UMii Report: innovation in Turkey

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 have been presented in a series of six different news articles, covering the regions in which the UMii cities are located and their specificities. The sixth and final article covers the region of Turkey.

Situated between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Turkey is economically dynamic, but it has its own specificities and faces its very own challenges. This reality is reflected in the country’s biggest city’s public transport sector, as exposed in the UMii report: innovation in Istanbul.

Innovation between worlds

Istanbul, the city that sits on two continents, has a modern urban mobility network which dates back to the second half of the 19th century. Composed of trams, trains, buses, as well as bike and car sharing, the ecosystem’s strategy is guided by the Istanbul Metropolitan Authority. The authority has published a Strategic plan in 2015, which will run until 2019, and although it is not solely dedicated to mobility, it presents actions and goals that a dedicated team works towards.

To achieve these objectives the Turkish city is focusing on external collaboration and data, both being often closely related when it comes to urban mobility. The multidisciplinary approach of involving partners—including universities, private sector organisations, such as Ericsson, and other third parties—have helped shape a wide range of mechanisms to collect data.

However, the city has yet to offer an integrated data platform for users and third parties to openly access the information gathered. This does not mean that data is not accessible, but those interested in developing new mobility solutions, must request the release of data. Authorities are increasingly aware that there is a disparity between the information at hand and the availability to use it.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Authority has relied on workshops with developers to better understand their transport needs and the challenges they are facing in creating new mobility tools. Integration of transport infrastructures is one solution on which the authority is actively working. The introduction of the Istanbul Card, which is used as an integrated ticketing system, is part of this work.

Turkey is working hard to further develop integrated solutions for public transport and combined mobility services. The country has just announced in November its new intra-city ‘Turkey Card’ to be used on all transport services across the country.

The UMii project has shed light on the important developments and innovative sustainable mobility initiatives implemented in cities from all over the world.

Read the full UMii Final Report!
Read the Position Paper!