Smart City: Asian and European Cities Dominate Top 20

Are you curious about which cities in the world are considered the smartest? Hint: Tokyo, Paris and even New York are not among them.

According to the latest Smart City Index 2023, Zurich has been ranked as the smartest city in the world, followed by Oslo and Canberra.

The index is based on feedback from the residents of these cities about how technology has improved their lives. The survey involved 20,000 people who were asked to rate 15 different aspects of living in their cities, such as affordable housing, road congestion, green spaces and employment.

They were also asked about their comfort level with various structures and technologies, including facial recognition and sharing personal data.

Singapore, the top-ranked Asian city, performed well in areas such as provision of medical services, availability of green spaces and access to quality education.

Additionally, the index highlighted six cities, including Singapore, that have continuously improved their performance since 2019. The other five cities were Zurich, Oslo, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong.

Out of the 141 cities surveyed, the top 20 spots were dominated by cities from Asia and Europe in the 2023 index.

6LondonUnited Kingdom
13Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
14PragueCzech Republic
16SeoulSouth Korea
17DubaiUnited Arab Emirates
19Hong KongChina
Source: IMD Smart City Index 2023

Smart city attracts top talents

Published in April by the Institute for Management Development (IMD), a Swiss business school, the index ranks cities based on how effectively they use technology to tackle the challenges they encounter in pursuit of a better quality of life.

The index is produced by Smart City Observatory (SCO), which is a part of the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC). It combines hard data and survey responses to demonstrate how technology is helping cities address challenges and improve the quality of life for their residents.

According to Bruno Lanvin, the director of SCO, the level of “smartness” in a city is important for attracting high-level talents and frequent travelers who require high-speed connectivity. For the majority of citizens, however, the importance of smart city technology is indirect and relates to factors such as access to services like healthcare and education, as well as overall quality of life.

The SCO researchers measure and calculate these factors by asking city dwellers about their perceptions of transportation, safety and other aspects of urban life. Ultimately, this information is useful to companies in deciding where to locate their operations.

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