Singapore remains top of Smart City Index
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Helix Bay Bridge in Singapore Singapore has invested heavily in smart city technology (credit: pxhere)

The third annual IMD-SUTD Smart City Index (SCI) has revealed Singapore as the top city in the world for investment in smart city technologies.

Over the past few years, the government of Singapore has implemented a strategy to transform its capital into a “city in a garden” with solar-powered supertrees that can reach up to 50 metres in height and support sustainable communications technologies.

London slipped from 15th place in last year’s index to 22nd this year, while Leeds and Glasgow were among nine new cities added to the list based on local authorities' investments in smart city technology.

Zurich, Oslo, Taipei City and Lausanne were next in the rankings with three Swiss cities in the top ten following investments including a project for creating a “2,000-watt society” through energy-efficient home and office blocks as well as the introduction of emission-free buses and cabs.

The SCI is the work of the Smart City Observatory, made up of the Institute of Management Development’s (IMD) and World Competitiveness Centre (WCC),which calculates the economic and technological aspects of smart cities balanced against “humane dimensions” of urban living, such as quality of life, environment, and inclusiveness.

This year’s survey revealed that across 15,000 respondents spanning 118 cities perceptions of how technology is helping to address urban challenges has been highly affected by the pandemic and its acceleration of digital transformation.

Bruno Lanvin, president of IMD’s Smart City Observatory, said: “This year’s findings shed light on the tectonic shifts that have disrupted logistical chains and organisational structures worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A large part of the success of central governments’ post-pandemic recovery packages will rely on the level of engagement that they can generate from the populations concerned. In such a context, the initiatives taken at city level will continue to be critically important to confirm the shape and extent of the global post-pandemic recovery that the world needs. Smart cities will continue to be at the forefront of this challenge.”

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