European cities lag Asian counterparts when it comes to employing information communication technology (ICT) for the benefit of citizens, research by Ericsson and Arthur D. Little shows.
Only three European cities – Stockholm, London and Paris - feature in a top-ten listing of global cities actively employing ICT for citizen’s benefit, compared to five cities in Asia Pacific – Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. New York and Los Angeles keep the US’ end up, ranking fifth and seventh respectively.
Ericsson notes the top three countries – Seoul, Singapore and Stockholm – have extensively invested in ICT to offer public services including e-health programs, traffic management, and reducing environmental impact. The study also shows that cities including Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Delhi in India are exploring how to increase ICT literacy among their citizens, with a view to reducing socio-economic gaps.
Erik Almqvist, director at Arthur D. Little, says the study highlights the potential for ICT to improve citizen’s quality of life, and that connectivity is now viewed as a basic right.
“As people get their most basic needs satisfied, attention shifts to e.g. balanced life styles, a rich cultural scene, good transport and transaction facilities… and a clean environment throughout the city,” Almqvist says.