Where Is the Best City to Live in? It's Not in the U.S.

If you are looking for the world’s best city, you'll have a long argument on your hands. But a startup in Europe has a reasoned contribution, releasing a new ranking of the world's "smartest" cities, and the U.S. doesn't make the top five.

Defining “smart” in a technological rather than intelligence sense, Norwegian-owned app EasyPark has ranked cities around the world based on internet speeds and availability, clean energy and digitally friendly services like transport and local government.

The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen takes the top spot in the list of most liveable cities, ranking as a place that has made life “smoother… through digitalization” based on 19 different factors, encapsulating a range of indexes from the number of green spaces in the city, the level of housing development, traffic congestion, ease of internet access, level of education, the number of startups registered and even citizen participation in elections.

Copenhagen did not receive a perfect 10 score in any single category but with an average score of 8.24 over all categories, it topped the list of 500 cities analyzed. Singapore ranks second in a top 10 that is dominated by European cities, but that also includes two cities from the U.S.—Boston and San Francisco.

11_09_Copenhagen Boats are seen anchored at the 17th century Nyhavn district, home to many shops and restaurants in Copenhagen December 5, 2009. Bob Strong/Reuters

Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, ranks third, Switzerland’s biggest city Zurich ranks fourth, and Boston completes the top five. The capital of Massachusetts trailed heavily on all three sustainability criteria but was the the only city in the entire index to score a perfect 10 score both on education and economic innovation.

Japan’s Tokyo landed in sixth place overall, ahead of seventh placed San Francisco, although the home of Silicon Valley beat all towns on the index in at least one criterion—internet speed. The Californian tech hub was the only one to score a perfect 10 in that specific category.

Dutch metropolis Amsterdam took eighth place overall, followed closely by Switzerland’s second entry in the top 10—Geneva. Australia’s Melbourne completed the list.

Ranking lower down the list was the German capital Berlin, earning 13th place, the United Kingdom’s London in 17th and French metropolis Paris in the 20th slot. Canada was well represented in the mix with Vancouver (11), Montreal (16) and Toronto (19) all cracking the top 20. Meanwhile, New York City and Washington D.C. lagged further behind holding the 24th and 28th spots, respectively.

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