapore approaches the development of urban mobility through collaboration. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) recently announced the creation of a fourth Transport Research Centre in collaboration with the Singapore University of Technology and Design. From partnerships with local universities, to financing innovative ideas from third-party developers and citizens via LTA Innovation Fund, Singapore is actively encouraging innovation. The city-state is putting a lot of emphasis on big data analytics and is offering a portal ( for third parties and citizens to develop new mobility solutions.


Thinking outside the box

Hong Kong authorities are also offering an open, integrated data platform which is completed by a separate initiative (Open Data Hong Kong) supporting data-sharing in the city. This level of openness allows developers to innovate with ideas such as the all-in-one app, HK Drivers, which provides customers with real-time traffic information. The city has also created new ways to finance better services for users, for example by receiving a share of the retail profits in return for ensuring mobility to the retail stops for customers.

Also an innovation intensive city, Sydney’s urban mobility is guided by the ‘Future Transport Technology Roadmap’, which was adopted in 2016. This ambitious plan emphasises the importance of engaging users by providing customised and personalised services. To achieve this objective, Transport New South Wales is developing non-conventional measures, like the ‘Join the discussion’ portal, a platform for users to share their views, or the ‘Future Transport Simulation’, a simulation tool for customers to make decisions and test development scenarios.

                          Hong Kong                                                                                 Sydney

Infrastructure first

Kuala Lumpur’s priority in terms of transport and mobility is the development of core infrastructure and the integration of different services. This deployment of new infrastructure allows the city to build stations that integrate bus and rail services. Furthermore, innovative initiatives in the city are constantly flourishing, such as the Kuala Lumpur Centre for Sustainable Innovation (KLCSI), a joint venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and AECOM. The KLCSI provides a living laboratory to test and deploy projects in the region. 

In Delhi, the situation is similar in a way that it is focusing a lot of efforts on developing a core transport network, aiming at offering more cost-effective and efficient modes of transport. The Delhi Transport Department is also looking for ways to collect data from the different types of transport, including the 85,000 tuk-tuks it has. Although it is difficult to have access to the information gathered, Delhi Metro and the Delhi Transport Department have developed an application, ‘Pooch O’, which helps customers make the right mobility choices according to their needs, for example by seeing the location of the different transport options. The application also allow users to rate their experience afterwards.

                         Kuala Lumpur                                                                    Delhi 


The level of maturity of the innovation ecosystems in the 5 UMii cities of the Asian-Pacific region is different. While some cities are data-driven, others are catching up by developing modern transport networks. Comparison in such a context is useful only to allow the sharing of best-practices, which is exactly what the UMii report is achieving.

Further to the UMii Final Report, an official Position Paper has been released in which best practices are highlighted and provides recommendations for city planners, mayors and other decision-makers to embrace innovation in urban mobility.

Read the full Position Paper here!

Download the full UMii Final Report!

From 15-16 December, UITP teams up with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to host the UITP India Seminar on Metro Rail Projects—a Future Perspective, in New Delhi, India. Register before 5 December to join the conversation and gain insight into the latest projects and mobility system developments in the country!

The LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) will take place from 9-11 July 2018, but the call for papers ends 30 November! Submit your papers now!

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