Riyadh is the third-smartest city among the capitals of G20 states, jumping 23 ranks from last year on the Institute for Management Development Smart Cities Index for 2021. It was the 30th smartest city at global level.
The Saudi capital outperformed major cities such as Los Angeles, Madrid, Hong Kong and Paris. The progress by Riyadh makes it the second of its kind among the G20 countries after the South Korean capital, Seoul, and the third largest in the world. It is a result of improvements by the Kingdom’s capital according to 34 indicators.
Madinah has been included on the index as the second Saudi city after Riyadh, ranked 73rd in the world and fourth in the Arab world.
The joint efforts of all sectors in providing advanced infrastructure and smart applications and implementing development projects have allowed the two cities to outrank others to become places that offer a high degree of luxury and quality of life.
The IMD index focuses on how residents perceive the scope and impact of efforts to make their cities smart, the balance between economic and technical aspects, taking into account human elements and the extent to which they contribute to bridging the gap between the population’s aspirations and needs, as well as political trends in how smart cities are built.
Smart cities improve many vital sectors such as the transport sector, through trip-planning software and public transport reservations. Innovative economies are based on advanced software that contributes to upgrading sections such as logistics, delivery and joint support services, building interactive platforms with the public to identify their needs and aspirations, and developing and facilitating access services.
IMD is one of the most prestigious business administration institutes globally, measuring the impact of national strategies in enhancing levels of well-being, achieving progress and improving quality of life for citizens.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, the Madinah Development Authority, and the Quality of Life Program expressed gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support in the digital sector. Leaps in digital transformation and data and artificial intelligence in Riyadh and Madinah,achieved the well-being of residents and visitors by adopting the latest technologies and digital solutions.
The organizations also praised speed and flexibility in processing digital government transactions and digital identity services, the ease of starting new businesses and reducing waiting times, in addition to government platforms’ contribution to making it easier to access information and carry out transactions, and the role they played in raising health and safety indicators, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.