Shanghai placed first in the top 5 smart cities in Asia in 2023 based on a new study by Juniper Research. Rounding out the list are Seoul, Shenzhen, Sydney and Beijing.
Juniper Research’s ranking of 50 world cities is based on an evaluation of different smart city aspects, covering transportation and infrastructure, energy and lighting, city management and technology, and urban connectivity.
Why Shanghai ranked first
The research analysed Shanghai as leading due to its strong data platform, comprehensive deployment of 5G, and use of innovative technologies, including digital twins. This comprehensive approach reflects a well-considered and progressive smart city design, which can be seen as an example for other cities to emulate.
“Creating an effective smart city strategy means more than just looking at a technical design – it means developing a comprehensive approach that actively solves challenges that citizens face in their lives,” said research co-author Nick Maynard.
“Congestion is a major challenge, and we will see more focus on smart mobility, adapting urban environments for better traffic flow, as environmental concerns become increasingly prominent.”Nick Maynard, Juniper Research
Asia’s smart city spending on massive growth spurt
According to Juniper Research, smart city spending in Asia is set to grow by 120%. Specifically, hardware and software spend on smart city deployments in Asia is forecast to reach US$42 billion by 2028, from US$19 billion in 2023.
Spend is growing much faster in Rest of Asia Pacific, at 303% over the next 5 years, compared to Indian Subcontinent at 231% and Far East & China at 76%, over the same period.
Growth in Far East & China is slowing, with smart city projects being more mature in countries like China, Japan and South Korea. However, emerging markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam will boast much stronger growth, as smart city initiatives get underway, and cities build the comprehensive data systems needed for success.