With the rise in Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart city technologies, city leaders are trying to capitalize on the benefits these new technologies offer to their cities. This means that cities across the country are rapidly deploying connected devices. Gartner estimates that 9.7 billion connected things will be used by smart cities by 2020.

“The Internet of Things holds huge promises for the public sector, especially as it relates to smart cities technology,” said Rahim Bhatia, senior vice president and general manager of Developer Products at CA Technologies. “We are seeing an uptick in the adoption of smart cities practices. The efficiencies, conveniences, and analytics that come from smart cities technology is something these communities can use to help improve transportation, infrastructure, and services to ultimately enrich the lives of their citizens.”

IoT and other smart city technologies open the door to improved citizen experiences and lower government expenses; however, new technologies must be deployed correctly and supported by a strong IT infrastructure. The benefits each city experiences will vary widely based on what technologies are deployed, geography, transportation systems, demographics, and a variety of other factors.

CA Technologies and Chordant released their Smart City Benefits Index, which the companies describe as the first comprehensive study designed to examine the relative potential benefits of Smart City technology in America’s major metropolitan areas.

In terms of the rankings, tech hub Boston unsurprisingly topped the list. Other tech giants in the top 10 include Austin, Seattle, and San Diego. However, the big surprise was that typically industrial cities dominated the top 10. Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Phoenix, and Kansas City, Mo., all earned spots on the ranking. Other surprises included Cleveland at No. 12. The city, which Chordant said is typically seen as a net loser in the transition from industrial to technological, came in ahead of tech heavyweights San Jose, Calif., and San Francisco.

“Our absolute conviction is that Smart City technology can benefit every single city in the world, but it’s useful to look at where those benefits will be felt most strongly,” said Jim Nolan, executive vice president of Chordant at InterDigital. “A ranking like the CA-Chordant Smart City Benefits Index should catch the attention of public officials, as they hold the responsibility for making their cities and regions competitive as homes for people and businesses. It’s critical that they start thinking today about how smart city technology can shape the future.”

The index is based on a proprietary algorithm, produced by market research firm Compass Intelligence, that calculates the relative benefits of smart city technology to each city based on a broad range of data points. The index based its ranking on five data categories: demographics, budget and existing infrastructure, business and economy, education, and “other.” Data for the 50 selected cities was gathered from more than 1,000 news articles, reports, and research. Compass Intelligence also reviewed current smart city projects, historical listings of city rankings, and whether the city participated in the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge.

“The CA-Chordant Smart City Benefits Index evaluates each city’s expected position and readiness to embrace, adopt, implement, and scale smart city projects, initiatives, investments, technologies, and solutions,” said Stephanie Atkinson, founder and principal consultant at Compass Intelligence. “Those cities ranked higher or that have higher total points on the index are expected to be earlier adopters of smart city technologies and could potentially reap greater benefits of a return on investment.”


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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs