London and Singapore topped a list of the world’s 50 smartest cities released by Eden Strategy Institute, following a study conducted by OXD. Seoul, New York City and Helsinki, Finland rounded out the top five.
The study examined the role governments play in creating smart cities and ranked them on several criteria, including budget, clarity of vision, leadership, support programs and a people-centric approach. Cities were also ranked on their financial incentives. The top-10 was rounded out by Montreal (6th), Boston (7th), Melbourne (8th), Barcelona (9th) and Shanghai (10th).
By comparing cities from around the world and at different economic stages, the Eden Strategy Institute examined how effective different strategies can be in creating a smart city. Joshua Teo, associate and lead at OXD, said in a press statement the firm hoped 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.”
The report found American cities did well because of the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge, which encouraged city governments seeking funding to develop smart mobility strategies. The ranking rewarded cities with comprehensive plans and dedicated offices that could lead multiple departments and private partners, which many cities have adopted. Columbus, OH, which won the Department of Transportation challenge, was given high marks for vision and leadership, as a result of the planning that went into the grant.