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5 of the world's 'smartest' cities

03 March 2020 08:55

Visit South Korea's most modern metropolis

Visit South Korea's most modern metropolis

Ever wondered about the future of city living? These five destinations are well worth a visit for some answers...

Songdo, South Korea

Songdo started life back in 2002 as a humble patch of land along the Yellow Sea. Fast-forward to today and $40 billion of innovative design work has transformed the area to an eco-friendly neighbourhood that produces a third fewer greenhouse gases compared to cities of the same size. Most impressive of all is Sangdo's waste system, a network of pneumatic tubes sucks rubbish from residential homes to a sorting facility in seconds.

Paris, France

The French capital takes smart seriously. The Grand Paris Express is the largest transport project in Europe and will feature 127 miles of fully-automated metro lines and 68 new stations, delivered by 2030. Parisians are promised even more innovation, as the city's bus network will rely on natural gas and electric by 2050. Around 4,500 vehicles will make way for the greener transport choice.

Reykjavik, Iceland

So much more than a Northern Lights hotspot, the most populated city in Iceland leads the world in environmental innovation. More than 99% of electricity production and almost 80% of total energy production relies on hydroelectric and geothermal energy. The northernmost city on the planet is well known for its renewable water supply and is well on track for meeting a target of zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has embraced technology in its efforts to host the Olympic Games later this year. Face recognition systems will improve security around stadiums and automated taxis are set to ferry athletes between venues, but the innovation doesn't end there. The Olympic Village will run on pure hydrogen power and visitors will benefit from a small device that instantly translates Japanese into 10 languages.


Singapore prides itself on a transparent transport system. Citizens can access the One Monitoring portal for traffic information updated through a network of surveillance cameras found on roads and taxi vehicles. The city even uses 'smart' bins, designed with enough crushing power to take on five times as much rubbish as other bins their size. The waste management system is wirelessly connected to the authorities and sends an alert when bins need emptying.

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