The 10 Smartest Cities In North America
Which cities are doing the most to become the sustainable, connected, innovative city of the future?
The survival of our species on planet earth is largely going to be determined by what happens in our cities. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in them. We are observing a mass migration to cities at an unprecedented rate. The growing urbanization places high demands on infrastructure such as transportation and building as well as increased demand for resources such as food, water, and energy. Global cities can not continue to sprawl as many U.S. cities did in the 20th century.
Today’s cities demand 21st century solutions to accommodate their growing populations in ways that not only maintain the quality of life, but also improve it. That’s where smart cities come in. Smart cities find ways to become more efficient, to deliver more services via mobile technology, to optimize existing infrastructure, and to leverage citizen participation to create better land-use decisions and to break down bureaucracy in order to stimulate a creative, entrepreneurial economy. In short, smart cities are innovative cities.
The smart cities movement has really picked up steam in the past few years. It is beginning to come into its own and be defined by a much broader set of stakeholders than technologists who coined the term. The smart cities wheel, and this ranking initiative, seeks to expand the discussion by establishing a benchmark for what cities around the world are actually doing to get smarter. As I like to say, smart cities reflect a journey, not a destination—and hopefully this North American ranking and the forthcoming ones for Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America contribute to the journey of these cities while helping to engage citizens in the dialog.