The Saudi capital has jumped 18 ranks to finish 53rd out of a total of 109 cities in the world list of smart cities, surpassing global hubs.
Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich topped the index in a year that witnessed a decline in the performance of many European cities, due to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and their overall impact on the lives of European residents.
Issued by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the Smart City Index, now in its second year, surveyed more than 13,000 people in 109 cities, focusing on how they perceived the impact of technology in five areas: Health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.
“According to the survey, which measures residents’ satisfaction in the services and technologies available in their city, the residents of Riyadh are more satisfied with their city’s offering than some of the most advanced cities of the world,” IMD said in a statement.
“The world’s smart cities don’t simply adopt new technology, they make sure it truly improves citizens’ lives,” said Arturo Bris of IMD.
Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said that Riyadh’s performance came as a result of the many improvements the city has implemented.
“Riyadh has made great progress in its performance this year, surpassing cities such as Tokyo, Rome, Paris and Beijing. This is a strong message that Riyadh has come a long way to develop and improve the quality and standard of life of its citizens,” he underlined.
“The progress achieved in Riyadh over the past twelve months constitute an example to follow, and a lesson that other cities can benefit from to become smarter and meet the requirements of their residents,” he added.
Others in the top 10 included Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Geneva, Taipei City, Amsterdam and New York, while Abuja, Nairobi and Lagos ranked bottom.