Ericsson believes cities need to rethink existing structures to fully grasp the potential of ICT to make sure that ‘smart’ is also sustainable
London continues to be one of the world’s most ICT-mature cities, missing out only to Stockholm, a new study finds.
Ericsson’s Networked Society City Index 2016 measures the performance of 41 cities from the twin perspectives of sustainable urban development and ICT maturity.
Top of the list was the Swedish capital, followed by London, Copenhagen, Singapore and Paris. London ranks top in the ICT part of the index, replacing Stockholm, which now ranks second ahead of Singapore in third place.
Cities that have noticeably moved up the 2016 ranking, compared with 2014’s index, include Barcelona, Istanbul and Jakarta. However, Hong Kong, Moscow and Dubai have dropped in position.
In general, cities with low ICT maturity tend to mature faster than cities with higher ICT maturity, which indicates the presence of a catch-up effect.
The report identifies a positive correlation between social and economic development and increasing ICT maturity. ICT is not only critical to socioeconomic progress, but can help decouple this progress from an increased environmental footprint in favour of more sustainable development, it stated.
Smart city planning will be critical to achieving several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, cities will be instrumental for the advancement of climate action, poverty reduction, better health and education, as well as improved social and financial inclusion.
“UNHabitat estimates that 70 percent of the world’s population will reside in urban areas by 2050. Many smart city initiatives to date have mainly used ICT to optimise existing systems and behaviours, for example, intelligent transport,” said Erik Kruse, head of Ericsson Networked Society Lab.
“Instead, cities need to rethink existing structures to fully grasp the potential of ICT to make sure that ‘smart’ is in fact sustainable. The future Networked Society city is characterised by resiliency, collaboration, participation and mobility, which are essential for ensuring our cities are attractive, sustainable and vibrant places.”