But some of the most innovative smart cities are outside of large urban areas, with smaller populations and less geographic reach that can often allow for more flexible innovative strategies. Many of their initiatives also address systematic inequality in accessing resources like transportation, education and work opportunities. Here are six examples of how small cities all over the world are taking steps to become smart leaders.
Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt in western France claims to be the smallest smart city in the world, with only 1,500 inhabitants. After a shockingly high water bill, the mayor learned that a leak in the distribution system was greatly increasingly the cost.
In Africa, “smart villages” have been proposed as a way to monetize agricultural production and stem migration to urban areas. Terrat, a Maasai village in Tanzania, uses biofuel created by the local jatropha plant for an electric grid to power businesses, schools, an internet cafe and a radio station.
Guelph, located in Southwestern Ontario, won a 2019 Canadian Smart Cities Challenge for its plan to become the country’s first circular food economy.
While large Asian capitals like Singapore and Tokyo have become world renowned as smart models, many smaller cities have since adopted similar practices. Songdo, located outside of Seoul near South Korea’s main international airport, has only around 100,000 inhabitants, but it is adopting a holistic smart city plan.
In Thailand, the mountainous island of Phuket is a popular international tourist destination for its celebrated rainforest and beaches.
With less than 400,000 inhabitants, Vitória has made significant achievements in terms of smart health, safety and education practices.
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