The Austrian capital Vienna has been declared the world’s highest performing smart city for the second year running by the Smart City Strategy Index.
The index, compiled by experts at strategy consulting firm Roland Berger, analysed 153 cities with a published official smart city strategy in place; filtered out from the over 250 cities identified by analysts as having “openly accessible smart city strategy-related documents”. Ranking was based on a variety of factors, including comprehensive deployment of smart city technology; the scope and ambition of a city’s future development plans; and holistic integration of smart technology between sectors. “Cross-sectorial” integration of smart city solutions – for example, integrating e-mobility services into smart traffic management programmes and powering both through smart energy grids – was particularly emphasised as an issue.
Roland Berger Partner Thilo Zelt said: “The Austrian capital ranked first because of its integrated framework strategy and innovative solutions for mobility, the environment, education, healthcare and public administration, as well as a system to monitor the progress of the individual projects.” Vienna drew praise from analysts for its strong “strategy framework and digital agenda”, with the highest possible scores given to the city’s planning, coordination and implementation of stakeholder partnerships in its smart city programme.
London ranked second on the index, scoring highly in stakeholder partnerships and infrastructure connectivity; while third on the list was St Albert in Canada. Since the publication of Roland Berger’s first Smart City Strategy Index in 2017, the number of cities studied has nearly doubled from 87 in 2017 to 153 in 2019. However, of the cities analysed only 10 per cent had a smart city strategy defined in the index as “comprehensive”. While Europe and North America produced more smart cities, analysts found cities in Asia scored better overall for their smart city performance. The size of cities did not appear to be a factor in their overall performance and the Smart City Strategy Index noted that smart city initiatives were gaining “increasing momentum” in cities with a population below 500,000 inhabitants.