Smart City Observatory

What makes a city liveable and smart?

Smart City Observatory

What makes a city liveable and smart?

Smart City Observatory

In 2019, IMD launched a Smart City Index to assess the economic and technological aspects of smart cities on the one hand, and their “humane dimensions” on the other (quality of life, environment, and inclusiveness). The Index gathers a mixture of hard data and survey responses to gauge the smartness of cities across the globe, with an emphasis on how inhabitants see the city. The methodology was improved in 2023, when the fourth edition of the Index was published.

Smart City Index 2023

The revamped 2023 edition of the IMD Smart City Index (SCI) has seen Asian and European economies dominate the top 20.

Taking the top three places were Zurich (1st), Oslo (2nd) and Canberra (3rd).

Browse the full report

The global landscape of smart cities is changing. Cities and their leaders are becoming more visible on the international stage, and citizens are increasingly valuing inclusion and diversity in the places they choose to live.

Bruno Lanvin President of the IMD Smart City Observatory, IMD, Switzlerand
Smart City Profiles

Extended profiles including all data in html and PDF

Cities A-E
Meet the team
Professor Arturo Bris
Professor of Finance, Director of IMD World Competitiveness Center

An author and in-demand speaker, Arturo Bris ( ranks among the top 100 most read finance academics in the world. His research and consulting activities focus on the international aspects of financial regulation, and in particular on the effects of bankruptcy, short sales, insider trading, and merger laws.

Bruno Lanvin
President of the Smart City Observatory at IMD

Bruno Lanvin has been the President of the Smart City Observatory since its creation in 2018. He is known worldwide for his pioneering work in creating and co-leading some of the most highly praised global indices in the areas of information technology, innovation, and talent.

Related publications
SCI 2023 – Cities Performance in Tables

Content of the ZIP: 4xJPEGs with comparisons across editions, since 2019.

SCI 2023 – Methodology

Content of the ZIP: Methodology 2023 (JPEG and PDF)

Smart cities need to be heading in a human-centric, digitally inclusive direction or the tech won’t pay off, panelists agree

Experts air views on Smart City policies since COVID-19, saying citizens’ needs take priority.

Sixteen Shades of Smart: How Cities Can Shape Their Own Future

Smart cities are a fast-growing species, and a fascinating field for new experiments in a number of critical areas.

Cities in a Time of Global Emergencies

Edited by Professor Arturo Bris, Christos Cabolis, Chan Heng Chee, and Bruno Lanvin.

This is the second volume of smart cities case studies published as a companion to the IMD-SUTD Smart City Index. It follows the award-winning ‘Sixteen Shades of Smart’, released in 2019.

The ten case studies contained in ‘Cities in a time of global emergencies’ describe and analyze the experience and strategies of smart cities from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Some of them are just starting their smart city journey, while others have already gone through several versions of their strategy to respond to their citizens’ needs by becoming even smarter. The comparison of the approaches taken is a source of factual knowledge about the possible future of smart cities and casts a new light on what their options might be in the face of today’s and tomorrow’s emergencies.

Browse the abstract

Sixteen shades of Smart: How cities can shape their own future

Smart cities are a fast-growing species, and a fascinating field for new experiments in a number of critical areas, ranging from urban planning, sustainable energy, and transport strategies to social integration and talent attraction, to name a few. As leaders and citizens around the world continue to assess, design, implement and improve on ways to create better cities, they often find themselves confronted with a multitude of decisions and a wide range of partial solutions to specific problems such as traffic congestion, waste management and crime.

It includes 16 case studies, produced by the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at SUTD (covering Asia and the Pacific) and the IMD World Competitiveness Center (covering other parts of the world). Producing these studies has yielded important lessons about how to enhance the value and uniqueness of our smart city index, as well as precious insights on how our two institutions can work together in a very synergistic way to produce unique insights.

Sixteen shades of Smart has been awarded the bronze medal in the Business Intelligence/Innovation category at the Axiom Book Awards.