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Top 5 Smart Cities (and What They Are)

Smart technology is affecting individual lives as well as several industries. Many cities are also in more advanced stages of innovation than others. This leads to an intriguing question: what are the top smart cities across the globe?

Below is a list of the top 5 smart cities according to articles, blogs, and their previously published lists.  Each of them has benefited immensely from the utilisation and implementation of smart technology.

5. Stockholm, Sweden

In 2010 the European Commission named Stockholm Europe’s Green Capital. This recognition arrived after the city received the Intelligent Community of the Year Award in 2009. Stockholm was also the first city to offer 4G/LTE mobile services.

The city ranks especially high in citizen participation, internet speed, and government digitization. Most public transportation vehicles get their fuel from the biodiesel produced by two wastewater treatment plants. Stockholm also offers tax breaks to companies that install motion sensors that turn off lights in unoccupied buildings and has approximately 3000 green tech companies dedicated to making the city as energy-efficient as possible.

4. Paris, France

Paris ranks as one of the top smart cities in innovation, government digitization, international outreach, and greenery. Like Stockholm, it is a major player in utilising green energy, with a large percentage of its public transportation running in clean fuel. Parisians utilise public transportation frequently, including a popular bike-sharing program. Its success inspired the creation of a similar electric car program that could appear in Paris very soon.

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3. London, UK

London earned its place as one of the top smart cities for its smart public transportation system. The city has a congestion tax that motivates residents to utilise public transportation in a mass effort to ease dependency on fossil fuels. It is also celebrated for its human capital, international outreach, innovative economies, and WiFi hotspots. London partnered with O2 to launch the biggest free WiFi network in Europe and features smart parking services and oyster card systems. Its Smart Cities Research Centre studies initiatives to make the city more technologically efficient and innovative.

2. San Francisco, U.S.

San Francisco is a smart city leader with its vehicle sharing services, smart parking, and internet speeds. It also has one of the strongest business ecosystems, making it a popular location for startup companies. The city grid currently runs of 41% renewable energy and the smart grid deployment sector has grown 130%. San Francisco has increased its public transportation services and has over 100 public charging stations for electric vehicles. The city has even developed apps that help bikers find efficient travel routes and visually impaired individuals find their way around public transportation.

1. New York City, U.S.

In 2017, New York was declared the “smartest city.” It ranks among the top smart cities for its innovative economies, education, car sharing services, WiFi hotspots, and internet speed. Its innovative practices date back to 2009, when it partnered with IBM to open the IBM Business Analytics Solution Centre. This institution develops ways to build smart cities and optimise all types of business decisions and processes. New York is also developing smart hubs with WiFi capabilities and NFC technology.

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