A pair of recent surveys offer a comprehensive overview of the current state of smart city development around the world. Smart cities refer to cities which utilize high-tech innovations and implement leading technologies in their infrastructure to enable improvements to sustainability, efficiency, and utility for its residents while also contributing positively to efforts to reduce the climate impact of cities.

These efforts have seen a rise over the course of the past decade and the market is expected to grow from an estimated $14.9 billion to $34.4 billion annually by 2020 globally. At this stage the development is still in its early stages with numerous pilot projects and development efforts underway in cities all over America, Europe, China, which has a reported 200 smart city projects underway, and the Middle East, home to Masdar, one of the biggest projects drawing considerable attention at its announcement nearly a decade ago.

Now EasyPark, a company facilitating urban commuters find parking, has completed a comprehensive overview of the world’s smart cities, assessing over 500 cities according to their implementation of smart city technologies and services such as digital technology and connectivity in transportation, buildings, and other infrastructure. The results of the survey have been published in an interactive list which gives a score to each city’s overall level of smartness as well as rating individual areas of excellence.

Whereas EasyPark’s survey assess cities as they are, a recent article at urban development-focused website Curbed provides a brief glance at some of the most ambitious projects currently underway, offering a glimpse at the possible leaders of such surveys.

While such ambitious technological developments draw considerable attention and welcome investment from private and public sectors, the reality of these projects is far more complex, as noted in an insightful article from Scientific American which urges careful consideration of infrastructural, legislative, social, and cultural issues governing the success of such efforts.

See the full list of smart cities profiled by EasyPark 

Read Curbed’s overview of upcoming smart city projectsRead Curbed’s overview of upcoming smart city projects 

Read the Scientific American article 

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.