The city: Singapore
The idea: The city-state become the first metropolis in the world to introduce the idea of a congestion charge - a fee for cars entering the central business district - in 1975. Two decades later, it used technology to create the Electronic Road Pricing system, the first plan which could read number plates and charge drivers as they passed cameras. Who has copied it? London, most famously. The city's former mayor, Ken Livingstone, introduced the charge in 2003, despite large and vocal opposition. It was cannily brought in during a school holiday when the roads were likely to be quieter and the effect would appear greater. Numerous other city leaders , from Edinburgh to New York, have considered bringing in the idea, but few so far have had the political will.
Nota: recentemente foi anunciado que a Autoridade para os Transportes Terrestres de Singapura (LTA) está a explorar tecnologia de satélite para modernizar a actual que recorre a estes portões/sensores (de negativo impacto visual) para cobrar a entrada de veículos nas "congestion-charge zones". Desde 1975 outras cidades em todo o mundo adoptaram este modelo, nomeadamente Londres.