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The world’s smartest cities with the UK not even making the top 5

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The world’s smartest cities for 2024 have been revealed in an annual index – with the UK not even making up any of the top five spots.

For the fourth year running, Zurich in Switzerland topped the IMD Smart City Index.

In total, 142 cities were assessed, with the index measuring how smart a population perceives its city to be. The cities are then assessed on health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance. 

Zurich sits comfortably above average for every single factor. 

With a life expectancy of 84, the popular Swiss city is at the global centre for banking and finance. It also has a superb transport hub, highly connected through Kloten airport, and reliable railways and roads.

Eighty percent say public transport is satisfactory with 84 percent of children having access to a good school

The Norwegian capital of Oslo came in second place, also for the fourth time, scoring particularly well for minimal traffic congestion and green spaces.

Canberra – the capital of Australia – came in third for the second year in a row. The city was praised for its low air pollution with 76.6 percent of minorities feeling welcome – up by nearly a fifth from the average city score.

Geneva – the second-most populous city in Switzerland – came in fourth place, up five places from last year.

Coming in a respectable eighth, down two places from last year, London is the leading smartest city in the UK. With a life expectancy of 82.2 with 61.4 percent of children having access to a good school.

From a list of 15 indicators, survey respondents were asked to select five they perceived as the most urgent for their city. Affordable housing, health services, road congestion, security and air pollution were voted the five most urgent indicators for London.

Elsewhere in the UK Manchester came 71st, Newcastle ranked 77th while the Welsh capital Cardiff came 92nd.

Top 10 smartest cities in the world:

  1. Zurich

  2. Oslo

  3. Canberra

  4. Geneva

  5. Singapore

  6. Copenhagen

  7. Lausanne

  8. London

  9. Helsinki 

  10. Abu Dhabi

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