The smartest city in the world is Singapore, the inaugural IMD Smart City Index showed.
Published by Swiss business school IMD and the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the IMD Smart City Index 2019 (SCI) ranked 102 cities worldwide, uniquely focused on how citizens perceive the scope and impact of efforts to make their cities ‘smart’, balancing “economic and technological aspects” with “humane dimensions”.
The top-10 smartest cities in 2019 are: Singapore (1st), Zurich (2nd), Oslo (3rd), Geneva (4th), Copenhagen (5th), Auckland (6th), Taipei City (7th), Helsinki (8th), Bilbao (9th) and Dusseldorf (10th).
The main two main pillars considered are structures, which refer to the city’s existing infrastructure; and technology, which refers to the technological provisions and services available to the residents.
Under each pillar, the survey also looked at the categories of health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance – each of which were in turn broken down into smaller indicators.
“Smart cities are becoming magnets for investment, talent, and trade. Yet, a significant part of the efforts and energy spent seem to be disconnected from the long-term aspirations of citizens. Without citizen’s support and engagement, smart cities may not be sustainable,” said Bruno Lanvin, President of the IMD’s Smart City Observatory at the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
The index also revealed that economic performance of smart cities is deeply influenced by their context. For instance, large urban centres such as San Francisco (12th) or London (20th) make the top-20 of the IMD Smart Cities Index 2019. But, cities of smaller size, such as Bilbao (9th) – with populations below 500,000 – ranked remarkably high.
What’s more, quality of life (including environment, safety, access to health and education services, but also mobility and social interaction) seem to be more and more prominent aspirations for ‘smart cities’ worldwide.