The Top 10 Smartest Asian/Pacific Cities

Which cities in Asia and Oceania are doing the best to incorporate technology to make themselves run smoothly and make life better for their citizens?

How do you define the term “smart city”? Climate strategist Boyd Cohen lays it out in his smart cities wheel (see right), which looks at all the different components–mixed-modal access, green buildings, cultural vibrancy, creativity, and so on–that he believes add up to create smart cities. In recent months, Cohen has brought together a number of data sources and city rankings to create master lists of the 10 smartest cities in North America and Europe for Co.Exist. This month, he rolled out a list of the top 10 cities in Asia/Pacific over at UBM Future Cities.


This time around, Cohen used more than nine data sources, including the Mercer Quality of Living report, the Siemens Green City Index, and the Brookings Institute Global Metro Monitor to come up with the rankings.

After mashing up all the data, Cohen emerged with the following top 10 list of smart cities:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Seoul
  4. Tokyo
  5. Auckland
  6. Sydney
  7. Kuala Lumpur
  8. Taipei
  9. Shanghai
  10. Osaka

Hong Kong gets top honors for its multiple government-funded universities, high rate of transit rides per capita, overall information and communication technologies (ICT) use, and Octopus–a smart card system that residents can use to pay for schools, parking, transit, and more. Singapore came in second for a number of smart and green features, including a clean and efficient public transportation system and extensive use of rainwater capture. For details on Cohen’s methodology and a more in-depth look at each city, check out his original post.


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more