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Sustainable Digitalisation - Teemu Lehtinen - KIRAHub

Helsinki learnt a lot from 139 built environment experiments. Learn from the Founder of the KiraHUB, Teemu Lehtinen.

FD Team

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What is a Smart City?

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Stockholm, where innovation thrives - Anna Gissler

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Smart Mobility & Open Data Pioneers - Forum Virium

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Social Housing Project

Social Housing in the United Kingdom

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Social Housing in Denmark: the Tenant Democracy

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Smart City Indices

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Smart Cities

Smart City Expo 2019 w/ Nokia, FIWARE & Bettair

Three interviews live from Smart City Expo 2019. Learn about how Nokia, FIWARE and Bettair and shaping the Smart City landscape of the future.

FD Team
Smart Cities

Top 10 Smart Cities in the World

Learn about the top 10 smart cities in the world; what makes them Smart? And how are they improving the lives for their citizens

FD Team
Smart Cities

The UN projects that by 2025, 68 percent of all people will live in smart cities. This invariably means a greater demand pull on the resources of these global municipalities. The race for survival makes it necessary for global cities to use technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to their advantage, by creating systems that help the cities serve the people efficiently.

The term “Smart cities of the world” is reserved for cities that have been able to use technology to improve the standard of living of its citizens without sabotaging its future. Each year, the IESE Business School’s Center for Globalization and Strategy releases a survey of the smart cities of the world. The survey studied 174 cities graded according to their performance in the nine dimensions of smart and sustainable cities.

These dimensions are:

  • Human Capital
  • Social Cohesion
  • Economy
  • Governance
  • The Environment
  • Mobility & Transportation
  • Urban Planning
  • International Projection
  • Technology

In this blog, we rank the smart cities of the world and discuss how they are using technology to improve living.

Smart City London

London is home to more start-ups and programmers than any other city in the world. This city ranks top on this list due to its favorable position in all the dimensions. It bagged the lead on human capital and international projection. London aims to increase connectivity by providing a 5G network throughout the city and open access to Wi-Fi in public spaces. The city is known for its lampposts that have sensors and charging posts for their electric buses.

To establish itself as a leader among smart cities of the world, London has established a data center, innovated on transportation through Heathrow pods, developed intelligent road network systems, supported digital money, and reused waste heat from underground chambers.

Smart City New York

New York leads all smart cities around the world in the dimensions of economy, urban planning, and mobility, and transportation. For three consecutive years, the city of New York has ranked top on the list of smart cities in the world. With over 8.5million people living in the city, this city boasts of the highest GDP in the list. This city is the home of close to seven thousand high-tech firms.

Recently, the city started a program that places smart sensors in hundreds of business districts. For instance, the city has also incorporated an Automated Meter Reading system, which helps to monitor water consumption and smart waste bins that follows the waste level. New York work in collaboration with her citizens to promote equal access to free Wi-Fi and clean water.

Smart City Paris

This city ranks third place on this list of global smart cities primarily for its efforts towards attaining sustainable means of transportation. The city has incorporated the Grand Paris Express, which is expected to run for 204 kilometers of automated metro lines. It also introduced about 14000 bikes into the community to reduce congestion and pollution. Little wonder it comes second in the mobility and transportation dimension. The city plans that in the next three decades, it will run fully electric and natural gas vehicles.

Smart City Tokyo

Tokyo outranks all the other Asian pacific cities on this list. Set to host the 2020 Olympic, before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, the city intended to use face recognition technology to beef up security. Nonetheless, Tokyo continues to set the pace in environmental policies. The city has recently added to its smart city capabilities using technology to resolve social issues.

Smart City Reykjavik

Next is a leader in the aspect of environmental innovation, Reykjavik. She was the first to implement total dependency on renewable energy with an energy company that harnesses geothermal energy to power more millions of homes. Through its Reykjavik Fibre Network, the city is also trying to surpass the smart cities of the world by increasing connectivity and internet speeds to 500 megabits per second. Reykjavik has also implemented an app that optimizes bus routes and making buses more attractive to its citizens.

Smart City Copenhagen

Another city that has earned a place amongst the smart cities of the world is Copenhagen. In 2017, the incubator Copenhagen Solutions Lab was awarded for creating an application that tracks air quality, waste management, and traffic. the city has earned a reputation for its aggressive environmental policies and its well-deserved second place in that dimension.

Smart City Berlin

Over the years, this German city remains one of the major smart cities of the world. Berlin is most notable for its performance under the mobility and transportation dimensions, although it has some shortcomings when it comes to its economy. In April 2015, the Berlin Senate approved the Smart City Berlin Strategy. The aim of this strategy is that by 2050, Berlin is to have achieved climate neutrality and resource efficiency. Berlin take its citizens benefits seriously and has used technology to facilitate climate protection and conserve resources while driving sustainability.

Smart City Amsterdam

The international projection dimension happens to be Amsterdam’s strongest point, which comes as no surprise considering that it is a tourist haven. The city has committed to becoming the first zero-emission smart city of the world by 2025, and more than 90% of its citizens are cyclists. Despite falling five places from the 2019 rankings, the city retains top positions in multiple dimensions.

Smart City Singapore

Singapore is on a journey to becoming the first Smart Nation in the world, through the Singapore Smart Nation initiative launched in 2014. They have some of the most advanced technology, and of all the smart cities of the world, they are the first to use driver-less taxis. Ranking high in technology adaptation, Singapore has systems that determine when a person is littering the city or when a person is smoking in “no-smoking” zones. They also use this to monitor vehicle movement, traffic, and crowd density in real-time. Singapore’s Parking Guidance System gives information on the availability of parking space, earning it its place as one of the prominent smart cities of the world.

Hong Kong Smart City

Scoring highest in technology, Hong Kong has remained in top position as one of the world’s smartest cities. In 2019, the city launched its “Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint initiative. This program aimed to utilize technology and innovation towards making Hing Kong one of the world’s smartest cities. The city is known for being technology-friendliness and how it continues to use smart-infrastructure to solve its urban challenges.


There are 27 smart cities globally, and more cities are bound to join in the coming years. Together, their leaders will take advantage of technology to create digital solutions for urban problems. However, the true measure of a smart city is how well its citizens see and experience the benefits of the quantum leap.