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Athens Near to Last in IMD Smart City Index

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece. Photo: GTP

Athens still has a long way to go before it moves up the newly launched IMD Smart City Index, ranking this year 95th among 102 cities in the world.

Singapore leads the way as the world’s smartest city in 2019, followed by Zurich (2nd), Oslo (3rd), Geneva (4th), Copenhagen (5th), Auckland (6th), Taipei City (7th), Helsinki (8th), Bilbao (9th) and Dusseldorf (10th) – cities which score highly for how services are made available to citizens as well as the impact of technologies on citizens’ daily lives.

The IMD Smart City Index, a joint initiative of the IMD World Competitiveness Center’s Smart City Observatory and Singapore University of Technology and Design, focuses on citizens’ perceptions of how city authorities go about implementing and integrating smart technologies into daily life.

According to the index creators, being a globally-recognized ‘smart’ city contributes greatly to attracting investment and talent.

Source: IMD Smart City Index

In Athens, topping the list of what respondents perceived as the most urgent needs for their city were: security, followed by unemployment, corruption, road congestion green spaces, public transport, fulfilling employment, recycling, air pollution, school education, basic amenities, affordable housing, citizen engagement, energy efficiency, and social mobility.

“Smart cities are becoming magnets for investment, talent and trade. Yet, a significant part of the efforts and energy spent seem to be disconnected from the long-term aspirations of citizens. Without citizen’s support and engagement, smart cities may not be sustainable,” said Bruno Lanvin, president IMD Smart City Observatory.

Indicatively, Singapore fared well in safety, monitoring of air quality and traffic congestion; Zurich in public transportation and access to medical and cultural services; Oslo in quality of ‘circular economy’ solutions, online voting, and bicycle-centric mobility.


Parameters and resident “aspirations” examined for ranking include technology integration in urban setting, safety, monitoring of air quality and traffic congestion, public transportation and access to medical and cultural services, quality of ‘circular economy’ solutions, online voting, and bicycle-centric mobility.

Countries making up the worst 10 on the list were Cape Town (93rd) and Manila (94th) and performing poorer than Greece were Rio De Janeiro, Abuja, Bogota, Cairo, Nairobi, Rabat and Lagos (102)

The key obstacle to the growth of ‘smart cities’, according to the index,  is a gap between the priorities of municipal authorities and those of their citizens.

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