Newcastle ranks 23rd on Global Smart City Index

Maud Webster explores Newcastle's new status as a smart city

Maud Webster
19th October 2020
Newcastle has overtaken Hong Kong, Berlin and San Francisco on the annually published Smart City Index, which assesses how cities use smart technology to affect people's lives

Ranked 23rd in the world on the Global Smart City Index, Newcastle was only one of four UK cities to make it into the top one hundred, alongside London, Birmingham and Manchester.

The ranking is based on interviews with citizens of the cities and economic and technological data across five key areas: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.

"I couldn’t be prouder that Newcastle has joined more than 100 cities from across the world on this highly regarded global index"

The addition of Newcastle to the Smart City list is largely attributed to the impact of two relatively new research centres in the city: the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Urban Observatory.

Located in Newcastle University's Helix complex, the centres have helped to propel Newcastle's status as a smart city to the forefront of the world. Work undertaken by these centres include research into Newcastle's Covid-19 response.

To help with the demands of social distancing, the Urban Observatory used real-time data to construct a system which monitors the ability to socially distance in Newcastle's city centre. This information is then communicated to the general public through the website,

Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes celebrates Newcastle's achievement.

"I couldn’t be prouder that Newcastle has joined more than 100 cities from across the world on this highly regarded global index. It is testament to how far this city has come in the last few years in becoming an internationally recognised smart city.

"What makes this special is that it is based on feedback and perceptions from the people who live and work in our city, highlighting the difference data is making to their lives."

Newcastle City Council have commended how this position demonstrates that its economy will benefit from a smart city status, and attract business to the urban area.

Featured image: Newcastle University website

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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