Singapore

Singapore tops Smart City Index for second year running

Singapore has topped the Smart City Index for the second year running, with the team behind the ranking noting that cities heading the list had handled the Covid-19 pandemic better.

This year's rankings took into account how 109 cities tapped technology in a lasting way to manage the outbreak.

Singapore's response was noteworthy, Swiss business school Institute of Management Development (IMD) said in a statement yesterday.

Professor Arturo Bris, director of the World Competitiveness Centre at IMD, added: "We have watched Singapore's performance over the last 12 months and have directly correlated Singapore's continued success as this prompt response to an unexpected challenge where other cities have faltered."

The city state, he said, had acted quickly and decisively.

"It had a clear road map that it followed but remained flexible. The citizens were kept informed and therefore on board with the decisions and the loss of freedom that these entailed.

"The Government was in position to provide adequate compensation to those losing out and did this wisely."

The survey findings noted that a central pillar of Singapore's success has been its "resilience and promptness when confronted with the unexpected challenges brought by the pandemic".

IMD said: "As an example, over 77 per cent of the sample surveyed agreed that information was clear and easy to access concerning the clarity and easiness of access to information on government decisions."

Prof Bris said cities with better technology have managed the pandemic better but added: "Smart cities are not the solution, but technology helps."

The index, which ranks cities by economic and technological data, was published by IMD in partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design. It took into account citizens' perceptions of how "smart" their cities are.

The team surveyed 120 residents in each city on their ideas of two pillars - structures, referring to existing infrastructure; and technology, in terms of the technological provisions and services available to citizens.

Singapore is one of two Asian cities in the top 10, with Taipei moving down a notch to eighth place.

Technology