At EasyPark, we are leaders in using innovative technologies to make mobility in cities smarter. For several years we have studied smart cities and their development and, in the face of new challenges, decided to focus our research in order to learn from those urban areas that are setting examples for others to follow. Many cities are currently adopting cutting edge technology to provide a more sustainable future and improve the wellbeing of its residents through intelligent solutions, such as electric vehicle charging or camera parking.
We analysed thousands of cities across the world, including the 3,200 that EasyPark Group currently operates in. We recognise that cities face their own unique challenges and develop differently depending on a variety of factors, including their size, so we split this study into three categories based on the population of each city. Whilst thousands of urban areas across the globe were assessed, here we rank the 50 best scoring cities in each size category.
To conduct the study, we focused on four areas that indicate how intelligent and sustainable a city is. The first evaluates the Digital Life of a city’s inhabitants, looking at the prevalence of world class technology educational facilities and healthcare innovation systems, and the amount of technology that has been adopted by a city on an individual and governmental level.
Secondly, the Mobility Innovation of each city was assessed by taking into account the quality of parking innovation, traffic management and how green the transportation is.
Following this, the Business Tech Infrastructure of each city was studied. Factors included within this category include business innovation, the prevalence of ePayments and the overall internet connectivity.
Finally, each city’s environmental footprint was considered by collecting data on its climate response and overall waste management, how many green buildings there are and how widespread the use of green energy is.
The index reveals the most intelligent cities in the world, or as we call them - Cities of the Future, ranked by score. The tables below reveal the results, where a higher score indicates a more advanced and smart city. You can filter each factor from highest to lowest and vice versa by clicking on the icon above each column. For a full explanation of how each factor was calculated, please see the methodology at the bottom of the page.
Metropolitan areas with populations over 3 million people.
Metropolitan areas with populations between 600,000 and 3 million people.
Metropolitan areas with populations between 50,000 and 600,000 people.
The Cities of the Future Index analyses the most technologically and sustainably advanced cities in the world. It considers 14 factors that contribute to entrepreneurial, environmental and societal progress.
Thousands of global cities were reviewed and ranked according to these 14 factors, from which a final list of the top 150 cities was determined based on total scores and the availability of comparable data.
The initial list of cities was based on various smart city rankings, as well as global university rankings. The cities were divided into three categories depending on their size: cities with more than 3 million inhabitants, cities with between 600,000 and 3 million inhabitants and cities with between 50,000 and 600,000 inhabitants.
Population data refers to each city’s metropolitan area. For the final list of locations, the top 50 in each category were chosen; urban areas with insufficient data were excluded.
Rotterdam is categorised as a city with more than 3 million inhabitants. This is because the metropolitan population data from the OECD lists Rotterdam as having a population of 3,494,348 inhabitants.
Cities are categorised according to the population of their metropolitan areas to reflect that local infrastructure is typically designed to support this wider population. In some cases, smaller cities are therefore included in larger size classes and vice versa. Examples include San Francisco (883,255), Düsseldorf (620,523) and Amsterdam (813,562), where the metropolitan populations are used.
The study was divided into four categories - Digital Life, Mobility Innovation, Business Tech Infrastructure, Sustainability - comprising the following factors:
Each factor consists of one or more indicators which were scored and averaged. The equation for scoring is as follows:
For columns where a low value is better, the score is inverted so that a high score is always better:
Data is normalised on a [50-100] scale, with 100 being the best score. Therefore, the higher the score, the better the city ranks for that factor in comparison to the other cities in the index. The formula used is min-max normalisation:
The final score was determined by calculating the sum of the weighted average score of all of the indicators. Below you can find a detailed description of each factor within the study, and the source used.
The Citizen Adoption score represents the propensity of citizens to adopt new technologies and shows to what extent they tend to be early adopters. A higher score indicates better technological adoption on a city level, and was based on:
Sources: App Ranking Directories, Startup Directories.
The Government Adoption score represents the propensity of governments to adopt new technologies and the level of digitalisation in the country. A higher score indicates better governmental adoption on a national level, and was based on:
Sources: IMD Business School, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, United Nations, World Bank.
A score that measures the overall quality of the healthcare system in the country, the adoption of electronic healthcare services and the prominence of e-healthcare apps in each city. The score is based on:
Sources: The Lancet, App Ranking Directories, Startup Directories.
The presence of internationally recognized research universities in each city. A higher score indicates a greater number of highly ranked universities. The score is based on the following indicators:
Sources: University Rankings Directories.
A score that measures how widespread the use of parking technology is in each city. A higher score indicates a more developed parking ecosystem. The score is based on the following indicators:
Sources: OpenStreetMap, EasyPark proprietary data, IMD World Competitiveness Center.
A score that measures congestion levels and commute times in each city. A high score indicates a low level of congestion and fast commute times. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: Numbeo, Navigation Providers.
A score that measures the prevalence of low carbon driving technologies. A high score indicates a low level of fossil fuelled transport. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: International Energy Agency (IEA), Numbeo, e-charging station directories.
A score that measures the startup activity in each city. A high score indicates a high number of startups both in absolute terms and on a per population basis. It consists of startups from the following fields:
Sources: Startup Directories.
A score that measures the prevalence of digital payments. A high score indicates a high level of digital payments. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: World Bank, YouGov.
A score that measures internet quality and 5G availability. A high score indicates good internet quality and 5G availability. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: The Economist, Internet Speed Measurement Apps.
A score that measures the share of each city’s energy consumption that comes from renewable sources. The cities are represented by country level data. In the case of the US, state level data was used. A high score indicates a high usage of renewable energy. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: Ourworldindata, US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
A score that measures the number of buildings certified as green. A high score indicates high numbers of certified green buildings. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: Green Building Information Gateway, USA Green Building Council.
A score that analyses the amount of waste generated and how it is handled. The cities are represented by country level data. A high score indicates low levels of waste generated and a high recycling rate. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: Waste Atlas.
A score that measures the risks associated with climate change and the steps undertaken in response. The cities are represented by country level data. A high score indicates low levels of climate risk and/or a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It consists of the following indicators:
Sources: Climate Change Performance Index, Germanwatch, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, International Energy Agency, International Monetary Fund, Ourworldindata, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.