- London and Paris take the 2nd and 3rd spot of the index, which ranks 165 world cities on all aspects that make up sustainability and quality of life
- The top three cities score highly in almost all of the dimensions. However, social cohesion remains a weak point.
For the second year in a row, New York has been declared the smartest city in the world, according to the IESE Cities in Motion Index (ICIM.) London and Paris also maintain their positions just behind the big apple, taking the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
This fifth edition of The IESE Cities in Motion Index (CIMI) analyzes the level of development of 165 cities from 80 countries, across nine dimensions considered keys to progress: human capital (developing, attracting and nurturing talent), social cohesion (consensus among the different social groups in a city), economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international outreach, technology, and mobility and transportation (ease of movement and access to public services). The index is prepared by IESE Business School´s Center for Globalization and Strategy under the direction of professors Pascual Berrone and Joan Enric Ricart.
All three cities score highly across nearly all the criteria used in the index. New York is in first place overall due to its position as the world’s most important economic center, ranking first in this dimension, and is also top for urban planning. London, in 2nd place, is best for human capital thanks to its high numbers of quality business schools and universities. Meanwhile Paris, the city with the second-highest number of international tourists, is first for international outreach and first for Mobility and Transportation, thanks to its metro system, bike sharing system and high-speed trains.
However New York, London and Paris are still grappling with the issue of social cohesion. All three place in the bottom of the ranking on this measure (New York 109th, London 68th and Paris 87th.) This reflects the fact that many cities that have high economic levels (in average terms), at the same time are more inequitable and unequal, which can lead to problems between different strata in society. According to the report´s authors, “One of the greatest challenges for cities is to transform themselves into urban centers that are simultaneously prosperous, equitable and inclusive.”
The top-10 list is completed by Tokyo (4), Reykjavik (5), Singapore (6), Seoul (7), Toronto (8), Hong Kong (9) and Amsterdam (10.)
Europe, with 12 cities ranking among the top 25, is once again the top-performing geographical area. It is followed by North America, with six; Asia, with four (all in the top 10); and Oceania, with three.
Tokyo (4) is the highest-ranked Asian city and Melbourne (12) leads the pack in Oceania. The highest-ranking Middle Eastern city is Dubai (60), while Buenos Aires (76), leads in Latin America. African cities lag behind, with Tunisia, the first among them, far down the list at number 134.
In Search of the Perfect City
The report also highlights that striking a balance in the various areas where success is measured is a complex, ongoing process that requires an overall vision. It is not enough to excel in one area — as is the case with Montevideo, Bangkok, Kiev and Doha, all located in the bottom half of the ranking — since this produces “unbalanced” cities.
Indeed, only a select group of cities — such as Amsterdam, Seoul and Melbourne — do moderately well in all dimensions. And it is difficult to combine certain dimensions — namely, economic power with social cohesion as well as mobility/transportation with the environment.
About the Cities in Motion Index
The IESE Cities in Motion Index (CIMI) analyzes the level of development of 165 cities from 80 countries in nine dimensions considered keys to progress: human capital, social cohesion, economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international outreach, technology, and mobility and transportation.
The fifth edition presents some important updates with respect to the previous years: the number of indicators used has been significantly increased and the analysis has been enriched with new data — such as the number of terrorist attacks, the compliance levels of ISO 37120 (known as the smart city standard), and even prospective variables, such as GDP per capita projections and rising temperatures.
View the full study here.