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Singapore has been named the smartest city in Asia

Singapore is the only Asian city among the top five smartest cities in the world in 2024.

The index, produced by the Swiss business school Institute for Management Development (IMD), lists 142 cities in all, ranking them on the basis of how they use advanced technology for improvement in the lives of the citizens.

The IMD said that its Smart City Index (SCI) “has now reached what can be considered as its stable configuration” following the methodological changes made in 2023.

It has for the first time used moving averages spanning the 2019-2024 period for the rankings, which, according to the institution, is more accurate than the “perilous and misleading” year-to-year comparison.

Why and how Singapore ranked high as a smart city

singapore smart city
Image credit: Guo Xin Goh/@9oh9x/Unsplash

For the purpose of the 2024 index, 120 residents from each city were asked to give their perceptions in two broad areas — infrastructure and technological provisions.

The city’s high rating and ranking indicates that it performed very well in all the five key areas under evaluation in each of the broader areas, namely health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.

Singapore scored an ‘A’ in structure, technology and overall smart city rating. It was ranked 7th in the 2023 index. Even at the time, it was Asia’s smartest city.

Singapore also has another reason to be proud of. Based on the new methodology, IMD has categorised some cities into what it calls ‘super-champions’ and ‘fast-moving contenders.’ According to IMD, these cities have never dropped in average rankings over a period of three years.

Other smartest cities in the world in 2024

Swiss city Zurich, Norwegian capital Oslo, and Australian capital Canberra took the first, second and third spot, respectively. The three cities held the same positions in 2023’s index. Swiss city Geneva jumped five places from the previous year to take the 4th place in the IMD Smart City Index 2024. All four cities have earned ratings of AA to AAA as smart cities.

Singapore is followed by Copenhagen, Lausanne, London, and Helsinki in that order. All four cities have lost one or two places from 2023. At 10th, with a rise of three places, Abu Dhabi is the only other Asian city in the top 10.

Other Asian cities in the top 20 are Beijing at 13th rank, Taipei at 16th, Seoul at 17th, Shanghai at 19th, and Hong Kong at 20th. Noteworthy among them is the phenomenal progress made by Taipei, which jumped 13 places from its previous rank.

As for ‘super-champions,’ Zurich, Oslo, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, and Seoul are among the six cities in the top 20.

Sydney (22nd), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tallinn (24th), Riyadh (25th) and Melbourne (33rd) are described as ‘fast-moving contenders’ between the ranks 20 and 40.

Top 20 smartest cities in the world in 2024:

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

(Hero and Featured images: Sergio Sala/@sergiosala/Unsplash)

Singapore has been named the smartest city in Asia

Manas Sen Gupta writes at the intersection of tech, entertainment and history. His works have appeared in publications such as The Statesman, Myanmar Matters, Hindustan Times and News18/ETV. In his spare time, Manas loves studying interactive charts and topographic maps. When not doing either, he prefers reading detective fiction. Spring is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.

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