London ranked third in global smart cities
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London ranked third in global smart cities

Europe takes the lead

London has been ranked the third in a global smart cities leaderboard produced by analyst Juniper.

The analyst looked at 40 different metrics including technology, transport, energy, open data and economy to produce its global ranking of smart cities.

Six out of the top ten global cities were found to be based in Europe, with the top five ranked as Singapore, Barcelona, London, San Francisco and Oslo. Overall 60 percent of the world’s leading smart cities were found to be based in Europe.

Singapore leads the way for smart cities

Singapore was identified as the world leading city in its application of smart mobility policies and technology.

Other aspects of its smart credentials also ranked highly. The city’s fixed and cellular broadband services, city apps and strong open data policy all accrued high scores, and a strong overall performance took Singapore into the number one spot.

Juniper identifies Singapore as a beacon from which other cities can learn best practices.

Related: London and Bristol lead UK’s smart city projects

London’s strengths and weaknesses

Internet of Business spoke to the report author, Juniper analyst Steffen Sorrell who dug deeper for us into the reasons for London’s success. He told us:

“Technology – cellular broadband service availability & strong open data principles have driven innovation (eg Citymapper, services such as Uber etc). It’s this combination that drives citizen engagement, which we believe is crucial to a smarter city, as opposed to a simple top-down approach.

“Transport – congestion charging, dynamically controlled traffic lights (to favour public transport) and smart parking intiatives highlight the effort London has gone to address its chronic congestion problems. The TfL plans to invest £4 billion in road improvements over the next 10 years, £200 million of which will go towards the bus network.

“The city’s score is brought down somewhat due to high private vehicle ownership (suggesting public transport networks do not provide a complete alternative, either from cost or availability).

“Meanwhile its energy policy could be strengthened relative to other smart cities – close to 0 percent of the city’s energy is sourced from renewables for example. Sadiq Khan has previously pledged to change this approach however, so it will be interesting to see how that has developed next year.”

Related: Smart city projects squander billions as IoT standards go awry