The smartest cities on earth?

Jan 15 2011

Fast Company recently presented a top 10 "Smartest Cities on earth '. Smart basically means: full of IT and green technologies. How smart these cities really are remains to be seen, as many of the towns are still under construction.

A few notable towns in the list:

Number 2 on the list: Lavasa, India. This city is developed entirely by a private developer. It will go public next year, at an estimated value of $ 437 million. A city full of 'smart homes' and all sorts of technological advances, at 3 hours of booming Mumbai. The first 50,000 houses have been sold, demand is strong.

At 4: Skolkovo, Russia. A highly ambitious and politically supported- "Science City" near Moscow, that is to rival Silicon Valley (after the failure of earlier attempts during the Soviet regime). Skolkovo will host top universities, high-tech multinationals, homes for expats, and, of course, high speed internet will be everywhere. Construction will start this year.

At 5 and 7: Two new ‘desert’ cities in the Middle East, developed as a response to replace the ‘oil economy’ that is expected to decline gradually. The two cities are Masdar (UAE) and King Abdullah Economic City (Saudi Arabia), in short KAEC. Again, the key ambition is to attract knowledge workers. KAEC will be especially good in online public services. The king wants it to have one million citizens in the next decade, especially young people. Masdar (near Abu Dhabi) should be especially very eco (electric cars only, for example), and wants to distinguish itself by retro-architecture rather than shiny skyscrapers.

On 10: Nano City, India. Another entirely new city for one million inhabitants, developed by a rich tycoon. Should become a smart and green city.

Are these the smart cities of the future? Let’s go back in 10 years time to see how they have developed.