Philly ranks high on list of the world’s smartest cities

Written by
Brandon Baker
Photograph: Shutterstock

EasyPark, a parking-app company based out of Sweden, took it upon itself to rank the world’s smartest cities—that is, the ones that are most digitally advanced and livable.

On the Top 100 list, as no resident should be surprised to see, is Philadelphia at a respectable No. 35—ahead of Chicago, at No. 36, and just behind Oslo, Norway, at No. 34.

EasyPark came up with its calculations using 19 total criteria, but generally scored in the areas of governance, innovation in economy, digitalization, transportation and standard of living. It also factored in the opinion of 10,000 urban planning and technology journalists to calculate a “Expert Perception” score. The individual categories were measured on a 1-10 scale and averaged out to create a final score.

Philadelphia’s overall tally was 6.72 out of 10, scoring high for its abundance of startups, quality internet speed, concentration of universities and availability of parking apps. We lagged behind for our relatively low amount of green space, low citizen participation in government and elections, and modest use of energy from renewable sources.

All in all, though, the score puts Philadelphia not far from the tail end of the Top 20, wherein sits Toronto at No. 20 with a score of 7.14. And, though our digitalization of government score was a middling 6.45, we ranked higher than Tokyo and not far behind tech mecca San Francisco.

The highest-ranking U.S. city on the list was Northeast neighbor Boston at No. 5, with a 7.7; it scored perfect marks for education and innovation of economy. Copenhagen, Denmark, landed at No. 1 with a score of 8.24, while Budapest was last with a 4.38—though, the company notes that any ranked city should be considered above-average.

The study, of note, did not measure new cities, instead opting to examine cities largely by their economic and political relevance using standards like the UN Prosperity List and European Commission’s Digital City Index.

See the full results of the study here.

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