Smart City: top 5
Cities are experiencing a period of growth never before seen in the past. According to the UN, nowadays there are about 4 billion people dwelling in cities. These numbers justify the growth in the construction sector. The numbers have almost doubled compared to figures in 1997. Back then there were only 2.3 billion people living in cities. In addition, this is not including the dormitory towns. This data is on a world level. We have to remember that there are areas in the world are that are not very developed and that the majority of people live in villages. The UN also estimates that by the middle of this century 70% of the population will live in urban areas.
Therefore, smart cities need infrastructure, innovation and technology to diminish the effects of carbon dioxide and electricity consumption. The final objective is sustainability. A series of measures are necessary to reach this objective like for example the means of public transport, like nonpolluting bicycles, wind turbines on the lamp posts and solar panels on the traffic lights and traffic signs.
PARAMETRES FOR SMART CITIES
Parameters help us to see if one city is more intelligent than another. Thus, the essential elements for an intelligent city are governance, urban planning, public management, technology, the environment, international projection, social cohesion, mobility and transport, human capital and the economy of the area.
Smart cities have to fulfil these objectives. If any city or cities do not meet these requirements it does not mean that they are not smart cities just that they have to reinforce the areas where they are weaker. For example, a smart city can have high levels in technology, innovation, economy and international projection but low levels in human capital and environment. Therefore, the objective would be for the low levels to start improving to boost these weaknesses. This will also help to improve their position on the rankings.
THE TOP 5 SMART CITIES
In 2013, the 5 most intelligent cities in the world were:
1.-Tokyo (Japan). The Nipon capital comes in first place. It is well known that this city (and country in general) has huge potential in technology and of course, they would rank very high in urban development. It is top in human capital and public management. However, it needs to improve in social cohesion due to the consequences of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011.
2.-London – (United Kingdom). It is one of the most advanced cities in Europe. London has always been one of the most progressive cities throughout history. The UK has been at the head of Europe in the fall of absolutism, freedom of expression, and advances in numerous categories. For this reason, even though now countries like the USA or Japan are more in the spotlight, we cannot forget London. According to this data, they maintain high levels in the majority of categories. Especially in international projection and in technology. However, this is offset by the low levels they have in social cohesion and public management.
3.-New York (USA). This is one of the most important cities in the USA. It is the second capital of the country due to its population. That is, it is the city with the largest population. It is one of the zones with most skyscrapers in the world, at least in the west, as there are more Asian cities with higher buildings. One of its highest levels is human capital.
4.-Zurich (Switzerland). It is in a similar situation to New York. The capital is Bern but the most populated city is Zurich. It is one of the richest cities in the entire continent and is one of the safest in the world. On top of that, its currency is one of the most solid in the world although in moments of economic crisis, the population feel it but their salaries are still the highest in the continent. According to this data it is the financial engine and cultural centre of the country. In its highest positions, we see the environment, mobility and transport.
5.-Paris (France). The capital of the Gallic country comes in fifth in the top 5 smart cities. It is the third city in Europe to come into the most sustainable cities. If London has been at the head of Europe throughout history, Paris is not far behind. In fact, historically France is the most advanced city in Europe. It was a pioneer in the absolute monarchy in the XVI and XVII centuries with the French Revolution in 1789. The city of Paris is commonly known as the city of love. According to data, it is the most popular tourist destination in the world with more than 40 million foreign visitors every year. It stands out in its international projection, mobility and transport. However, it is possible that Paris will fall from the top 5 ranking because of the terror attacks that took place in the last 5 years.
In the next report, we will see some changes for sure in the ranking of the top 5 smart cities in the world. Some European cities could fall due to terror attacks which cause insecurity in these zones. For sure, some Asian cities will come in strongly like Shanghai (China) which are emerging in economic and technological levels.
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