2 abril, 2019

The Five Most Intelligent Cities

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The boom of IoT has brought great progress and development improving people’s lives, as well as the places where they live. One of these developments are the SMART CITITES.

A Smart City is, “a city that uses and leverages IoT, to solve problems that every urban center faces globally (economics, demographic explosions, population growth, and social environment, among other)”.

Which are the five most intelligent cities in the world? There are not clear baselines to answer this question. It greatly depends on the people doing the study and the parameters they use, which in turn give different results. We will present two different perspectives from studies done in 2016.


The American publication, Forbes, specialized in business, finances, technology and market investments, published a list of the top smartest cities in the world. Forbes, based its study on; economics, technology, human capital, social cohesion, international outreach, social environment, mobility, transportation, urban planning and government (Forbes, 2016).

Table 1 shows the results for the top five cities, as well as their best evaluated aspects, and the area where each city did best. The study covered 181 cities in 80 countries.

Table 1. Top Five Smartest Cities in the World  (Forbes, 2016)

CityStrenghts           Weaknesses
1. New YorkEconomicsTechnologySocial Cohesion
2. LondonHuman CapitalInternational OutreachSocial Cohesion
3. ParisInternational OutreachMobility and TransportationSocial Cohesion
4. San FranciscoEconomicsHuman CapitalSocial Environment
5. BostonHuman CapitalGovernmentSocial Environment

New York is the first place on economics and third in technology. London obtained the first place for human capital, second on international outreach, third for economics, mobility, and transportation. Paris, got the first place on international outreach, nonetheless, it did not rank as high as other cities in mobility and transportation. Meanwhile, San Francisco, is positioned as second place in economics, but still, did not rank high, despite being a strength, for human capital. Boston, is second place for human capital, and parallel with the last two capitals, is not ranked high for government.

Forbes’ study shows on detail the first three places on each category. It also shows a list of 100 cities around the world, and a comparison of how they ranked in 2013. For example, Bostonranked fourth and San Francisco, fifth. For this year, these positions changed.


The United Kingdom based market investigation firm, Janiper Research, conducted a similar study. Nevertheless, it used different measure parameters: use of smart grid technologies, intelligent lightning, the use of information technology to improve traffic, Wi-Fi access points, smartphone penetration, and the app landscape. In other words, totally technological, and investments perspectives.

Their ranking is:

  1. Singapore
  2. Barcelona
  3. London
  4. San Francisco
  5. Oslo

Singapore’s objective is to become the first intelligent country. Across the city, there are a great amount of sensors and installed cameras across the city to monitor traffic. They are also developing a software called “Virtual Singapore”, which is a 3D modeling tool that allows city planners to virtually test every new plan. It recollects, in an anonymous way, population records through CCTV, and installed monitors in parking lots. Other goal is to have high speed navigation for smartphones, aiming to 10 Gigabytes per second (you could download an HD movie in about 90 seconds). Finally, they possess an, open to the public platform, which shows the data collected from the people, looking for developing new projects.

Barcelona has been using sensors to monitor traffic, intelligent technology for parking lots and traffic lights, as well as sensors that check air quality and noise. They are also expanding the public access to Wi-Fi and possess an intelligent irrigation system, controlled by sensors in the irrigated land. Finally, they created an internet platform called “Sentilo”. The platform allows for the population to study and learn from different Smart Cities projects developed in the city.

London started using technology to solve traffic and parking problems. They have also freed the access to data with the aim of creating smart apps through their portal “Datastore”. Recently, they’ll invest around 4 Billion euros to solve their mobility and traffic problems.

San Francisco is a pioneer city, adapting smart technologies for the city. They allow their citizens to detect available parking sports and they are investing in sustainable initiatives as well as in smart urban development. It is one of the cities with the largest amount of LEED certificated buildings. They are also investing and investigating towards the solutions of the traffic problem.

Finally, Oslo is making efforts in using smart technology to optimize their energy consumption and gas emissions. Towards 2030, Oslo expects to reduce their emissions al the way to 95%, making the city neutral to climate change. They are installing a sensor network to improve the care of elders. They are also making lighting and traffic monitoring smart. They use a network of electric vehicles and finally, they are attacking carbon emissions coming from vehicles.


Mexico does not rank in any of these studies. This does not means that there is lack of infrastructure or development. Nearshore Delivery Solutions, sees the parameters and perspectives in these studies as great opportunities of investments. We need to leverage IoT technologies to solve problems existent in every city.

What do you think? Do you think that companies should invest in these technologies? Which are the projects that should be implemented in the near future? Share your thoughts, comments or doubts to our social networks or on the comment section below.


Buntz, B. (May 18, 2016). Smart Cities. From The World´s 5 Smatest Cities: http://www.ioti.com/smart-cities/world-s-5-smartest-cities

Forbes. (July 6, 2016). Ranking The World´s “Smartest” Cities. From http://www.forbes.com/sites/iese/2016/07/06/the-worlds-smartest-cities/#129047694899

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