Shanghai tops Juniper smart-city rankings

  • February 1, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Juniper Research has ranked Shanghai as the world’s number one smart city for 2022.

The smart city rankings were compiled following a study of cities around the globe as published in its research report: “Smart Cities: Key Technologies, Environmental Impact & Market Forecasts 2022-2026.”

The top five smart cities are Shanghai, Seoul, Barcelona, Beijing and New York.

The ranking of 50 world cities is based on an evaluation of many different aspects of smart cities, covering transportation and infrastructure, energy and lighting, city management and technology, and urban connectivity.

The research particularly lauds Shanghai’s Citizen Cloud as a one-stop point for more than 1000 different services for city residents. Thanks to its rapid deployment of data management platforms, efficient, digitised utility management and public services have become common in many cities across Asia, allowing them to climb Juniper Research’s rankings.

“Many cities have deployed technology and data to help local authorities reduce environmental impact and energy usage,” said research co-author Mike Bainbridge. “The top cities in our recent ranking are finding innovative ways to leverage that technology to deliver observable benefits for their citizens as well.”

In addition to these rankings, the research found that smart city initiatives will generate almost $70bn in spend annually by 2026, up from $35bn in 2021. Much of this will focus on smart grid initiatives, which will save over 1000TWh of electricity in 2026, equivalent to more than five years of energy consumption by Greater London at present levels.

Many areas of smart city development are still in their early stages, particularly outside the leading cities, so initial roll-outs still make up much of the market. Juniper Research notes that this means savings made through smart city technologies will remain high. It expects energy savings alone to reach $96bn in 2026, making their deployment highly cost-effective in most instances.