SINGAPORE: Singapore took fifth place in the 2024 IMD Smart City Index published earlier this week. Switzerland has not one but two cities in the top five, with Zurich in the number one spot and Geneva in fourth place. In second and third places are Oslo (Norway) and Canberra (Australia), respectively.

Singapore, the top smart city in Asia, climbed up this year’s list from its previous ranking of seventh. In the Little Red Dot’s favour are high marks for public safety and public transport, basic sanitation meets the needs of the poorest areas, and reduced waiting times for processing identification documents online.

Participants in Singapore said, however, that the most urgent priorities they’re concerned about are affordable housing (77 per cent), fulfilling employment (50 per cent) and unemployment (48 per cent).

Singapore is included among the “super champions” on the index.

Screengrab/IMD Smart City Index

Produced by the Smart City Observatory part of the IMD World Competitiveness Center together with the Seoulbased World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO), this year’s index is the second to take a look at 142 cities across the globe to demonstrate the ways technology allows cities to attain a better quality of life for people who live there.

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Cities must design and adopt strategies that can resist the test of a future plagued with growing uncertainties. Health-related concerns remain high, while climaterelated ones grow even larger; a mix complicated by renewed international tensions.

Trust and good governance are growing in importance, and the significance of Al in city design and management is set to increase. Counterintuitive as it may sound, Al can help cities to become more humancentric,” said Bruno Lanvin, the President of the Smart City Observatory.

Interestingly, more Asian and European cities have made it to the top 20 spots on the list. The index notes that North American cities in the United States and Canada, including Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Ottawa, and Montreal have been “losing ground.”

“For the first time since the Index’s creation in 2019, there are no North American cities in the Top 20.”

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Mr Lanvin attributes the lost ground of US cities to 2024 being an election year, with people being more critical of the aspects of their cities that need improvement.

Here is this year’s list of Top 20 smart cities:

  1. Zurich
  2. Oslo
  3. Canberra
  4. Geneva
  5. Singapore
  6. Copenhagen
  7. Lausanne
  8. London
  9. Helsinki
  10. Abu Dhabi
  11. Stockholm
  12. Dubai
  13. Beijing
  14. Hamburg
  15. Prague
  16. Taipei City 
  17. Seoul
  18. Amsterdam
  19. Shanghai
  20. Hong Kong 


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