Conspiracy theorists may wonder how Stockholm, where Ericsson's headquarters are located, just happened to land at the top of Ericsson's Networked Society City Index 2016 – the second year in a row it's achieved such distinction.
According to Erik Kruse, head of Ericsson Networked Society Lab, the cities in the index are chosen to be representative of most parts of the world and the index includes cities on all continents.
"Availability and access to data is a limiting factor, but all in all the selected cities give a good global overview of the state of cities today, although big differences can exist between cities in the same regions," he told FierceWirelessTech via email.
The index measures the performance of 41 cities from around the world from two perspectives: sustainable urban development and information and communications technology (ICT) maturity.
Stockholm ranked No. 1 in the overall index, followed by London, Copenhagen, Singapore and Paris. Three U.S. cities made the list, including New York (7), Los Angeles (12) and Miami (17).
Stockholm is ranked No. 1 in the sustainable urban development part of the index, followed closely by Copenhagen, Helsinki and Paris. London ranks top in the ICT part of the index, replacing Stockholm, which now ranks second – so, clearly, Stockholm isn't sweeping all the categories.
Given there's so much talk about smart cities, do these results mean Stockholm is the smartest city, or the city with the most smart city technology deployed? Kruse explains that Stockholm tops the index due to its overall performance, i.e. the city is at the forefront when it comes to performance in all triple bottom line (TBL) dimensions – social, economic and environmental – and has a very well-developed ICT infrastructure and usage.
"That said, it is hard to say which city is the smartest, but Stockholm has high ambitions," he said. The city has, for instance, recently launched the initiative Digital Demo Stockholm, a cooperation with industries and academia, which will enable a technology-based test environment where researchers and engineers can elaborate and develop solutions, based on existing and new technology to find new solutions to meet the challenges of the society. The aim of Digital Demo Stockholm is to make the city the smartest in the world by 2040.
Of course, 5G will be key to enable any Networked Society city. "5G will cater for the thousands of different usages that a truly networked city will entail," he said. "It ranges from all the small sensors in buildings, garbage bins and roads, which are not capacity demanding but need years of battery lifetime, to self-driving cars or remote-controlled surgery facilities, where capacity and extremely low latency are vital."
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