Innovative projects World’s top 10 smart cities

Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Reykjavik are the top five smart counties in the world, according to the ‘IESE Cities in Motion Index’. The index has revealed a list of the top 10 smart cities of the world by taking into consideration nine diverse factors.

New York held the first position in sections such as the economy and urban planning.
New York held the first position in sections such as the economy and urban planning.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

The global smart cities market size is expected to reach 2.57 trillion dollars by 2025, registering a strong CAGR of 18.4 % during the forecast period, states a new report by Grand View Research. A growing urban population, the need to optimise natural resources and develop a sustainable environment in the presence of global warming are the main demand drivers for establishing smart cities across the world. Countries are now racing towards building a smarter and sustainable city.

The IESE Business School Center for Globalization and Strategy, and the IESE Department of Strategy under its platform ‘IESE Cities in Motion Index’ has recently ranked the current top 10 smart cities of the world. It is interesting to note that research has been carried out on 165 cities from 80 countries and does not only focus on the advanced technology used in the city but also gives importance to other aspects that are considered important for a smart city. This includes segments such as human capital, social cohesion, the economy, public management, governance, the environment, mobility and transportation, urban planning, and international outreach.

World’s top 10 smart cities

1. New York (USA)

New York tops the chart as it scored well in all the segments mentioned above. The city held the first position in sections such as the economy and urban planning. For international outreach as well as human capital, mobility, transportation, the city secured the third and fourth position respectively. However, on aspects such as environment and social cohesion, the city stood at a position of 99 and 109.

Smart Feature: The city had implemented a street lighting initiative a few years ago under the city’s ‘Reforming the energy’ vision. Under the programme, New York aimed to replace 500,000 street lights with new LED technology by 2025. The project reduced the city’s energy consumption drastically and now the state’s governor has recently announced 7.5 million dollars to enhance this initiative and incorporate new technologies such as sensors, surveillance cameras, air quality monitors, and many other accessories on the street lights to optimise the operations of the city.

2. London (UK)

Occupying the second position, London has secured the first position in human capital. In terms of international outreach, mobility and transportation, the city held the second position, and for the economy fourth position. In terms of environment and social cohesion, it secured position 40 and position 68 respectively.

Smart feature: London owns the world’s first ‘smart street’. Located in Bird Street which is considered to be one of the biggest shopping zones in the city, the smart street is capable of producing electricity and data as people walk on it. The energy is used to power lights in the night and is also used to power bird sounds which make one’s shopping experience all the more fun.

3. Paris (France)

Paris is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. The city holds the maiden position for international outreach as well as mobility and transportation. In terms of urban planning, it secures the third position. Economy places the city at the seventh position followed by human capital at the eighth position.

Smart feature: In 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed and countries were asked to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 % by 2050. In this direction, Paris has made a plan to stop the usage of all combustion engines by 2030, thus expanding the usage of electric vehicles. For this, building electric mobility infrastructure becomes vital. The country has already installed more than 5 dozen fast charging stations. Flash charging solutions for buses have also been introduced which makes it possible for a bus to charge in only 20 seconds!

4. Tokyo (Japan)

Tokyo secures the second position for the economy and fifth for human capital. In segments such as environment, international outreach, technology and mobility and transportation, the city is placed in the top 30.

Smart feature: The upcoming Olympic game will be held in Tokyo in 2020 and the city is already gearing up for the big show. One of the unique smart facilities offered by the city is its autonomous taxis. The driver-less cars will be capable of driving the athletes and tourists to stadiums. Tests are being conducted in full swing and are expected to be ready right in time for the Olympic game.

5. Reykjavik (Iceland)

Reykjavik is the capital and largest city of Iceland. For the environment, it holds the first position. The city has received the highest position in Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and also reflects low levels of pollution. In terms of mobility and transportation and technology, it is placed at the seventh position. However, for international outreach, it occupies the 121th position.

Smart feature: The small country of Iceland runs completely on renewable geo-thermal energy. Instead of using geo-thermal heat for generators which can then provide electricity for heating homes, Iceland pipes geo-thermal heat via water directly into 87 % of the homes. Using geo-thermal heat instead of oil has saved the country 8 billion dollars and has also lowered Iceland’s carbon emissions by more than 1/3rd from 1970 to 2000.

The other countries in the list include Singapore (6), Seoul (7), Toronto (8), Hong Kong (9) and Amsterdam (10). All these countries are keen to explore new dimensions in order to reach the next level of innovation and sustainability. After all, smart cities are the way ahead!

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