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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Manila ranks 115th in IMD’s Smart City Index 2023

The nation’s capital Manila ranked 115th out of 141 cities included in the 2023 Smart City Index, still falling behind compared to its peers in the Southeast Asia region.

It fell 13 notches from its 102nd rank in 2021, though the Switzerland-based business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD) noted that this year’s report should not be compared to previous iterations due to changes in approaches.

The IMD said the Smart City Index combines hard data and survey responses to show the extent to which technology is enabling cities to address the challenges they face to achieve a higher quality of life for their inhabitants.

In the 2023 edition, Zurich (Switzerland) still leads the index, followed by Oslo (Norway), Canberra (Australia), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Lausanne (Switzerland).

Singapore came in seventh, becoming the top city in Asia.

"Apart from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, all of the cities occupying the top 20 are either in Europe or in Asia-Pacific. The absence of American or African cities is notable," the report said.

"Although the SCI’s top 20 include 12 capital cities (such as Oslo and Canberra), and several ‘economic capitals’ (like Zurich and Dubai), the picture is different when one looks at the top half of the rankings (1 to 70); a significant number of medium-sized cities show both solid positions and a continuous ability to move up," it added.

Near Manila's spot was Makassar, Indonesia (114th) and Hyderabad, India (116th).

At the bottom were Guatemala City (Guatemala), Sana'a (Yemen), Beirut (Lebanon), Accra (Ghana), and Tunis (Tunisia).

The Philippine capital ranked 94th out of 102 in 2019; 104th out of 109 in 2020; and 102nd out of 118 in 2021.

This year, Manila still belongs to Group 4, the group with the lowest Human Development Index quartile.

It maintained its "C" Smart City Rating and factor rating for structures while receiving a slightly improved "CC" factor rating for technologies.

Compared to other Group 4 cities, the report showed that Manila had somehow scored higher than group averages for structure and tech indicators of work and school opportunities and governance, but needs to work on health and safety, mobility, and activities.

Also, health services, corruption, unemployment, security, and road congestion were the top five "most urgent" priorities for Manila respondents. Other priorities include air pollution, public transport, and affordable housing, among others.

More than half of the city's respondents also have positive attitudes regarding willingness and comfortability to share personal data, face recognition, and non-cash transactions.

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