Global Smart Cities 2021 - Smart Cities at the Epicenter of the Pandemic

Resource Date:
Content Type: Publication
Region: Global
Thematic Area: Governance and Public Institutions
Contributor: RCOCI
Resource Language: English

Global Smart Cities 2021 is a collaborative result by Institute of Information, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences partnered with Smart City Research Center, Fudan University, with consistent support from the United Nations Public Administration Network. This report is the fifth edition of annual review of global smart cities.

This report based on a “5+1” evaluation model for global smart cities, and provides five quantitative indicators, namely smart infrastructure, smart economy, smart services, smart governance, and smart innovation, plus one qualitative indicator "smart reputation", a total of six dimensions of comparison, attempts to set a benchmark for global smart cities, and provides diversified solutions for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030) proposed by the United Nations in 2015 as well.

During the past year, Smart Cities have given an impressive performance in epidemic control. Practices show that when basic healthcare conditions are similar, countries and cities attaching greater importance to smart cities development are more resilient in the face of pandemic crisis. Meanwhile, “Smart” not only means a quick response from the government, but also the trust between citizens and government officers, and more bottom-up technology solutions provided by the private sector. A city will never become a “Smart City” if there are only top-down commands.

This report highlights the themes of "Smart Cities at The Epicenter of The Pandemic". It not only focuses on performance of global smart cities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, but also adheres to the “Humanity, Technology and Sustainability” principle.

The first part of this report is the comprehensive ranking. The results show that global smart cities can be divided into three levels: "leading", "advanced" and "following". Cities ranked at leading and following levels in 2020 have maintained their levels this year. However, the ranking of the three leading cities has changed: New York ranks first, Singapore and London rank second and third respectively.

The second part analyses the sub-index rankings:

With regard to smart infrastructure, Hong Kong and Singapore rank in the top two. Some cities in Europe and America followed closely behind. Among developing cities, Dubai has a relatively outstanding performance.

In terms of smart economy sub-index, New York and London ranked the top two. Beijing and Shanghai have performed well in this field and entered the first camp.

The Smart Service sub-index reflects the smartness of city citizens’ livelihood services. Shanghai and Beijing have performed very well, indicating that the China's leading cities have already been at the forefront of the world in terms of digital technology applications. Dubai and Singapore ranked third and fourth respectively.

In terms of Smart Governance sub-index, Dubai and Singapore rank the top two. They excel in the dimensions of data openness and sustainability. Seoul and Sydney ranked third and fourth respectively.

In terms of Smart Innovation sub-index, traditional global cities such as London, New York, and Tokyo rank top three. They have outstanding performance in science and technology, education, innovation, and have stronger human capital as well.

Smart Reputation” reflects the degree of attention in academic research of major smart cities. The results show that Singapore, Beijing, and New York rank in the top three, and their efforts on smart city construction attract more eyeballs by academic circles.


File added date: 18 November 2021

Author: RCOCI

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