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Vienna ranked top for smart city strategy

In Roland Berger’s second smart city index, 90 per cent of cities do not yet have an official and integrated smart city strategy

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Vienna is ranked top because of its integrated framework and strategy
Vienna is ranked top because of its integrated framework and strategy

Vienna has come out top of a comparison of smart city strategies ranked against 153 cities around the world, ahead of London.

 

Despite these two cities leading the field, the findings of Roland Berger’s second Smart City Strategy Index reveal that Asian metropolises mainly demonstrate the most compelling strategies and are on average further ahead than European cities.

 

Lack of integrated strategies

 

The analysis shows the number of cities with a clear smart city strategy has almost doubled in the past two years, rising from 87 to 153. However, 90 per cent of these cities still do not have an integrated smart city strategy. Even then, strategy is only the first step – it’s the implementation that really counts according to the consulting firm.

 

Growing populations, traffic congestion and air pollution are challenges facing cities small and large all over the world. But these problems could be solved with digital technologies embedded in a smart city strategy, says the report. For example, e-mobility services in a smart city would be integrated into intelligent traffic management systems and powered by smart electricity grids.

 

Urban centres thus need to think "integrated" if they want to link up individual actions into a successful smart city strategy, Roland Berger notes.

 

Vienna tops the index for the second time running since the inaugural index in 2017. The Austrian capital scores well on its advanced e-health offerings, for example, and is the first city in the German-speaking world to offer open public data.

Findings point to the importance of having central decision-making entities, such as London’s chief digital officer or Vienna’s Smart City Agency

“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,” said Thilo Zelt, partner at Roland Berger.

 

Meanwhile, London is equipping lamp posts and benches with functions like public wi-fi, air quality sensors and electric vehicle charging points.

 

Singapore, for its part, is piloting a National Digital Identity scheme in the form of its “SingPass” authentication system and is also installing smart lighting, autonomous shuttles and telemedicine solutions.

 

Centrally managed projects

 

In terms of improving smart city strategy implementation, Roland Berger’s findings point to the importance of having central decision-making entities, such as London’s chief digital officer or Vienna’s Smart City Agency.

 

They pool technical expertise and manage projects centrally, as well as coordinating the divergent interests of the city, the government and the service and solution providers, the consultancy said.

 

Coordinating all of the involved groups is another key component of a successful strategy alongside a transparent legal framework. “There must be a legal framework in place to protect all of the data gathered. And cities must develop the infrastructure to enable themselves to actually use the data,” added Zelt.

 

For the full report, go to Smart City Strategy Index.

 

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