Boston leads the US in smart cities ranking

Zurich has the smartest buildings in the world, and Melbourne, Australia has the best 4G coverage. So where does the US rank in the index of smart cities?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

San Francisco leads the world in terms of fast internet, but Romania has faster internet than the rest of North America according to a comprehensive study on what makes a city 'smart.'

Stockholm, Sweden-based smart parking service provider Easypark's '2017 Smart Cities Index' ranks the top 100 cities around the world who are at the forefront of smart evolution.

The company has looked particularly at digitalization, urban growth, mobility, sustainability, and governance.

To create the index, it studied over 500 cities worldwide, looking at countries with very high and medium development, as defined by the Human Development Index.

It then analyzed these 500 cities for 19 factors relating to smart cities, ranging from the proliferation of car sharing services to clean energy technologies, to determine the final list of 100.

It aimed to cover a wide range of regions, prioritizing capitals, financial centers, and other points of interest wherever possible.

It looked at factors which define a smart city. It looked at smartphone penetration and cell phone coverage and carried out speed tests where possible, Wi-Fi hotspots and download speeds, parking sensors, parking apps and usage. It also looked at car sharing services in relation to the city's population and ranked cities around the world giving an all-up standard score out of 10.

For an added expert opinion, over 20,000 technology and urban planning journalists were asked to rate how smart they considered each location to be.

The index offers some interesting insights into smart infrastructure in cities around the world. Just after Luxembourg, which has a score of 10, South Korea has the highest smartphone usage in the world, scoring 9.10. Montreal has the highest amount of smart parking services, and Singapore scores 10 on its public transport infrastructure.

Overall, the smartest city to live in is Copenhagen, Denmark, with an overall score of 8.24. The top US cities are Boston, which is fifth with a score of 7.70, and San Francisco, which is seventh with a score of 7.55.

London trails in 17th place with a score of 7.18 and New York ranks at number 24 with a score of 6.99. Los Angeles trails at number 46 in the index with an overall score of 6.47.

It will be interesting to watch how the index changes as more cities become smart.

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