Would you plan a trip just to go see the world’s smartest city?

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I recently came across a very interesting study that rated 135 of the world’s leading cities based on their smartness. It made me think…of all the different reasons use to I choose a destination, I never consider it’s “smartness”. Well, maybe now I will… would you?

First of all, let me tell you about the study. It was performed by researchers from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE). The IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra and is also one of the top ranked international business schools in the world. And before I get too far into it, I want to point out that NO CITY IS PERFECT and the article I read does a good job of putting this into perspective. They put it like this:

There is no single model of success. To improve a city, the first step is to define the model to be followed and the areas in which the city should improve.

Cool, so now that that is out of the way, let’s look at how the cities were ranked. Obviously the researchers didnt go around handing out Scantrons and standardized tests to everyone (and the study wasn’t about that kind of “smartness anyway”), but they needed some way to measure and rank cities right? Check this out:

To establish this ranking, the researchers studied 135 cities based on 50 indicators along 10 different dimensions.

These different dimensions measured were: Governance, Public Management, Urban Planning, Technology, The Environment, International Outreach, Social Cohesion, Mobility and Transportation, Human Capital, and The Economy.

So basically, one city might rank higher than every other in one dimension, but still rank low overall. Sweet. That’s all fine and dandy, but you’re probably not here because you want to know HOW the cities were ranked, you want to know…

Which is the smartest city in the world?

According to the study, for 2014 the world’s 3 smartest cities in their respective order are Tokyo, London, and New York City. The article goes on to say:

Of the top 20 cities, 10 are European, six are American, three are Asian and one is Oceanian. Switzerland is the country with the best results overall, with three of its cities appearing in the top 10.”

If you liked this post so far and thought it was interesting then you should definitely check out their awesome Interactive Map. You can also read the original article.

Anyway, I dont think a lot of people take smartness into consideration when choosing a travel destination, and think that after reading about it myself it probably still wont have a profound affect on my choices. Tokyo IS somewhere on my list of places to visit, but I cant say its moved up after reading this.

Still it is a pretty cool subject to think about. Especially when you look at all individual dimensions that were measured. Really makes me think about all the things that I find important in a city (I guess that might make this article better for places to live, not visit).

So now Im curious to hear about what your top reasons are to visit a place? What is currently on the top of your list? And what did you think about this article? Did it have any affect on your travel plans? Let me know in the comments below, and dont forget to share it. Makes me smile 😀

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