Kigali features among top 50 Smart City Governments in the world

July 5, 2018 – Singapore – Eden Strategy Institute today unveiled the rankings of the Top 50 Smart City Governments globally, from a study conducted in partnership with OXD (ONG&ONG Experience Design), that analyses the diverse approaches towards developing smart cities around the world. 

This is the first independent ranking of its kind that investigates the roles that city governments play in leading a smart city strategy, beyond celebrating the technological attainments of the cities themselves.

“Smart Cities are taking centerstage in securing an adaptable, inclusive, productive, sustainable, and resilient future for humanity. Leading the development and re-invigoration of high-performing and loveable cities is one of the grandest challenges of our time,” says Mr. Calvin Chu Yee Ming, Partner at Eden Strategy Institute. 

“Governments are eager to explore different ways to integrate digital technology, knowledge, and assets. This study offers unprecedented access to the most effective instruments to help governments become more responsive to users, improve city services, and make cities more loveable,” he explained. 

“Through this study, we hope to provide insight into how city governments can coordinate their smart city initiatives better in ways that reflect a deep understanding of the human condition and the transformative power of citizen ownership and empowerment,” says Mr. Joshua Teo, Associate and Lead at OXD.

This 2018/19 rankings studied 140 smart cities, from which the Top 50 Smart City Governments were ranked across ten vectors: 

1) Clarity of Vision; 

2) Leadership; 

3) Budget; 

4) Provision of financial incentives; 

5) Support programmes; 

6) Talent-Readiness;

7) People-centric approach; 

8) Development of an Innovation Ecosystem; 

9) Implementation of “Smart” Policies; and 

10) Track Record of previous initiatives and projects. 

Finally, interviews were conducted with city officials to validate facts, measure outcomes, and learn about the unique challenges and pathways taken by each city. These insights were featured in the accompanying report as themed observations and city stories.

Top 50 Smart City Government Rankings

Rank    Country Rank   Country Rank   Country
1.          London

2.          Singapore

3.          Seoul

4.          New York

5.          Helsinki

6.          Montreal

7.          Boston

8.          Melbourne

9.          Barcelona

10.        Shanghai

11.        San Francisco

12.        Vienna

13.        Amsterdam

14.        Shenzhen

15.        Stockholm

16.        Taipei

17.        Chicago

18.       Hong Kong & 
            Seattle (Tie)

20.       Charlotte

21.       Vancouver &

            Washington, D.C.         (Tie)

23.       New Delhi

24.       Copenhagen

25.       Columbus, Ohio

26.       Los Angeles

27.       Surat

28.       Tokyo

29.       Berlin

30.       Beijing

31.       Sydney

32.       Ahmedabad &

            Bhubaneswar (Tie)

34.       Jaipur

35.       Atlanta

36.       Pune

37.       Wellington

38.       Kansas City

39.       Toronto

40.       Dubai

41.       Dublin

42.       Tel Aviv

43.       Philadelphia

44.       Reykjavik

45.       Lyon

46.       Paris

47.       Jakarta

48.       Rio de Janeiro

49.       Phuket

50.       Kigali

The research revealed several interesting findings:

  • European cities actively involved their citizens in developing their smart city projects, including the use of joint consultation, co-creation, and participatory budgeting to better attend to the needs of all citizens.
  • American cities scored highly due to a federal government competition which prompted City governments to develop comprehensive, robust, and detailed smart city strategies that focused on urban mobility.
  • Six Indian cities emerged among the Top 50 Smart City Governments with smart city plans co-created with citizens, and supported by systematically-planned and mobilized budgets from the central government since 2015.
  • Large investments in ICT infrastructure, together with highly-integrated public services, helped major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing rapidly scale their smart city projects to millions of citizens.
  • The ranking also recognized admirable efforts of smart cities at the nascent stage, like Jakarta, Phuket, and Kigali that experimented with integrated data platforms, public-private partnerships, and innovation districts. In particular, Kigali was recognized for its significant efforts poured into establishing its innovation ecosystem to drive a smarter economy, leading the pack among the African cities. The City, with support from the Rwanda Government, has forged partnerships with private enterprises and other city governments to develop as a smart city.

The full report, including detailed thematic insights, city stories, and scores, is available for download on