Is the most developed smart city also the best to live in?

Published by Telefónica m2m Team Smart Cities

Tokyo is by far the most developed city in the world. But that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best one to live in. We have spoken quite a bit about smart cities here, a sector that is experimenting a boom in 2014. But which is the best smart city?

The IESE Cities in Motion Index (ICIM Index) is a highly detailed interactive Index of Smart Cities also available for download. The Index sheds light on what city ranks best according to a set of 50 markers in 10 differentiated areas or dimensions.

With this comprehensive criteria 135 cities have been put to the spotlight to measure the best of the best among the smartest cities on the planet.

The ranking, presented on April 9th, is authored by the prestigious Spanish based Business School IESE of the University of Navarra (with Telefónica as a Founding Partner).

The report, directed by IESE’s Center for Globalization and Strategy professors  Joan Enric Ricart Ph.D and Pascual Berronestates Ph.D, points out that private companies are the main force that drive such unstoppable growth. “Smart Cities generate numerous business opportunities and possibilities for cooperation between the public and the private sector, and with private companies leading and developing smart city projects, in collaboration with universities and other institutions”, says the ICIM Index.

The key for becoming a top ranked Smart City (Tokyo, London and New York lead the ranking for the third consecutive year) is to “adopt long-term policies as soon as possible”, remarks the report.

There is no single or simple success formula. Cities leading the ranking are diverse and stand out for different reasons. The cities are ranked with a SWOT style approach using 10 distinct dimensions as we anticipated before. Here is a description of each dimension and the top ranked city in each of them:

  1. Governance – ability  to  involve business  leaders  and  local  role-players. Auckland, New Zealand.
  2. Public Management – activities for improving Administration efficiency. Tokyo, Japan.
  3. Urban Planning –  the  “livability”  of  any territory, through  local master plans and the design of green areas and spaces for public use. Berlin, Germany
  4. Use of Technology – the implementation of M2M technology as a backbone of any smart city. London, United Kingdom.
  5. Environment – environmental sustainability improvement through plans to fight pollution and counteract the effects of climate change. Zurich, Geneva and Basel, all in Switzerland.
  6. International Outreach – improvement of the  city’s  “brand  name”  and  its international. London, United Kingdom.
  7. Social Cohesion –  analysis  of  factors  such  as immigration,  the  development  of communities,  care  for  the  elderly,  the effectiveness of the health care system, and the people’s safety and security. Eindhoven, Netherlands.
  8. Mobility and Transportation – deals movement through cities, often of very large dimensions, and facilitating access to public services. Berlin, Germany.
  9. Human Capital – the city’s capacity to attract and retain talent. Tokyo, Japan.
  10. Economy – aspects which  promote  a  territory’s  economic development. New York, United States.

“The evidence presented is consistent with the message which our platform conveys to city administrators: the first step towards achieving a better city is to define what type of city you want to have and what dimensions you wish to seek improvement in”, concludes the report.

Telefónica m2m Team

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