Barcelona has long bragged about the athletic prowess of its football (soccer) club, but now it can also brag about being the smartest city in the world.
Smartest, in this context, meaning boasting the most efficient, technologically connected infrastructure. Being able to collect and analyze data from buildings, roads and bridges ostensibly allows officials more efficient processes and distribution of resources.
After Barcelona, the smartest cities in the world are New York, London, Nice and Singapore, according to a new report, released today from U.K.-based intelligence firm Juniper Research. The rankings were determined by measuring how advanced each city is in using smart electricity grids, traffic management tools and street lighting.
In addition to preventing traffic jams and unnecessary roadblocks, having a ‘smart’ city means natural resources are used more efficiently, and ergo, fewer of them are used. If ‘smart’ initiatives continue on current trajectories, they will result in $10.7 billion worth of savings per year by 2019, according to the report. That’s the equivalent of 130 million barrels of oil being used each year.
For London and New York to catch up with Barcelona in their ‘smart’ ranking, they need to focus more on the technologies that help the environment, and conserve natural resources, according to the report.