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London’s among the world’s smartest cities alongside Barcelona and Singapore

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Connected cities can help solve challenges (Source: Getty)

London has been named as one of the world’s top “smart cities” along with Singapore and Barcelona.

The UK capital was heralded for being a “honeypot of technologies and partnerships” as well as its green spaces, according to a new report from Philips Lighting and SmartCitiesWorld, based on research involving more than 150 city planning experts from around the world.

Singapore pulled ahead, however, as a testing ground for connected technologies – though London was recognised for its experiments with a wide-range of “intriguing” concepts.

Many believe that connected smart cities can help tackle problems such as traffic, pollution and energy use, among other things. A study of the application of Internet of Things technology in Barcelona, for example, found the city saved €42.5m on water.

“Visionary leadership” was identified as the key to making smart cities a success while limited budgets, a lack of infrastructure and short-termism were identified as barriers to innovation.

“City authorities face complex and challenging choices concerning infrastructure, balancing the need to maintain existing services while investing in improvements, managing population growth and enhancing sustainability – all within tight budget constraints,” said Philips Lighting’s segment leader Jacques Letzelter.

“New technologies can already transform the way cities deliver, operate and maintain public amenities, from lighting and transportation to connectivity and health services.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is expected to launch a new smart city strategy for London later this year.

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