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06 Mar 18 02:29

I came across an interesting post published by the WEF about cities with the most sustainable transport in the world. The article refers to 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index produced by Arcadis, which scrutinises 100 cities, assessing them against the three fundamental pillars of sustainable development: society, environment and economics. Taking into account 23 indicators related to urban mobility, the report compares aspects of the transport systems ranging from complex infrastructure planning to more trivial ones as the price of mobility, and in turn analyses their societal implications, environmental impact as well as contribution to economic growth. One of the report's conclusions is that those cities ranking at the top are the ones which have challenged the status quo with innovative ideas and good planning.

Hong Kong is number one on the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility ranking. I feel very proud about this recognition, as HK is not only my home city but the market I look after at Swiss Re Global Engineering. Supported by an inexpensive, state-of-the art and well interlinked transport network which masters over 12 million passenger journeys per day, HK does the utmost to provide one of the most effective and sustainable public transports systems in the world. Projects like the Southern Kowloon Link, ie the West Rail Line extension, and the Express Rail Link are just some of the examples of public transport infrastructure that Swiss Re has accompanied in the quest to support sustainable urban development.

Swiss Re's contribution to sustainable mobility also extends to other instances. Diverting traffic from the city centre and optimising travel times as well as reducing air and noise pollution are also important additions to a greener and more efficient future. During my years as an underwriter in Global Engineering, I have seen amazing and visionary projects take shape, like the Central Wan Chai Bypass. This challenging undersea project - currently under construction, combines a 4.5 km long dual 3-lane trunk road with a 3.7 km long tunnel, linking up the Rumsey Street Flyover in Central and the Island Eastern Corridor at North Point. Planned to be finished by the end of 2018, this expressway will divert traffic from HK's commercial centre alleviating traffic congestion, as well as significantly reducing travel time and noise levels. Adding up to this, the project will help to improve the area's air quality.

In addition to providing capacity, Global Engineering has closely followed up and implemented solid risk management practices to accompany the successful and timely completion of many other infrastructure projects in my dear city. Just to mention a few: Route 8 - including Stonecutter Bridge, Tuen Mun Road Reconstruction, Fanling Highway widening and Central Reclamation Phase III are all examples of how infrastructure can improve a city's daily life.

The 55 km Hong Kong-Macau Zhuhai Bridge, including its link Road, Express Rail Link. Hong Kong–Shenzhen Western Corridor, will connect the city to the Pearl Delta economy zone, and help maintain its competitive edge as international business hub by providing an entry portal to Main China. An economic growth enabling landmark.

By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in big cities like Hong Kong. Together, we need to plan ahead to provide sustainable living metropoles to the future generations. Have you already checked the sustainability ranking of your home city?

Category: Other

Location: Hong Kong

1 Comment

Urs Leimbacher - 8 Mar 2018, 2:53 p.m.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jimmy. Most interesting. And given the strong urbanisation trends globally, sustainable mobility no doubt is a key challenge for many large cities. Some of our colleagues in other mega-cities - like Sao Paolo or Mexico City - might tell their own stories about these challenges.
My own home city, Zurich, is small by any standards (460'000 inhabitants). Consequently, our challenges are minuscule compared to those of larger cities. We also have an excellent public transportation system - and 50% of Swiss Re's employees use it for their daily commute.

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