It's official: Sydney has been named the 18th smartest city in the world

The Smart City Index results are in, and Sydney's (kinda) on top

Maya Skidmore
Written by
Maya Skidmore
A man watching the Vivid Sydney lights from across the hardbour
Photograph: Destination NSW

Sydney, it turns out we’re not dim. According to the 2023 Smart City Index, Sydney has ranked 18th out of 141 cities in the ‘smart’ stakes. Being a ‘smart’ city isn’t about our natural born intelligence (although, obviously we have that too). Rather, it's about how effectively we've used technology to address our city’s specific problems and improve our quality of life. 

Zurich took first place in the index, followed by Oslo, and then (drumroll, please) our very own Canberra. Who would’ve thunk it? Australia, we’re bloody coming up. 

Wondering how the people behind the Smart City Index reached this conclusion? They surveyed people from cities all over the world about how they feel about living in the cities that they do, as well as analysing existing data. More than 20,000 people from 141 cities were asked about 15 specific things related to their life in their hometowns. This included what issues they reckon are the most pressing (e.g. affordable housing, green spaces, fulfilling employment opportunities, road congestion), how effective they think tech solutions have been at addressing local problems, and finally, how comfortable they are with technology in their lives. 

Sydney has ranked in the global top 30 over the past few years, but #18 is the highest we’ve ranked so far. According to the report, Sydneysiders overwhelmingly (80 per cent of us, to be exact) selected ‘affordable housing’ as their biggest area of concern, while 61.1 per cent of people said that they were OK with our personal data being used to help with traffic congestion. 

Now, we just need to beat Canberra.

You can see the full list of this year's smartest countries right here. 

Keep in the know and read about: 

This radiant meteor shower that's set to rain down on Sydney this April. 

And, get hungry at one of these Sydney steak restaurants that have made the world's top 50. 

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