The world’s population may double to nearly 6.3 billion people by the year 2050, potentially placing critical lodging, transportation and other burdens on cities and urban centers frequented by business travelers. “Smart cities” may become an integral part of the solution for predicted challenges for health and wellness, safety, traffic congestion, pollution and more.
Key business travel destinations Vienna, Chicago and Singapore are the world’s smartest cities, according to Munich-based consulting firm Roland Berger’s 100-point Smart City Strategy Index. The index examined 87 cities for their “smart city” readiness. Researchers divided smart city attributes into three areas: “action fields,” which cover efforts related to government, health, education, energy and the environment, buildings and mobility; strategic planning; and information technology infrastructure.
The Austrian capital scored 73 points for its comprehensive smart city strategy based on quality of life, resource conservation and innovation. Chicago scored 72 points for its education efforts, including training for digital literacy and a network of 250 free computer labs throughout its metropolitan area. Singapore’s ban on registration of new vehicles and its exclusive district for autonomous vehicle operation put it near the top of the list, also with 72 points.