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SUTD Signs MOU with IMD to Develop a Smart Cities Index to provide insight into how cities could be smart by learning from leading cities

Featured image: Professor Jean-François Manzoni (left), President, IMD and Professor Chong Tow Chong (right), Provost, SUTD at the MOU signing ceremony. Credit: SUTD

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and top-ranking business school IMD (International Institute for Management Development), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Thursday to spearhead a Smart Cities Index. Within SUTD, the contribution to this project will be undertaken by the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC).

The term ‘Smart Cities’ is commonly used today, but how does one actually define a Smart City? Is it dependent on how interconnected the systems in the city are or how much technology is installed in the city to help citizens complete their daily tasks? Does equipping more sensors or automating more processes equate to a smarter city? How are citizens’ lives improved? Hence, there needs to be some guidelines to measure how smart cities are.

The Smart Cities Index is intended to provide insight into how cities could be smart by learning from leading cities. It will act as a global index that covers all regions in the world and provide recommendations on how a smart city should promote inclusiveness beyond mere deployment of technology.

IMD has produced the World Competitiveness Yearbook since 1989. The Yearbook includes the World Competitiveness Rankings of countries and economies and their profiles. In 2017, it also included for the first time the IMD Digital Competitiveness Ranking that introduces several new criteria to measure countries’ ability to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general.

The signing between SUTD and IMD marks the launch of a two-year project.

SUTD’s Provost, Professor Chong Tow Chong said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with IMD on the Smart Cities Index project. As smart cities will be the norm in the near future, this index will serve as an effective and well-recognised guide to help improve cities worldwide, through technology and design.”

IMD’s President, Professor Jean-François Manzoni said: “The collaboration between IMD and SUTD holds the promise of a very exciting project. The Smart Cities Index that will be developed as a result should be the global benchmark in which cities, businesses, citizens and other parts of civil society can find a unique resource to identify best practices and to design and implement their own strategies for the world of tomorrow.”

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