SOURCE: techeconomy.it – 10 november 2014
Ericsson published the Networked Society City Index, developed in collaboration with the group Sweco, the index that ranks 40 cities and measures their ICT maturity in terms of leverage from ICT investments in economic, social and environmental development.
The top five cities are the same as in 2013, Stockholm ranks highest followed by London, but Paris has edged past Singapore. There are 9 new cities, and among them Rome that is in the 21st place, together with other cities such as: Berlin, Barcelona, Athens, Warsaw, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
As the rate of change accelerates around the world, the economic and political importance of cities is growing quickly. Today, the majority of the world’s people live in cities, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that cities hold a major key to solving the social, environmental and economic challenges that they face.
Interestingly, cities with a low ICT maturity rating seem to be maturing more quickly than high-performing cities, indicating a catchup effect. Many cities also have the opportunity to leapfrog others by avoiding expensive and increasingly obsolete physical infrastructure and instead moving straight to innovative applications using advanced mobile technology.
Patrik Regårdh, Head of Ericsson’s Networked Society Lab, adds: “Cities will be the major arena in which ICT can bring solutions for economic, social, and sustainable growth. As a leader in ICT development, solutions and implementation, Ericsson is playing a major role in realizing the Networked Society and paving the way for more efficient, effective cities”.
The report includes three predictions about the urban future:
• People rather than institutions will drive urban progress to a larger extent;
• GDP will be redefined by moving toward a more collaborative and sharing economy: ICT solutions will provide opportunities to create more value from fewer resources, therefore necessitating an adjustment of GDP to mirror the values important for a sustainable society
• The power of collaboration will be essential in cities, organizations and governance.
ICT represents a new way to organize society and change the way people and organizations behave. Innovation in technology and markets, new way of sharing information and communicate and people behavioral changes are at the base of ICT future scenarios, where cities will be crucial to face global challenges such as climate changes, environment, social inclusion and new economic competition.
Monika Byléhn, Networked Society Evangelist explains: “Today, we are seeing so many new opportunities which are more or less provided by ICT. The way that cities are lead is increasingly built on ICT to provide efficiency and innovation, in basically all areas of a city, from health care to transport to utilities.”
To prepare the Networked Society City Index each year Ericsson review the leading research literatureand case studies exploring the connection between ICT and sustainable urban development. Thisyear, Ericsson noted a clear shift in research emphasis, away from proving the case for ICT benefits to a focus on how city governments can maximize those benefits. As ICT is accepted as a natural springboard for growth and development, the 2014 City Index followed that same focus.