Copenhagen has topped the Digital Cities Index 2022, followed by Amsterdam, Beijing, London, and Seoul.
The cities were determined to have made significant strides on their digital transformation journeys, in aspects such as smart technology-powered sustainability projects and the successful implementation of open data schemes.
The report’s authors also highlighted that involving citizens in the design of smart city schemes underpins meaningful inclusion, a critical success factor for smart city projects, along with delivery against tightly defined goals.
Four pillars of digital cities
The Digital Cities Index 2022, produced by Economist Impact and supported by NEC, is an inaugural ranking of 30 global cities across the four pillars of connectivity, services, culture and sustainability.
Cities with very defined goals realised the greatest benefits: European cities ran highly impactful traffic management systems, whereas Beijing made progress using applied digital technologies – tackling air pollution, optimising its utilities, and promoting its sharing economy.
The Atlantic nation cities led in open data innovation with a boom in travel and mobility apps.
Copenhagen and Singapore were the most connected cities, followed by Zurich, Beijing and Sydney.
Singapore’s strategy for developing digital connectivity is built on the premise that AI, 5G and cyber security will drive the country’s growth and innovation post-Covid.
Smart cities are anticipated to drive economic growth: 5G alone will enable an estimated US$660 billion global mobility and transportation market by 2035.
Ritu Bhandari, manager, policy and insights at Economist Impact, said: “Smart cities will be safer, cleaner and more inclusive urban landscapes, where citizens enjoy better public health and services, more efficient transport and major economic improvements to be shared as public goods.
“The index highlights how outlier cities are leveraging technology to improve quality of life for millions of citizens around the world.
“While we see strong leadership from cities in Western Europe, the table is led by major cities from a wide geographical spread.
“The most significant improvements were delivered against tightly defined goals – a critical success factor for urban digital transformation.”
Image: Town Hall and the main square in Copenhagen (credit: Alexander Kazarin/Shutterstock)
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