Shanghai has topped the list of smart city rankings, according to the latest study released by Juniper Research, which also ranked two Asian cities – Seoul and Beijing in the second and fourth place respectively. Rounding out the top five are Barcelona in third and New York in fifth place.
Entitled “Smart Cities: Key Technologies, Environmental Impact & Market Forecasts 2022-2026”, the study particularly lauds Shanghai’s Citizen Cloud as a one-stop point for over 1,000 different services for city residents.
Thanks to their rapid deployment of data management platforms, efficient, digitised utility management and public services have become common in many cities across Asia; allowing them to climb Juniper Research’s rankings.
“Many cities have deployed technology and data to help local authorities reduce environmental impact and energy usage,” remarked research co-author Mike Bainbridge. “The top cities in our recent ranking are finding innovative ways to leverage that technology to deliver observable benefits for their citizens as well.”
The ranking of 50 world cities is based on an evaluation of many different aspects of smart cities, covering transportation and infrastructure, energy and lighting, city management and technology, and urban connectivity.
US$70-billion smart city opportunity
Besides the rankings, the study also found that smart city initiatives will generate almost US$70 billion in spend annually by 2026; up from US$35 billion in 2021. Much of this will focus on smart grid initiatives, which will save over 1,000 TWh of electricity in 2026; equivalent to more than 5 years of energy consumption by Greater London at present levels.
Juniper Research pointed out that many areas of smart city development are still in their early stages, particularly outside the leading cities, so initial roll-outs still make up much of the market. This means savings made through smart city technologies will remain high.
“We expect energy savings alone to reach US$96 billion in 2026, making their deployment highly cost-effective in most instances,” Bainbridge.