Smart cities are the product of constant innovation and the goal of orienting our life toward sustainability. With more and more technological advancements developed and being introduced every single day, it’s no longer surprising to see a significant increase in the number of smart cities all around the world.
These so-called “smart” cities normally feature cutting-edge infrastructures, technology, and innovations that are all aimed toward the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Despite their growing numbers, there are just some smart cities that really stood out. Without further ado, here are the top 5 smartest smart cities around the world:
1. New York, USA
New York was hailed the “smartest city” back in 2017, and it’s easy to see why. Part of its smart city plan includes the city’s Mayor’s Office of Technology Innovation working hand in hand with the local city government in a joint effort to transform the Big Apple into a smart city.
Aside from that, the city also works with the Department of Environmental Protection to deploy a large-scaled AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system for better water consumption and to give consumers a tool they can use to check their water consumption every day. They also work with Cisco to place smart screens all throughout the city for various purposes including announcing events, reporting news, and offering coupons.
The city of Singapore mostly revolves around technology. Its efforts surrounding governance, technology, and international outreach landed it a spot on the best smart cities worldwide. Part of the city’s smart efforts includes the implementation of One Monitoring, a transportation system that allows citizens to access traffic information gathered by surveillance cameras all throughout the city.
They also have a Parking Guidance System that provides motorists with real-time information regarding any available parking spot. They’re also one of the leading cities when it comes to the introduction of robot hospitals.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is ranked as the 4th best smart city around the world by the IESE Index. Apart from being the world’s most populated metropolitan area around the world, it’s also considered as the most tech-savvy city.
Back in 2011, the city has worked with major tech companies like Accenture and Panasonic to create a suburban “smart town” that will have zero carbon emissions and will be powered by renewable sources of energy. Due to the city’s collaborations with several major companies, they’re able to create homes that come with energy-efficient appliances that are connected to a smart grid, integrated solar panels, and storage batteries to name a few.
Moreover, Tokyo ranks high in terms of WiFi hotspots and smart parking. It even became a “green island” by achieving the goal of planting one million trees back in 2015. As the host to the upcoming Olympic Games this year, Tokyo will be focusing most of its efforts on implementing facial recognition technology and driverless taxis.
London was last year’s smartest city in the world by the IESE Index. While we’re yet to see how Brexit can affect its position this year, there’s no denying that London’s efforts in a lot of sectors including commerce, entertainment, media, tourism, and more were all really impressive.
According to the report, London excels when it comes to human capital, and it’s also recognized for its technology, governance, transportation, and urban planning. Additionally, the city currently has more startups and programmers compared to any other cities around the world. It even has an open data platform known as London Datastore which is accessed by over 50,000 individuals including researchers, developers, and companies every month.
5. Seoul, South Korea
South Korean’s capital can be considered the forerunner of smart cities, having been hailed the world’s very first smart city back in 2014. It was the city’s deep immersion in smart technology that made it one of the world’s leaders when it comes to using smart technology in key sectors like mobility and transportation.
Apart from that, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced its plans of installing 50,000 IoT (Internet of Things) smart sensors throughout the city by 2020, allowing them to collect various information regarding traffic and other important data.
Despite being called “smart” cities, these cities are quite far from perfect. Even the best cities the likes of Seoul and London with high scores in nine dimensions of city life aren’t even close to perfection.
That said, in order for smart cities and other flourishing cities around the world to move toward a sustainable future, the city managers should come up with a long-term view in order to properly set the right priorities. Also, it’s vital to add citizen’s involvement into the equation, as without it, even the smartest city will be bound to fail.