Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

In collaboration with Buenos Aires and Barcelona, I developed a set of ideal indicators to be used for benchmarking and ranking smart cities. While the complete indicator list numbers nearly 400, we created a bare bones indicator list consisting of 28 indicators to be collected directly from cities interested in benchmarking their performance against their peers.

Once I created a list of eligible cities in the 4 regions to be ranked in 2013 (North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Latin America), I sent out the indicator list to contacts working within each of the eligible city. For North America, the only cities that responded on time to the survey included Boston, Chicago, Portland and Vancouver.

For North America:

I blended data from publicly available sources, with this primary data provided by some of the eligible cities in an effort to enhance the accuracy of the 2013 rankings. Therefore the results of the North American rankings include data from: the Innovation Cities Index, Brookings Metro Monitor for the Smart Economy measurement; Corporate Knights, Siemens and the Green Building Councils for Smart Environment; Digital Governance Rankings from Rutgers and open databases counted from municipal open data sites for Smart Governance; ranking data from Mercer and Monocle for Smart Living; modal share data from various sources and bike sharing data from Bike-Sharing World Map for Smart Mobility; and Citi Hot Spots and GINI inequality index data for assessing Smart People.

Here are the individual category rankings:

For Asia / Pacific:

The results were drawn specifically from publicly available data sources including: the Innovation Index (Innovation Cities), Brookings Metro Monitor, Solidiance Green Cities ranking for Asia Pacific (2011), number of green buildings and CO2 emissions/capita (various sources), Digital Governance (Rutgers), open data (various sources), Mercer and Monocle quality of living rankings, public transit ridership data (various sources), Citi Hotspots human capital rankings (Economist Intelligence Unit), and Gini Index income inequality data (various sources).

Here are the full category rankings:

For Latin America:

Unfortunately only Buenos Aires and Santiago provided any support in primary data collection. This data was complemented with data from numerous international and regional datasets and rankings including: Innovation Cities Index, Brookings Metro Monitor, LatAm rankings (America Economia), Green Cities Index (Siemens), independently gathered data on green buildings and CO2/capita, Digital Governance rankings (Rutgers), a count of open datasets in each city, quality of life rankings from both Mercer and a study by the Universidad del Rosario, independent data capture on metro and BRT system use per capita and Citi Bank’s Hotspots report among others.

Here are the full category rankings:

For Europe:

For Europe, only Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen and Vienna provided primary data while Frankfurt submitted access to some additional secondary data sources. Finally I collected my own data on some items such as metro use/capita and number of open data sets.

Here are the full category rankings: