Zurich retains top spot in Smart City Index 2023
06 April 2023 08:59
Three Swiss cities have been named among the nine smartest cities in the world, according to the IMD Smart City Index 2023. The index assessed a total of 141 cities worldwide. With the exception of 2021, the ranking has been compiled annually since 2019 by the World Competitiveness Center of the IMD Business School in Lausanne, which has headquarters in Lausanne and Singapore.
Zurich ranked first, a position it has secured since the very first edition of the index, ahead of Oslo, Canberra and Copenhagen. Lausanne followed in fifth place, after it took fourth in 2020. That year, Geneva was named sixth, compared to ninth in the latest ranking. London, Singapore and Helsinki ranked between Lausanne and Geneva.
In first place, Zurich scored well above average across virtually all criteria. The city achieved top scores for its structures in the areas of health and safety, activities, work and school, and governance. There were two exceptions: air pollution and the availability of affordable rental housing. For technology, the city ranked averagely, scoring higher for the work and school criteria.
Lausanne, in fourth place, also scored well above average for all issues related to structures. In terms of technologies, the city, like Zurich, is middling in almost all issues. It achieved the highest possible scores for green spaces, cultural activities and IT education in schools. For public transport, its online services are rated very highly.
Geneva scored highly for urban green space, access to schooling and citizen feedback on city government decisions. Feedback was poor for the statements related to companies generating new jobs and online access to job offers making it easier to find work. For both, Geneva ranked at the lowest end of the group index.
In all three cities, respondents cited affordable rent, traffic congestion and air pollution as priorities. According to IMD, the most striking result of this year’s analysis is that of the top 20 cities, 17 have been in the index since its inception. Of these 17 cities, six have shown either continuous improvement or stability from year to year. These so-called “super champions” are Zurich, Oslo, Singapore, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong.