The latest Networked Society City Index from Ericsson marks Sweden’s Stockholm as the world’s most ICT-mature city once again.
Ericsson’s 2014 Networked Society City Index ranks 40 cities by ICT maturity by analysing leverage from ICT investment in economic, social and environmental development – known as the ‘triple bottom line’ effect.
Top of the list is Stockholm, followed by London, Paris, Singapore and Copenhagen.
The Swedish capital has been comfortable in the top spot and the only change to the top 5 since 2013 is Paris surpassing Singapore to come in at No 3.
With an overall score of 79, Stockholm’s strengths lie in the affordability of the open city-owned fibre network, which encourages competitive pricing among network service providers, the fact that a large part of its energy comes from non-fossil energy sources, and high rates of adoption of technology in public and private life.
Racing to the top with advanced mobile technology
There are nine new cities in the 2014 edition: Berlin, Munich, Barcelona, Athens, Rome, Warsaw, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The highest new entry goes to Munich at No 14, followed by Berlin (16) and Barcelona (18).
In the report’s observations, it was noted that cities with low ICT maturity are improving faster than the high-performing cities, meaning a fair amount of catch-up has been accomplished.
This could lead to certain savvy cities on this trajectory moving straight onto innovative applications of advanced mobile technology, skipping the implementation of expensive and increasingly obsolete physical infrastructure and leapfrogging those held back by this legacy.
Three predictions for the future of cities are also included in the report, a new feature for 2014.
The first of these is a power shift indicating that a growing number of ‘smart citizens’, enabled by open public services and refined governance approaches, will drive urban progress.
The report also predicts that GDP will be redefined as we move towards a more collaborative and sharing economy, and that changes in legislation and governance will reflect increased collaboration in city management.
Main Stockholm image by b-hide the scene via Shutterstock