Q: Please give me more details about how the cities evaluated were chosen.

A:  The initial phase of the research involved a process to narrow down the evaluation to 50 cities. For the sample, Compass Intelligence compiled and curated over 1000+ news articles, PDF reports, summaries, and research over the course of 3 weeks to develop a list of the final 50 cities to be evaluated. This research included a review of Smart City projects in place, historical listings of city rankings, those who participated in the US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge, and other related sources to provide intelligence around Smart City readiness and potential ROI.

Q:  What were the key reasons that Boston topped the list?

A: Boston's total score was the highest among all 50 cities, and reasons include key factors such as income efficiency, city spend efficiency, and business economy efficiency, just to name a few. The research project included a review of 5 primary categories (see graphic below ) and scores were calculated across 19 categories. Boston was ranked number one with a score of 67.1 total points out of a total possible score of 105.


Q: Why were some cities that aren't typically seen as tech hubs able to be on the list?

A: Most Smart City lists you see in the media/press are a different type of ranking or list and focus on which cities are smart now. The CA-Chordant Smart Cities Benefit Index focuses on an assessment of which cities will benefit the most from smart cities technologies and projects. This meant that cities not typically discussed when it comes to Smart Cities (because they may not be as active now) were included as part of this research and thus were evaluated based on potential benefits of Smart Cities projects and technology.

Q: How did a city such as Cleveland end up on the list? Was this a surprise? How did it beat San Francisco?

A: Cleveland, OH has not been quiet when it comes to Smart Cities, in fact, they were a participant in the US Department of Transportation Smart City challenge and focused on a Smart City vision around improving transportation, public safety, smart energy, and transit services. Cities that may have challenges may be those who could benefit the most, so this was not a surprise. Based on the data collected and scores compiled, in the end Cleveland had a higher score than San Francisco.

Q: What does this mean to the cities that were on the list?

A: A Smart City is open, high-tech, eco-friendly, responsive, and innovative serving citizens and the community with optimized services. All cities have the opportunity to benefit from Smart Cities technology, automation, and the Internet of Things. The CA-Chordant Smart Cities Benefit Index is not about how smart a city is today, but about how a city is positioned to embrace, adopt, implement, and scale Smart City projects, initiatives, investments, technologies, and solutions. This means that cities better positioned or ranked higher on the index are expected to benefit at a faster pace and quicker return on investment.

Q: How important is Smart City technology to a city and its citizens?

A: The city, community, and citizens all benefit from Smart City initiatives. A Smart City embraces and implements high-tech solutions (Internet of Things, Sensors, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Automation) and sustainable practices, fosters innovation, maintains an open/interactive forum with community, shares real-time information, provides flexible citizen and community services, and leverages advanced emerging technology to solve problems, reduce expenses, save lives, reduce congestion, reduce pollution, improve safety, and advance energy and infrastructure resources. These activities save costs, improve safety, reduce pollution, enable efficient city services, and provide a whole host of additional benefits.


Chordant provides data sharing solutions that enable our customers to realize value from data. Our solutions power data-driven applications for Cities & Regions, Connected & Autonomous Mobility and Complex Infrastructure & Facilities. Chordant has been recognized by numerous analyst firms and organizations for its industry-leading solutions.


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