In their Networked Society City Index, which ranks 25 cities according to ICT maturity and development, Ericsson and Arthur D. Little point out that cities with a high level of ICT maturity are better able to manage issues such as environmental management, infrastructure, public security, health-care quality and education.
The three best-performing cities in the index - Singapore, Stockholm and Seoul - have successfully met many social, economic and environmental targets. Singapore is aggressively driving innovation in e-health and is a pioneer in traffic-congestion management. Stockholm sees ICT as a major enabler for research collaboration and knowledge transfer, while Seoul is using ICT to realise green high-tech initiatives.
Erik Almqvist, Director at Arthur D. Little Nordic, says: "Although this analysis should be seen as a humble starting point to explore the link between ICT investments and sustainable development, it is our joint hope and intention that this report can serve as inspiration for cities that do not settle for the status quo."
Well there you have it. IT investment leads to sustainable development. If only it was that simple!
But there does seem to be a correlation and it supports the view that ICT has a significant part to play in enabling cities and economies to become more sustainable. It’s also a ringing endorsement for IBM’s ‘smart everything’ (particularly cities) approach.