The winner of the 2014 Enterprising City/State MobiPrize is MobiLab from São Paulo, Brazil! Through the MobiLab, the municipal Department of Transport (SMT) of São Paulo has created a framework geared to catalyzing future and ongoing growth in New Mobility enterprise, industry, and economic development. They have taken bold decisions required to change institutional culture (proprietary data; formal procurement processes) and opened data to developers, which has advanced user information and public participation platforms (e.g. for bikelane planning). Also by building innovative cross-sectoral partnerships (academia and industry) they have garnered support for their Hackathons for which the city got ample participation. Though relatively new off the starting block, they have demonstrated and/or shown promise in all the MobiPrize goals in a very difficult environment that could be a model for other cities/states in the developing world as well as in the developed world.
The Mobility Laboratory of the City of São Paulo, also known as MobiLab, is a project of the municipal Department of Transport (SMT) of São Paulo. SMT runs the city mobility policy mainly through two agencies: SPTRANS, which manages public transit, and CET, the engineering transit agency.
To address the pressing challenges of the congested city of São Paulo and its lagging bus system, the city government in term since 2013, decided to innovate.
The premises guiding the launch of MobiLab were innovation, transparency and public participation and the means to its development was partnership. The main partnership is with the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, in terms of building CIMU (in Portuguese, Centro Integrado de Mobilidade Urbana meaning the Integrated Center for Urban Mobility) and operating the MobiLab. Also important is the horizontal integration achieved with other governmental offices of the City, in particular the cross-departmental group São Paulo Aberta (which applies standards of open government partnership in the city), as well as associations with a number of partners for sponsoring and supporting the Lab, such as the World Bank, Nokia, GVT (subsidiary of the French telecommunications company Vivendi), Amazon, Fundação Getulio Vargas, and others.
The concept of the MobiLab was developed with the objective of improving mobility by (1) data analysis of urban mobility (transit and transport); (2) conception, testing and implementation solutions for the existing mobility problems; (3) cost-benefit analysis of new technologies (equipment, apps, software, etc.); and (4) creation of participatory solutions for mobility management.
For 2014, SMART Mobiprize has partnered with ICLEI Ecomobility to create an award of recognition for City/State governments (also regional/provincial government organizations) or government owned agencies/public enterprises that have demonstrated active efforts to build a culture of innovation and encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable transportation through enabling policy changes, capacity building, data sharing, funding (ppp) and other resource allocation efforts, etc.
As the winner of the 2014 Enterprising City/State MobiPrize, MobiLab, São Paulo, Brazil will be honored at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Detroit from Sept 7-11, 2014.