A few days ago, the results of a study of the most technological cities in the world from the Smart City Observatory of the IMD Global Competitiveness Center and Singapore University of Technology and Design were published. The Ukrainian capital managed to enter the top 100, but so far in the last ten.
What is a Smart City Index
In 2019, the Smart City Observatory of the World Competitiveness Center IMD, together with the Singapore University of Technology and Design, conducted a study in which they identified the top 100 (in fact, 102) the most “smart cities” in the world (taking into account the level of health and safety, mobility and social activity).
According to this rating, the most “smart city” in the world is Singapore (Singapore), followed by Zurich (Switzerland), Oslo (Norway), Geneva (Switzerland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Auckland (New Zealand), Taipei (Taiwan), Helsinki (Finland), Bilbao (Spain), and closes the top 10 Dusseldorf (Germany). Kyiv is in the 92nd position.
The uniqueness of the study lies in the fact that it focuses not only on the number of technologies that have been introduced in a particular city but also on how citizens perceive their cities, which, in their opinion, are the scale of influence on making cities “smart” and is life really better or more comfortable in these cities (a survey among citizens of 102 cities, a qualitative indicator). This approach to creating a rating is explained by the fact that not all cities started with the same level of development, means and a set of advantages, therefore, only by interviewing urban residents can we get a realistic idea of the achievements of each of the cities.
For example, precisely because of this approach, evaluating the cities of China, which received a large number of investments for the introduction of technologies, were far from the top ten (Nanjing - 55th place, Guangzhou - 57th place, and Shanghai - 59th place). Also Tokyo (Japan) - 62nd position, New York (USA) - 38th position and Tel Aviv (Israel) - 46th place.
The situation with the capital of France is quite embarrassing too – Paris ranked only 51th, although the city has several interesting innovative initiatives. In particular, this is a project for the processing of the urban landscape, when citizens expressed their proposals regarding the use and renovation of obsolete and unusable buildings, as well as an initiative to share bicycles to reduce congestion and traffic jams (14,000 bicycles). By the way, at the expense of the latter, the respondents interviewed gave the city 22 points out of 100, answering the question about the stage of solving the pollution problem (where 100 is the highest indicator of qualitative changes relative to a particular problem). Unlike the citizens of Zurich (Switzerland), who rated their city’s efforts regarding this problem at 60 points.
Arturo Bris, Professor of Finance at IMD, explains this phenomenon by the fact that the implemented initiative should really solve the problem, and not create a bunch of others, because, according to him, having found such a way (bicycles), the city’s infrastructure should facilitate the movement of them: “Believe me, only the brave ones would decide cross Charles de Gaulle Square by bike in Paris at noon."
The study aims to help other, less developed cities, showing how to move forward. Indeed, according to Arturo Bris, the number of “smart cities” is growing all over the world, but economic realities cannot be ignored: cities in poor countries are faced with shortcomings that require concrete actions to take on the path of intellectual development.
According to the results of the study, several interesting facts can be distinguished:
- places in the final part of the ranking were occupied by cities that belong to countries that are developing (Bogotá, Cairo, Nairobi, Rabat and Lagos).
- most cities at the top of the ranking are medium-sized cities.
According to Professor Arturo Brice, this happens because it is difficult for large cities and megalopolises to expand the benefits of implemented technologies. It is easier to do this in San Francisco (12th place, population - 884,000) and Bilbao (9th place in the ranking, population - 350,000), but much more difficult to do it in Los Angeles (35th place, population - 4 million) and Barcelona (48th place, population - 5.5 million).
Is Kyiv a smart city?
According to WHO, until the 30s of the XXI century, more than 60% of the world's population will become urban residents. Such a rapid level of urbanization requires quality coordinated changes in the maintenance of the city, its inhabitants, transport support and support of all services that work for the benefit of the urban community. Such changes can be achieved only by combining all the components in one space, where they can be easily found and controlled, - informational. This is precisely how the idea of "re-equipping" cities into "smart cities," the city of innovation, was born.
- increase the overall level of security in the city;
- reduce the cost and consumption of resources;
- improve communication;
- create a transparent field of relations between the government and citizens.
Therefore, it cannot be said that, for example, by equipping public transport with validators and GPS trackers, or by installing smart displays at stops, the city’s authorities made it technologically advanced. In fact, these are just a few steps towards becoming a smart infrastructure.
Kyiv’s history of the “smart city” began with the introduction of the city initiative in 2015, on the basis of which the Kyiv Smart City Concept was created, the development priorities of which are: e-governance, security, medicine, housing and communal services and transport.
“In four years, Kyiv has created the necessary IT infrastructure from scratch and was the first in Ukraine to launch a number of electronic services for citizens. We have laid more than 1,200 kilometers of fiber optic network, computerized social facilities and installed more than 7,000 video surveillance cameras. With the help of modern technologies, we are improving security, transport, and services in the city. Innovations help to make the activities of the authorities more efficient and transparent and provide an instrument of the influence of the residents of Kyiv on its development,” co-coordinator of Kyiv Smart City Yuriy Nazarov sums up the results.
Within the framework of this Concept, it has already been possible to achieve some progress in such smart areas:
Technology and city services:
- Kyiv citizen card (the holder of personal data of the cardholder; it supports applications related to the provision and consideration of social support measures and other information services in Kyiv);
- smart street (equipped with innovative devices and an air quality monitoring system);
- online petitions, making an appointment with a doctor, registering a child in preschool educational institutions (kindergartens);
- a single Kyiv account, the creation of a pet registry, the Open Data portal;
- Kyiv Smart City application (you can use it to replenish the Kyiv Smart Card, pay for parking, add your pet to the Pet Registry or make an appointment with the doctor).
- introducing an e-ticket, a one-time QR ticket in public transport, a dispatch center for monitoring the operation of transport;
- installation of interactive displays and the ability to monitor the movement of transport (using the Kyivpastrans KP external service, you can use the EasyWay mobile application).
- research of water and air quality in Kyiv, eco-monitoring in metropolitan schools;
- Kyiv's geospatial plan for predicting building growth is the City Atlas (allows you to predict the level of growth of the city’s development and landscaping, as well as create a temperature map).
- educational courses in IT and urban technologies for children and people of advanced age, a programming school for children, an IT course with a coding academy for children, Kyiv Smart City School;
- creation of a collection of tips, recommendations, and services, including electronic ones, relating to all aspects of city life;
- launch of pets shelters social campaign (almost 500 stray dogs and cats were sheltered).
- integrated urban video surveillance system (control of utilities and traffic management); a system for recognizing faces and license plates; emergency warning system.
Support for new innovative ideas:
holding hackathons (Uber Smart Mobility, STEM, Coreteka automotive), creating an accelerator of urban projects and signing a Memorandum of Cooperation "Tel Aviv - Kyiv Smart City Accelerator", Kyiv Smart City forums.
What in other cities?
All the cities from the rating have many interesting innovative projects, but, as Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, noted, the number of projects is not that important, but the quality of their implementation. Thus, he notes the achievement of the system of reasonable cameras in Singapore, which restrict movement depending on the number of vehicles, and the automatic withdrawal of funds from the bank account of drivers when parking a car in Kaunas (Lithuania). It is also important to provide citizens with free Wi-Fi throughout the city, which can boast of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Ramala (Palestine).
According to the survey, Singapore is the undisputed leader in the development of "smart programs" that makes life easier for citizens. Another example is Chicago, an initiative on open spaces for growing green infrastructure. London boasts of “smart parking”, a navigation application and a well-established communication system, when each citizen joins the city, discusses problems and can get all the necessary information in any city services sector. The largest US city, New York, ranked 38th in the list, having innovative projects to improve the safety of life in the city: surveillance cameras and sound sensors (catching the sound of a shot, send a signal to the police). And another US city, which does not have the most developed network of electric car gas stations (San Francisco), ranked 12th with equipping bus roofs and stops with photovoltaic panels for energy production.
Taking into consideration the given examples in the steps to introduce the concepts of "smart cities," we can conclude that the Ukrainian capital really has room to grow and develop, drawing on the experience of other countries and creating its own innovative ideas.