These cities are best prepared for a ‘smart city’ future

Technology is developing faster than ever before. But are our cities keeping up?

Find out

Whether it’s the exponential growth of artificial intelligence informing our daily lives and decision-making or the spread of IoT (internet of things), the increasing development of different forms of technology is moving faster with each passing year.

But new technologies can only support us as much as the infrastructure and environment around us are built to facilitate it.

There are many ways to measure the digital infrastructure or ‘smartness’ of a city. And for this research, we have collated and aggregated various metrics in order to reveal which major cities in Europe and the USA are best prepared for a smarter future.

Our research

There is a multitude of ways to measure the smartness of a city and how proficiently adapted it is to evolving digital technologies.

For the purpose of this study, we have considered 11 measurements that fall into the categories of tech infrastructure and connectivity, a tech-driven job market, and sustainability.

1. Tech infrastructure and connectivity:

– Free WiFi hotspots
– Broadband download speeds
– Availability of airports
– Number of IoT companies (in total and per 100,000 of the population)
– Number of 5G network towers

2. Green infrastructure:

– The number of public-access electric vehicle charging points
– The number of public access electric vehicle charging points per 10,000 of the population
– The number of ‘green certified’ buildings

3. Tech-driven job market:

– The number of tech jobs
– The number of tech jobs per 10,000 of the population

Taking these 11 indicators into equally-weighted consideration, here are the results of our index that reveals which cities are best prepared for a smarter future.

The highest-ranking city in the US is Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas takes the top spot in our ranking of smart city potential across the US.

Both the city’s technology infrastructure (87.7 out of 100) and green infrastructure (91.7 out of 100) rank significantly high in comparison to many other cities, with the 8th highest number of publicly accessible EV charging stations (329), the 11th highest per 10,000 people (33.2), and the 8th highest number of ‘Internet of Things’ companies (76) headquartered and operating there.