Singapore has beaten Dubai and London to become the world’s smartest city, according to ABI Research.
Singapore scores highest on all innovation criteria with a special focus on Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Freight-as-a-Service (FaaS) to maintain its leading role as a transportation and freight hub with driverless taxis, autonomous shuttles and platooning trials and projects.
Additionally, Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative addresses a wide range of urban issues linked to high-density living.
The Smart City Ranking competitive assessment ranked 10 megacities across developed regions: New York (United States), Los Angeles (United States), Paris (France), London (United Kingdom), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Beijing (China), Shanghai (China), Singapore (Singapore), Tokyo (Japan), and Seoul (South Korea) based on ABI Research's proven innovation/implementation criteria framework.
ABI Research analyzed each city for its innovation programs, strategies and implementation achievements measured through verifiable metrics for congestion, air quality, GDP, crime rates, and cost of living.
In terms of innovation, ABI Research said, cities are assessed on the extent of which they are embracing out-of-the-box thinking and planning to deploy disruptive technologies to fundamentally address the issues and challenges of megacities of the future across areas like mobility, transportation, energy, education, healthcare, and public services.
Second-placed Dubai also excels in innovation in terms of the adoption of next-generation technologies and disruptive smart city paradigms as structural solutions for hard problems.
“Dubai is leading the way in the implementation of distributed ledgers with all government transactions to be processed via blockchain technology by 2030,” said Dominique Bonte, vice president for end markets at ABI Research.
London’s third place is largely due to its advanced open data policies enabling a wider ecosystem of smart city application developers and start-ups.
It forms part of a larger group of followers with New York, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, and Los Angeles engaging in multiple smart cities programs but often lacks a more ambitious vision to adopt transformative technologies and paradigms, usually linked to the legacy nature of their aging infrastructure.
“They also typically struggle with one or more implementation metrics like crime, congestion, or cost of living,” ABI Research noted.
Shanghai and Beijing are “laggers”
Shanghai and Beijing were assessed, unexpectedly, as “laggers”, coming in at rank 9 and 10 respectively.
Despite both cities’ efforts to deploy technologies like smart meters and smart grids, bike sharing, vehicle electrification, smart parking, and smart cards, the two cities continue to face formidable issues related to congestion and pollution and trail the other cities on economic development in terms of GDP per capita, the research firm noted.
At the same time, both cities have huge potential to improve their ranking in the future as they continue to evolve their smart cities solutions from basic sensor-centric technologies to more advanced approaches while benefiting from expertise gained during trials in smaller cities in China.