Over the past six months, we have been gathering data on how cities and towns around the world use information and communications technology to improve the quality of life for their residents. This research and analysis is an ongoing process. However, it is possible to pause every quarter and view progress. Our model looks an ten distinct factors:

  1. information shared and resident engagement – via city web site, social media accounts and mobile services
  2. broadband provision and take-up
  3. visible signs of good IT deployment in e.g. tax collection systems, supplier management, education, healthcare provision
  4. learning vibrancy – we use presence of institutions of higher education as an indication of the culture of learning, and therefore adoption of new ways
  5. size and quality of technical and design profession
  6. open source and open data – the extent to which the concept of open is embraced by the administration, its procurement policies and residents
  7. mobility – devices per 1,000 residents as proxy for digital literacy
  8. changes in cost of living – better tech driven outcomes will contain excessive rises in residents’ costs
  9. collaboration infrastructure – convention centers, meeting facilities that enable hosting and launch of new concepts
  10. declared desire to be recognised globally

In this first cut, we see Seoul leading the pack of recognised global cities, with Shanghai, Stockholm and Berlin making it to the leaderboard specifically on account of IT policies and deployments.

City ranking chart.001

During Q2 2013, we turn our attention to Tier 2 cities around the world. Size will not be a factor in how well a city or town exploits technology. We expect to unearth interesting approaches among the smaller cities where total budgets are more strained. Do you live in a city that should be in our ranking?

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