The Institute for Management Development (IMD), in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD), has released the Smart City Index 2020, surveying 109 cities around the world.
This year’s Index was topped by Singapore, Helsinki, and Zurich as the world’s smartest cities, based on economic and technological data, as well as by their citizens’ perceptions of how “smart” their cities are.
The 2020 results aim to give insights into how digital technology is serving an important role in supporting critical services during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the report, there’s a positive correlation between “smarter” cities and those that have the most effective response to COVID-19.
In each city that has been ranked this year, 120 citizens were asked various questions during April and also in May 2020 about the technological provisions of their cities across several areas, including health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.
The score for each city has been determined using the “perceptions” of the past couple of years that the survey has been conducted.
In the Middle East and North Africa, Abu Dhabi and Dubai led the region for the second consecutive year in a global ranking of smart cities, in the use of technology to improve the quality of life for residents.
Abu Dhabi jumped 14 spots to rank 42nd, just ahead of Dubai, which climbed two positions to 43.
When it comes to healthcare technology, 83.8% of Abu Dhabi residents said booking medical appointments online has improved access to healthcare, while 86.2% said CCTV cameras made them feel safer. In terms of mobility, 64.5% said car-sharing apps have reduced traffic in the city.
For work opportunities, 77.5% said online services provided by the city made it easier to start a new business, while 77.4% agreed that online job postings made it easier to find work, The National reported.
In terms of governance, 67.7% said “online public access to city finances has reduced corruption”, according to the survey.