Human-centric, sustainability-driven approach to ranking smart cities worldwide

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As cities worldwide adopt various high-tech solutions to solve emerging urban problems, transition toward greater smartness becomes a global trend. The question, however, remains how the cities’ progress towards greater smartness can be monitored and measured. Although different smart city (SC) classifications exist, these classifications are not always balanced, with some of them placing an emphasis on ICTs and infrastructure, while others prioritize social performance of cities and their physical environment. In this study, we suggest a relatively simple SC ranking system, based on two basic principles – direct relevance to human welfare and equal representation of key dimensions of sustainability. The proposed assessment system, composed of nine quantitative metrics, is applied to 100+ major cities worldwide, helping us to identify the best and the worst SC performers. As the study also reveals, there are clear regional differences in the interpretation components and underlying dimensions of SCs with an emphasis on “economy and technology” in North America, “the environment” in Europe, and “society” in Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102296
JournalTechnology in Society
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Empirical measures
  • Ranking system
  • Smart cities (SCs)
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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