Affordable housing is the top concern among cities worldwide, according to the report. Environmental concerns are also higher in wealthier cities, while access to better air quality and access to health services have also become higher priorities globally following the pandemic.
The report also noted that the pandemic highlighted the innovative potential of smart cities to sometimes better address certain challenges — such as organizing the distribution of protective equipment, the use of medical facilities and vaccination campaigns — compared to central governments. Strong tech cultures and digital infrastructure helped efforts throughout the pandemic, especially with contact tracing, the report states.
Singapore topped the list in part because it’s long been a supporter of introducing technology in the daily lives of its citizens, said Christos Cabolis, chief economist of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, in an email interview.
+INFO: Smart Cities Dive