The world's smartest cities

  • smart cities
Published on 2018-09-04 at 13:45 by Veedushi
The world's biggest cities are in perpetual motion to meet the needs of their growing populations and those of the global economy, taking into account immigration and other factors. Today, the largest and wealthiest cities are those who can still offer new opportunities to students, professionals, entrepreneurs and investors. To help you choose the best destination according to your project, gives you an insight into the Cities in Motion Index 2018 by the Business School of the University of Navarra.


Manhattan, New York

With a US $ 1.547 trillion GDP in 2017, New York is without any doubt the world's most prosperous city. If it were to be an independent nation, New York would be one of the world's biggest economic powerhouses. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Big Apple attracts so many foreign professionals, especially entrepreneurs and investors looking to benefit from its dynamism and various assets. Manhattan, which is the city's economic heart, is also a major financial, banking and communication hub. It also hosts the New York Stock Exchange and many multinational companies. Needless to say that New York is one of the world's largest business hubs, also specialising in industry, manufacturing and new technologies.

Social cohesion

Helsinki, Finland
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With a relatively low unemployment rate, not to mention efforts made to reduce the gender pay gap on the national level, Helsinki is the best city in the world for social cohesion. It will perhaps surprise you that women participation rate in decision making positions is over 70%. If you're looking to settle in Helsinki, you shall not find it hard to adapt there. Being Finland's largest city, Helsinki is also the country's political and financial heart and a significant centre for research in Northern Europe. Furthermore, most foreign companies in Finland operate in Helsinki. Ranking 22nd globally, the city also stands out in the fields of governance (6th) and environment (12th).

Human capital

London, UK
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London is a city that needs no introduction, whether in economic terms or when it comes to human capital. The British capital city can boast of having some of the world's most prestigious universities, as well as national and international schools offering quality education. It, therefore, has a highly qualified and skilled workforce added to its foreign workforce. As a trade, financial, media, research, educational, transportation, art, culture, and fashion hub, London keeps on attracting students, professionals, entrepreneurs and investors from all around the world. While it is at the 2nd spot of the Cities in Motion Index, it also ranks 10th in the fields of mobility and transportation, economy, governance, technology, urban planning and international dimension.



With no less than 410.84 m² of green space per capita, Reykjavík is one of the world's greenest cities. It comes as no surprise that Iceland's capital city comes to the 1st spot for its environmental performance with low levels of particle pollution. Reykjavík also stands out for its renewable water resources with beautiful azure lakes, rivers, waterfalls and its world-famous geothermal springs. Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, shared this spot with Reykjavík who also performs well in the fields of technology and mobility and transport.


Bern, Switzerland
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Famous for its unparalleled quality of living and its economic prosperity, Bern is the world's top city for good governance. In fact, the city hosts a large number of foreign embassies amidst its high-level administration. As in the rest of Switzerland, the perception of corruption is also quite low in Bern – which makes it an excellent place to live, work or start a business in. Bern also stands out for social cohesion (2nd) thanks to its cultural and linguistic diversity.

Urban planning

New York
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New York stands out in the urban planning dimension thanks to its modern and developed infrastructure with an incredible number of commercial and residential building as well as skyscrapers. It's also worth noting that nearly 100% of New York's population has access to sanitary facilities. As one of the world's largest and most populous urban centres, New York also meets the requirements regarding mobility and transportation as evidenced by its massive transportation infrastructure, including airport terminals, tunnels and railways, as well as the iconic yellow taxi network.


Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an innovative city where technology finds itself naturally, especially since most of the population owns a mobile phone. Moreover, Hong Kong provides countless wifi access points to its inhabitants. You might be surprised to learn that Hong Kong has the most substantial number of social media users in the world not to mention the highest number of mobile phones per capita. Hong Kong is also an attractive city for foreign investors and entrepreneurs thanks to the fast development of biotechnology, financial technology, artificial intelligence, as well as the setting up of smart cities.

International dimension

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Paris goes ahead of London for its international dimension for the second consecutive year. The French capital city owes its glory to its historical heritage and cultural diversity, as evidenced by its major tourist spots. Paris, therefore, has the world's second highest number of international arrivals with over 42 million visits every year. The city also hosts international conferences and other significant events. Needless to say that Paris has one of the most massive air routes in the world, along with luxury hotels. With London, Paris is the largest financial hub in Europe with half of the big French companies having their head offices there. Many multinational companies in France have also set up their head office in Paris.

Mobility and transport

bike sharing in Paris

Paris also stands out in the field of mobility and transport thanks to its efficient metro network, the famous TVG (high-speed train) and its impressive number of air routes. The city also has a massive bus, tram and train network, including RER (express trains) and regional trains serving its nooks and crannies. Furthermore, residents and visitors have naturally adopted Velib which is a bike sharing network.

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