I must admit, even I was surprised to see Kuala Lumpur make the Top 10 ranking, as this city has not yet built an international reputation for smart, sustainable initiatives.
A Street in Kuala Lumpur
Yet Kuala Lumpur fared well enough across the six components to earn a No. 7 ranking. It didn't hurt that Kuala Lumpur's growing economy was rated by the Brookings Institute as 64th globally and 1st amongst the Top 10 in this ranking. The Brookings Institute lauded Kuala Lumpur for its rate of income growth: Residents in this developing city have seen their average income grow by more than 50 percent in the past 15 years. That, of course, can help increase the quality of life and spur further local innovation.
Perhaps most importantly, Kuala Lumpur has taken a leadership role in introducing a wide range of transit modalities. It has implemented a light rail system and a bus rapid transit program; and a new underground metro system is under construction. All of these Smart Mobility investments will help the city move in the right direction.
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