Smart Cities

While globally smart cities have the common goal of improving urban living, what this looks like in action varies from place to place. This report compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit analyzes survey data from over 7,700 residents and business executives in 19 large cities around the world to reveal how their priorities differ and align.

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A global snapshot of smart cities

Citizens and business leaders don’t want a “one-size-fits-all” smart city. These city snapshots capture the tailored priorities and expectations of smart-city constituents around the world. Take a look:

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30%

London

Nearly one in three citizens say making the city greener should be a key focus

Dubai image

52%

Dubai

Just over half of residents are willing to share their personal data in exchange of smart-city benefits

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55%

New York

Among New York residents, 55% believe the benefits of smart-city technologies outweigh any potential loss of personal privacy - higher than the regional average of 49%

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1 in 3

Tokyo

More than any other benefit, Tokyo citizens look to smart-city development to make the city's public services more efficient and reliable

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London

    London

    Taking the lead

    36%

    London residents evenly cite affordability and personal safety as their top priorities for smart-city initiatives.

    37%

    To better ensure personal health and security, citizens believe smart initiatives should focus on enhancing the crime-fighting capabilities of the police.

    2 in 5

    Believe deploying ultra-high-speed broadband networks is essential to enhancing London’s innovation environment.

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Dubai

    Dubai

    In ascendance

    40%

    Two in five citizens look to smart energy and water tariffing that enables variable pricing as the primary way to improve the city’s affordability.

    52%

    Just over half of residents are willing to share their personal data in exchange for smart-city benefits.

    47%

    Already accustomed to an advantageous corporate tax regime, less than half of Dubai executives are willing to pay higher tax for smart-city benefits, lower than the global average of 52%.

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Paris

    Paris

    View from the tower

    2 in 5

    Residents say initiatives that aim to make the city more affordable should focus on improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

    1 in 3

    Executives say better internet connectivity should be a top priority for smart-city development.

    46%

    Less than half of residents are willing to share their personal data in exchange for smart-city benefits.

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Singapore

    Singapore

    The world's first smart nation?

    29%

    Believe smart city projects should prioritize improving environmental quality (such as air and water quality) to attract talent to the city.

    72%

    Would agree to the city using their personal data to reduce energy costs by personalizing energy tariffs.

    1 in 3

    Want to prioritize expanding the availability of renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar power).

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São Paulo

    São Paulo

    Intelligence on the horizon

    1/3

    Approximately one in three citizens say improving personal health (35%) and personal safety (33%) should be a key aim.

    54%

    To strengthen São Paulo’s innovation environment, a majority of executives hope smart-city development will attract large technology companies to establish operations in the city.

    82%

    Approximately four in five say the use of facial recognition in crime prevention will do more good than harm.

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Mumbai

    Mumbai

    Eager to begin

    Over 90%

    Agree that smart city initiatives would make Mumbai a more appealing place to live and do business.

    1 in 3

    Citizens cite improving air and water quality as a top priority for better personal health and safety.

    52%

    52% of executives hope that smart city initiatives can help create new market opportunities through fostering new partnerships with large technology companies.

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New York

    New York

    At the smart frontier

    41%

    Improving the efficiency of public transport is top-of-mind as a means to make the city greener.

    55%

    New York residents believe the benefits of smart city technologies outweigh any potential loss of personal privacy.

    42%

    To enhance the city’s innovation landscape, more New York executives hope the city will facilitate research and development partnerships between businesses and universities compared with other approaches.

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San Francisco

    San Francisco

    Spurring innovation

    37%

    Anticipate that partnerships with universities will lead to greater market opportunities

    41%

    While citizens underscored affordability, executives place equal emphasis on both that and sustainability (41% each) as top priorities for smart-city development.

    3 in 5

    Are prepared to share more of their organization's data, compared with a global average of 69%.

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Los Angeles

    Los Angeles

    Strength through smart advancement

    43%

    Citizens of Los Angeles are the second most likely of the cities surveyed to point to affordability as a top priority.

    33%

    Also say that smart capabilities aimed at health and safety should primarily focus on improving air and water quality.

    47%

    More than any other city, executives in Los Angeles see the greatest potential in bidding for public contracts to deliver smart-city services or solutions.

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Johannesburg

    Johannesburg

    Smart aspirations

    2 in 5

    Residents say that, when developing smart-city initiatives, the municipal government needs to focus primarily on creating business opportunities for local firms.

    39%

    Executives in Johannesburg are the most likely of any city to cite personal safety as a key concern.

    41%

    Look to smart programs to deliver better internet connectivity to their organizations, compared with a global average of 28%.

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Zurich

    Zurich

    The green city paradox

    32%

    Zurich’s citizens are the least willing to share personal data in support of smart city initiatives.

    20%

    Business executives in Zurich are less willing than any other city except Frankfurt to pay higher taxes for smart city initiatives.

    44%

    Business executives hope that smart city initiatives will create opportunities to partner with local universities or research institutes.

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Sydney

    Sydney

    A smart city well on its way

    35%

    35% of executives said that smart city initiatives should prioritize encouraging the growth of digital platforms for on-demand work.

    1 in 3

    Believe supporting the growth of technology start-ups should be a priority to encourage more innovation in Sydney.

    1 in 4

    1 in 4 citizens named improving road safety as a top priority.

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Tokyo

    Tokyo

    Smart urban resilience

    34%

    When it comes to personal health and safety, residents in Tokyo say safeguarding against natural disasters is the top priority.

    30%

    Of residents point to the city’s affordability and transport networks as priority areas for smart programs.

    1 in 4

    Executives say enhancing the city’s innovation ecosystem should be a key focus of smart initiatives.

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Hong Kong

    Hong Kong

    Smart cities leader aims to clear the air

    67%

    Agree that the benefits of smart city initiatives outweigh the loss of personal privacy.

    45%

    Want smart city initiatives to increase the use of conferences or hack-a-thons to develop technology-enabled solutions to urban challenges (by far the most of all cities surveyed).

    45%

    Business executives believe that dynamic pricing for energy and water utilities, according to usage or time of day, should be top priority as a means of improving affordability.

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Frankfurt

    Frankfurt

    Smart city on the rise

    48%

    Citizens want smart city projects focused on more efficient public transport to make Frankfurt more environmentally sustainable.

    42%

    Business executives hope smart initiatives will deliver more efficient and reliable services, such as transport and utilities.

    86%

    Business executives agree that smart city initiatives make Frankfurt a more appealing place to do business.

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Stockholm

    Stockholm

    A model of success and a missed opportunity

    62%

    62% of citizens cited improving the crime-fighting capabilities of police as the key priority.

    46%

    46% of businesses consider improving the ability of transport providers to vary fares according to demand or time of day a top priority.

    1 in 4

    Citizens are willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for the benefits resulting from smart-city initiatives.

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Riyadh

    Riyadh

    Laying the foundation of a smart city

    35%

    Singled out improving road safety as a top smart city priority for improving personal health and safety.

    48%

    Of business executives believe smart city initiatives should prioritize partnering with large technology companies in the city as a way to improve market opportunities

    69%

    Of citizens believe that the benefits of smart city projects outweigh the loss of personal privacy.

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Copenhagen

    Copenhagen

    At the intelligent vanguard

    35%

    Believe the growth of smart-city technologies outweighs any potential loss of personal privacy.

    29%

    The largest share of citizens, 29%, believe the chief focus should be on more digital skills training in schools.

    54%

    Just over half of residents believe the use of facial recognition in crime prevention will do more good than harm—a lower share than in all but three cities.

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Amsterdam

    Amsterdam

    The city is an open platform

    30%

    Citizens consider improving air and water quality a top priority for improving personal health and safety.

    26%

    In order to make more talent available for businesses, 26 percent of executives want smart city projects to focus on expanding consultation between educational institutions and businesses on skill requirements.

    30%

    30% of citizens believe that to improve job opportunities in Amsterdam, smart city projects should prioritize attracting large technology companies to establish operations in the city.

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