Singapore Grabs 5th Spot as World's Smartest City, Supreme in Asia

Singapore Grabs 5th Spot as World's Smartest City, Supreme in Asia

Singapore's achievements are becoming increasingly remarkable as it climbs two ranks, making it the only city in Asia to enter the top five smartest cities globally in 2024. Positioned at fifth place, Singapore surpasses other cities such as Beijing, Taipei, and Seoul, according to the index released on April 9th.

Singapore has achieved high scores due to its robust public safety, efficient public transportation system, basic sanitation that meets standards for the most needy areas, and reduced waiting times in online identification processes. However, Singaporean residents emphasize their most urgent priorities, including affordable housing (77%), job creation (50%), and addressing unemployment (48%).

Singapore led the global rankings from 2019 to 2021 before dropping to seventh place in 2023. In 2022, the index was not released as researchers were refining the methodology, as stated by IMD in a statement issued on April 11th.

In addition to Singapore, several other cities in Asia made the top 20, including Beijing at 13th, Taipei at 16th, Seoul at 17th, Shanghai at 19th and Hong Kong at 20th.

The Smart City Index, now in its fifth year, is released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD), a Swiss business school. The 2024 report was compiled in collaboration with the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organisation, a global association comprising local governments, advanced technology providers, and other institutions.

This annual assessment evaluates 142 cities based on their ability to adopt technology to improve residents' quality of life. In this year's evaluation, researchers used objective data and survey responses from residents to determine the rankings of these cities out of the total 142 evaluated.

IMD reported that 120 residents from each city were interviewed to gather information on issues such as traffic congestion, the impact of free public Wi-Fi on access to city services, and the availability and reliability of internet connectivity to meet connectivity needs.

IMD revealed that for the first time, they were able to calculate the average movement, reflecting a city's overall position in the previous index. Based on this new approach, IMD categorized several cities into what they call 'super champions' and 'fast-moving challengers.' IMD stated that these cities have shown consistency by never experiencing a decrease in average rankings over the past three years.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of cities from Asia and Europe making it to the top 20 in the index. The index also indicates that cities in North America such as Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Ottawa, and Montreal are said to have lost in the competition.

Here is the list of the 20 smartest cities according to the 2024 Smart City Index:

  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 

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