A Smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic Internet of Things sensors to collect data and then use insights gained from that data to manage assets, resources and services efficiently. Smart Cities have multiplied in the last 10 years and more and more cities want to become smarter. Here are the top 10 Smart Cities according to IESE Cities in Motion Index.
As expressed in the Cities in Motion Index (CIMI), each smart city is unique in its existence, faces different challenges and has its individual needs and opportunities. Hence, each urban agglomeration must devise a tailor-made plan while ascertaining its priorities and staying flexible enough to adjust to changes.
The Cities in Motion Index has been created with an intention to help the public and governments to recognise the performance of a city based on nine fundamental dimensions. These dimensions which are created in a single indicator, include human capital, social cohesion, the economy, governance, the environment, mobility and transportation, urban planning, international outreach, and technology.
The platform projects a conceptual model which is based on a series of in-depth interviews with urban leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, and experts that are associated with the development in the smart cities. The process of the ranking involves a set of steps that cover investigation of the situation, the construction of a strategy and its subsequent implementation.
With a comprehensive vision to let cities identify their strengths and weaknesses, the index has constructed the indicator by measuring sustainability on economic, social, environmental and technological grounds while considering the quality of life of the citizens at the centre of everything.
This year, London has jumped to the first position in the ranking after maintaining the second position for three consecutive years. The UK’s capital has achieved a remarkable position in nearly all dimensions. It secured first place for human capital and international outreach and remained in the top 10 for the dimensions of governance, mobility and transportation, technology, and urban planning. The worst performance of the city has been witnessed in the dimension of social cohesion with position 45. However, it has shown improvement from the 68th position in 2018 and 105th in 2017.
The smart city of London has been entertaining programmers and start-ups more than almost any city in the world. Its open data platform ‘London Datastore’ is being utilised by over 50,000 people, companies, developers and researchers each month. It is making visible strides in transportation with the deployment of Heathrow pods that connect to Heathrow Airport. Moreover, it is investing in the biggest Crossrail project in Europe, introducing 10 new train lines to connect the existing 30 stations in the city by the end of 2019.
New York, one of the most crowded cities in the world came down to the second position after remaining number one for three years in a row. Yet, for the economy, it has remained the leading city with the highest GDP. It secured the third position for human capital, second for urban planning, eighth for international outreach, and fifth for mobility and transportation. The Big Apple owns nearly 7,000 high-tech firms and excels for its integrated technology services like free WiFi service LinkNYC and hence it secured the 11th position for technology.
Amsterdam which was on the tenth position in the 2018 index stands out in international outreach and has outstandingly jumped up to the third position. It has secured the tenth position for the economy, seventh for technology and remains in the top 20 for nearly all of the dimensions.
The city has proved to be an important European power for FinTech, energy efficiency and culture. Approximately, 90% of the households in the city use bicycles for transportation and showcase advanced automated services for the public use of shared bicycles. With an aim to ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2025 it is anticipated to be the first zero-emission city in Europe.
Paris came down to the fourth position from third place in 2017 and 2018. The city is home to the headquarters of almost 50% of the French companies as well as 20 of the 100 largest firms in the world. It stands out at the eighth position for the economy, sixth for human capital, third for international outreach and fourth for mobility and transportation.
The City of Light is constantly encouraging the use of bicycles and electric vehicles and is recognised for open innovation. It is providing access to city data to the public and important players in the urban space. The Grand Paris Express project, one of the biggest redevelopment of transportation in Europe will add four extra metro lines, 200 km of new rail lines and 68 new stations, all connected with a 100% automatic metro system.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s most crowded city and capital has maintained its position since its entry in 2018. Although it is one of the smallest cities, it has topped the environment dimension. Over 90% of the electricity and about 80% of the total energy in the region comes from hydroelectric and geothermal energy. It has committed to becoming a zero-carbon city by 2040 and is working towards increasing the use of renewable power while reducing the dependency on fossil fuels. For technology, the city is ranked at number four.
Tokyo slipped to the sixth position after being the fourth-ranked smart city in 2018, it is the leading Asian city though. The capital of Japan is recognised with the highest rate of labour productivity and hence stands at third position for the dimension of the economy. According to Business Insider and 2thinknow, it is the most innovative city in the world and is ranked in the top 10 of the Global Financial Centres Index for 2018. It has secured the ninth position for human capital, sixth for the environment while being in the top 30 for the remaining dimensions.
Singapore is the best-ranked city for the dimension of technology. The city provides the fastest internet speed to its citizens and almost 100% of the population uses mobile phones. It has a very rich tech culture with hospitals having human and robot staff, autonomous taxis, vertical farms and gardens with controlled temperature and much more. It stands at number four for international outreach and at number 10 for the environment.
Copenhagen was nowhere to be seen in the top smartest cities in 2018 but now entered the rankings at number eight. The city has bagged the third position for the dimension of the environment with the fact that it has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. It has secured the tenth position for technology and remains in the top 25 list for other dimensions.
Berlin was ninth in the overall rankings of 2017, went out of the top 10 in 2018 and now made a come back at the same position this year. Thanks to high rankings at the fifth position for human capital and international outreach, sixth for governance, and seventh for mobility and transportation. Impressively, the capital city of Germany ranks in the top 50 for all dimensions with lowest i.e. 50 for the economy and 47 for the environment.
Vienna, the capital of Austria is the new entry in the top 10 rankings. Its best performance is seen across mobility and transportation as well as for international outreach in the seventh position. For technology, it is at the 13th position, for the environment it at 15th and while for human capital, the city bagged the 23rd position.
The sixth edition of the annual IESE Cities in Motion Index 2019 has been steered by professors Pascual Berrone and Joan Enric Ricart. The experts of IESE Business School’s Center for Globalisation and Strategy surveyed the degree of development across 174 cities (including 79 capitals) from 80 countries. Notably, the index has included 9 more cities this year compared to 2018 apparently showing that there is an increase in the number of smart cities around the globe.
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.