Top 10 - Global Smart Cities
Energy Digital takes a trip around the world to explore the top 10 smart cities (next-gen urban spaces which employ digital technologies and IoT), based on a survey by Smart City Governments.
10 | Shanghai
China’s financial nerve centre and an exciting startup hub, Shanghai is noted for being containing a tech-engaged community with an R&D ethic which quickly coverts ideas into implementation.
In addition to its advantageous attitude towards tech development, the city is also undergoing a largescale overhaul of its energy infrastructure, including utilisation of natural gas instead of coal and encouraging the distribution of renewable energy sources.
9 | Barcelona
Although Barcelona has a long and rich history, the city evidently has its sights set firmly on the future; it has implemented a number of technical and infrastructural developments to give its citizens a next-gen living space.
Committed to becoming the most modern city in Spain, Barcelona features LED street lighting, ‘smart bins’, an IoT-sensor monitored irrigation system and more.
8 | Melbourne
The city of Melbourne has already invested over $19mn in redevelopments, motivated by its inclination towards sustainability in an effort to curb climate change.
Chosen initiatives include a network for recycling rainwater in an effort to reduce water scarcity and utilising the nearby Crowlands 80 MW wind farm to provide electricity for lighting, public spaces and recreation grounds.
7 | Boston
Among the first major cities to experiment with smart initiatives, Boston’s transformation is an ambitious journey to turn an entire city into an inspiring space where tech innovations can flourish.
One of the exciting ideas being developed is a new ‘smart public transportation’ system. This involves information hubs scattered around the city which can provide real-time updates on buses, trains, car-shares and more.
6 | Montreal
Last year, Montreal was awarded $50mn (the top prize) in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge. Consisting of months of research, the city was considered to have created the best overall plan for improving the lives of its citizens with technology.
Montreal’s smart city plan includes a mobility data hub to understand the city’s traffic needs and a social data hub to enhance citizens’ everyday lives.
5 | Helsinki
Helsinki’s thoughtful and intelligent approach to being a smart city has placed it among the best, not just in Europe but the world.
Priding itself on the transparency of its operating model, the city’s metropolitan area has a service which covers over 1,000 open data sets. This has fostered an agile tech environment that resembles a startup, wherein ideas can be brought to the production level very quickly.
4 | New York
The ‘Big Apple’ is becoming a beacon for tech-savvy living spaces as it undergoes a strategic structural overhaul.
In addition to the energy-efficient buildings and skyscrapers which reuse rainwater, the city is installing improved air conditioning to help maintain citizens’ quality of life and is also introducing systems to monitor street lighting and waste management.
3 | Seoul
Arguably one of the fastest-ascending cities in the world, Seoul’s local authority has pledged to invest an impressive $1.2bn in new ‘smart initiatives’.
Acknowledging that Seoul had an efficiency issue with many aspects of its infrastructure, the city has been reorganised to optimise its systems by employing circular economic theory. Measures taken include energy recovery on its heating systems, which not only saves money to the consumer but also turns a waste product into a usable asset.
2 | Singapore
A consistent contender for the best smart city in the world, Singapore misses out on the top spot by a slim margin.
Not just a smart city but, owing to its city-state status, a ‘smart nation’ too, Singapore maintains its urban transformation on three core pillars: digital economy, digital government and digital society. New initiatives in the city include widespread contactless payment methods, autonomous vehicle trials and a complex array of IoT sensors for utilities.
1 | London
One of the most exemplary examples of a contemporary smart city, London’s success stems from its ambition to be ‘the smartest city in the world’ through the implementation of its Smarter London Together roadmap.
Consisting of five ‘missions’, the city’s plan involves creating more user-defined spaces, an improved deal for data coverage, establishing world-leading connectivity, enhancing digital leadership and improving the integration. It’s a holistic and far-reaching plan, one which has seen London secure the top spot on this list.