London and Los Angeles announce collaboration on transport innovation

03 February 2020

London and Los Angeles have signed an agreement to become ‘Innovator Cities’ – enabling greater collaboration to tackle some of the biggest transportation issues facing cities around the world.


Both of them are thriving global cities which have large, growing populations and their success has presented many of the same transport problems, such as congestion, air pollution and road danger.


This pioneering agreement will enable the cities to work together to develop innovation challenges, identifying where similar problems exist and making sure that solutions developed in either city can work elsewhere in the world. The agreement would also give companies the opportunity to take part in ‘start-up exchanges’, which would allow a start-ups to pitch their ideas in both London and LA. This would ensure that both cities can benefit from the best and brightest ideas to their common issues.


London and Los Angeles hope to expand the ‘Innovator Cities’ network to more cities, allowing even more communities around the world to benefit from the best ideas the market has to offer.


The approach will be first trialled through the London FreightLab Innovation Challenge, which launched last month. London FreightLab is calling for the best innovators in the UK to come up with ideas which make freight in London safer, cleaner and more efficient. Through the new agreement, the winning innovators could be given the opportunity to pitch their solution to the Mayor’s Office for the City of Los Angeles, for the opportunity to go and test their idea in another global city.


Applications are open to everybody and full details are available here: The deadline for applying is midday on 5 February 2020.


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “London and Los Angeles are two of the world’s boldest and most innovative cities, so it makes perfect sense for us to join forces with the aim of addressing some of the biggest transport challenges facing us today. Working together enables us to share best practice, promote new ideas and find pioneering solutions that could be replicated in other cities around the globe.”


Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, said: “Los Angeles is a global hub for transportation innovation — and we are ready to test-drive new ideas, inventions, and innovations on our streets and in our neighborhoods right now. Our partnership with London is about putting the best concepts in the world onto our local roads and railways, taking steps together to help us reduce traffic, cut carbon emissions, and build resilient cities for the future.”


Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, said: “We are pleased to exchange strategies with the great city of London to support innovative solutions to urban freight challenges. We are testing more than a dozen zero and near-zero emissions projects to further reduce emissions. We look forward to sharing best practices and await the results of the London FreightLab Innovation Challenge.”


Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said: “London and Los Angeles are very different cities, but have a number of big challenges in common, as well as a desire to partner with the best market innovators from start-ups to corporates to help solve them. By working together we want to promote ideas that have the potential to scale to cities across the world. FreightLab is our first pilot for collaboration and we encourage as many companies as possible to consider taking part.”




Notes to editors


  • London FreightLab is part of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge, which brings together London’s public and private sector with tech companies to develop solutions to the most pressing problems facing the city, delivered in partnership with Microsoft and the Social Tech Trust
  • Applications for London FreightLab are open here:
  • TfL's Transport Innovation Directorate (TID) was recently recognised at the Corporate Start-Up Stars Award for its impact in public sector innovation and its excellence in moving public entities into the open innovation space
  • For more information about how TfL innovates visit:


About Los Angeles’ Urban Movement Labs


Launched in November 2019, Urban Movement Labs (UML) links city agencies, business, and community stakeholders to deploy proven and emerging mobility solutions in real urban conditions in L.A. UML is powered by three programs—an ideas accelerator; a workforce and economic development initiative; and urban proving grounds. Founding partners include the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports L.A. Department of Transportation, and private sector partners Avis Budget Group, Lyft, Waymo, Verizon, and LA Cleantech Incubator. For more information, visit: