Against the background of economic and technological changes caused by globalization and the integration process, global cities face the challenge of combining competitiveness and sustainable urban development simultaneously. Very evidently, this challenge is likely to have an impact on issues of Urban Quality such as housing, economy, culture, social and environmental conditions.
This project, however, does not deal only with the leading European and US metropolises, but also with medium and small-sized cities and their perspectives for development. Even though the public attention the vast majority of the urban population lives in such cities, the main focus of urban research tends to be on the ‘global’ metropolises. As a result, the challenges of medium-sized cities, which can be rather different, remain unexplored to a certain degree. Medium-sized cities, which have to cope with competition of the larger metropolises on corresponding issues, appear to be less well equipped in terms of critical mass, resources, and organizing capacity.
To enforce an endogen development and achieve a good position, cities identifying their strengths and weaknesses, as well as identifying their chances to extend comparative advantages in certain key resources against other cities of the same level.
Although they are quite common in recent times, current rankings are very different in their approaches or methods. Mostly they have quite specific aims focused on shareholder interests. Due to different interests behind rankings and the indicators and methodological approaches used it is also normal that one city is ranked very differently in different rankings.
For the ranking of a new city we select a sample according to the project’s aim and its timeframe. We use two criteria: cities should be of small or medium size and they should be covered by accessible and relevant databases.
Worldwide governments and private industrial companies are forced to improve their productivity. In the first place, it is a well-working city infrastructure. A focus is on efficiency, lowering costs, and positive environmental impact. Common city infrastructure is often 50+ years old. Insufficient to cover city needs.
Populations are expanding. Cities are becoming full and need to grow to demand. For properly growing, these cities’ services must be active, safe, clean. Explicitly, with attention to remain productive. Past years’ trend is to use various types of Smart Technologies, covered by the umbrella of Smart Cities.
There does not exist a normative procedure to measure Smart Cities’ development progress. Although, there are many factors that may be tracked in time. The most important – Citizens. Their coverage by technologies and citizens supporting the idea of Smart Cities often called also Smartivist.
Key drivers that make Cities smart are pretty simple. All of them are parts of standard industrial and digital sectors that mainly cover Sensors production, Internet of Things coverage, green and sustainable energy sources usage, and resources used for city infrastructure, traffic management, and construction.