Shanghai has been ranked as the world’s number one smart city for 2022 due to its “world-leading” citizen services platform, according to a new white paper from Juniper Research.

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. It is compiled following an extesive study of cities around the globe.

The research 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.”

Acording to this report, the top five Smart Cities is complete with Seoul, Barcelona, Beijing and New York. Juniper research is one of several smart city rankings published regularly.

Another very renowned ranking is done by the Smart City Observatory. The results are usually different. In its 2021 Index, the top five positions were awarded to Singapore, Zurich, Oslo, Taipei City and Lausanne.

The $70-billion Smart City Opportunity

In addition to these rankings, the research found that smart city initiatives will generate almost $70 billion (€67 billion) in spend annually by 2026; up from $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.

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. Juniper Research notes that this means savings made through smart city technologies will remain high. We expect energy savings alone to reach $96 billion (€88 billion) in 2026, making their deployment highly cost-effective in most instances.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

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