Newcastle named one of the world’s top Smart Cities in global technology rankings

The global index is based on residents’ ratings of how technology affects various areas of their lives.

Newcastle has beaten cities including Los Angeles, Berlin and Hong Kong in a list of the world’s top technology cities.

Only four UK cities make The Smart City Index, with Newcastle ranked 23rd in the world, ahead of larger places including San Francisco, Toronto and Chicago.

The rankings are based on interviews with people living in cities around the world on how technology used in each city affects a range of issues.

It is hoped the global ranking – the first time Newcastle has appeared in the list – will help attract investment in the city, with Newcastle placed behind only London and Manchester in the UK.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “I couldn’t be prouder that Newcastle has joined more than 100 cities from across the world on this highly regarded global index.

“It is testament to how far this city has come in the last few years in becoming an internationally recognised Smart City.

“What makes this special is that it is based on feedback and perceptions from the people who live and work in our city, highlighting the difference data is making to their lives.

“Technology and our smart city credentials have not only helped to support new innovations throughout the global pandemic, they will play a vital role in the recovery of our economy.

“This report will shape our plans for future investment and will be invaluable in enhancing our international competitiveness. It is about better lives for all citizens, and this is everything our city stands for.”

The Smart City Index, which is published annually, is topped by Singapore, followed by Helsinki and Zurich.

Newcastle’s inclusion on the list comes as the Helix site on the edge of the city centre is developing. The site is home to the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Urban Observatory, both which are national players in the world of data and research.

The Urban Observatory hosts the largest set of publicly available urban data and has been used to help the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the development of the www.howbusyistoon.com app that helps people maintain social distancing in the city centre.

Jennifer Hartley, director of Invest Newcastle added: “Our smart city assets so important to the future of our economy, attracting more businesses and people to our vibrant and innovative city.

“There has never been a more opportune time to build on these strengths and promote our city as a place to start, scale or grow a business. We have so many unique assets and by fostering collaboration and new business opportunities, together we can create a better future for our city and its people.”

Read this story on The Chronicle‘s website.

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