Over half of the planet now lives in cities, and more than two-thirds of the world’s population will be urbanized by 2050. Cities are pro-actively working across borders to build coalition networks and resist nationalist policies. They contribute to four-fifths of global GDP, and are taking center stage in securing an inclusive, safe, productive, sustainable, and resilient future for humanity.
Smart Cities have emerged as urban ecosystems that integrate digital technology, knowledge, and assets to become more responsive to users, improve city services, and make cities more loveable. Leading the development and re-invigoration of effective, high-performing cities is one of the grandest challenges of our time.
Eden Strategy Institute, in fact, has unveiled the rankings of the Top 50 Smart City Governments globally, from a study conducted in partnership with OXD (ONG&ONG Experience Design), that analyses the diverse approaches towards developing smart cities around the world.
This is the first independent ranking of its kind that investigates the roles that city governments play in leading a smart city strategy, beyond celebrating the technological attainments of the cities themselves.
“Smart Cities are taking centerstage in securing an adaptable, inclusive, productive, sustainable, and resilient future for humanity. Leading the development and re-invigoration of high-performing and loveable cities is one of the grandest challenges of our time,” says Mr. Calvin Chu Yee Ming, Partner at Eden Strategy Institute.
“Governments are eager to explore different ways to integrate digital technology, knowledge, and assets. This study offers unprecedented access to the most effective instruments to help governments become more responsive to users, improve city services, and make cities more loveable,” he explaines.
“Through this study, we hope to provide insight into how city governments can coordinate their smart city initiatives better in ways that reflect a deep understanding of the human condition and the transformative power of citizen ownership and empowerment,” says Mr. Joshua Teo, Associate and Lead at OXD.
This report studied 140 smart cities, from which the Top 50 Smart City Governments were ranked across ten vectors:
- Clarity of Vision;
- Provision of financial incentives;
- Support programmes;
- People-centric approach;
- Development of an Innovation Ecosystem;
- Implementation of “Smart” Policies; and
- Track Record of previous initiatives and projects.
Finally, interviews were conducted with city officials to validate facts, measure outcomes, and learn about the unique challenges and pathways taken by each city. These insights were featured in the accompanying report as themed observations and city stories.
Top 50 Smart City Government Rankings
4. New York
11. San Francisco
|18. Hong Kong &|
21. Vancouver &
Washington, D.C. (Tie)
23. New Delhi
25. Columbus, Ohio
26. Los Angeles
32. Ahmedabad &
38. Kansas City
42. Tel Aviv
48. Rio de Janeiro
The research revealed several interesting findings, including how European cities actively involved their citizens in developing their smart city projects, including the use of joint consultation, co-creation, and participatory budgeting to better attend to the needs of all citizens.
Likewise, American cities scored highly due to a federal government competition which prompted City governments to develop comprehensive, robust, and detailed smart city strategies that focused on urban mobility.
In Asia, six Indian cities emerged among the Top 50 Smart City Governments with smart city plans co-created with citizens, and supported by systematically-planned and mobilized budgets from the central government since 2015.
Large investments in ICT infrastructure, together with highly-integrated public services, helped major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing rapidly scale their smart city projects to millions of citizens.
The ranking also recognized admirable efforts of smart cities at the nascent stage, like Jakarta, Phuket, and Kigali that experimented with integrated data platforms, public-private partnerships, and innovation districts.