Manila ranks near bottom as Tokyo, London, New York top IESE 2014 ‘smartest cities’ list

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According to the IESE Business School website post on the subject, the Cities in Motion Index (ICIM) is basically a ranking of the world’s “smartest” cities along ten dimensions: “governance, public management, urban planning, technology, environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital, and economy.”

The original megacity: Tokyo tops list as 2014's smartest city

The original megacity: Tokyo tops list as 2014’s smartest city

The aim of the ICIM initiative is to create a city ranking index “superior to those already in existence”. The Cities in Motion team recognises the increasing importance of long-term strategic planning as a critical factor to ensure the success the world’s modern urban communities. The team assert that there is a pressing need for “a global vision”…

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Experience shows that cities must avoid having a short-term viewpoint and expand their field of vision. They must frequently turn to innovation to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their services, promote communication and get both their people and companies involved in projects.

Their high-level conclusions following this study are:

(1) Changes are slow to come.

(2) It’s important to see the whole picture.

(3) The perfect city doesn’t exist.

(4) Cities don’t operate in a vacuum.

(5) Being good in one dimension isn’t enough.

(6) There is no single model of success.

(7) Cities don’t always have the reputation they deserve.

The cities that made the top 20 slots in the list are the no-brainers and need no elaborate introduction…

(01) Tokyo
(02) London
(03) New York
(04) Zürich
(05) Paris
(06) Geneva
(07) Basel
(08) Osaka
(09) Seoul
(10) Oslo
(11) Philadelphia
(12) Los Angeles
(13) Dallas
(14) Copenhagen
(15) Eindhoven
(16) Amsterdam
(17) Sydney
(18) Stockholm
(19) Chicago
(20) Baltimore

Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur topped the major Southeast Asian cities ranking 56, ahead of Italian fashion capital Milan (58). Bangkok, Thailand comes in second ranking 66th in the world, beating supercar capital Turin, Italy (69), as well as historical treasures Budapest, Hungary (74) and St Petersburg, Russia (111). Coming in at 120th is the Pearl of the Orient, Manila, Philippines. Manila, of course, beats sunny Jakarta, Indonesia which crawls in at 125th.

Pretty much the only cities ranking below Manila and Jakarta are fellow basketcases unheard of by most people save, perhaps, for Caracas (126), capital and premier city of oil-rich Venezuela. Well, there is 1990s newsmaker Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, coming in second-to-last at 134 which, at least, rings a bell.

[The detailed CIMI report can be downloaded in PDF format at the IESE website.]

16 Replies to “Manila ranks near bottom as Tokyo, London, New York top IESE 2014 ‘smartest cities’ list”

  1. No way that Philadelphia and LA is “smarter” than Amsterdam and Sydney. I’ve been to all 4 and Amsterdam and Sydney are much better cities than the cesspools that are Philly and LA. This study is bogus!

    1. In defense of Philadelphia,Pa….it has a really efficient mass transit operation.But, It is not used enough and that accounts for the huge traffic problem the city suffers from. BUT L.A. is a smog ridden dump of a city and downtown is good for one thing only(unless you like the smell of urine/feces and being assaulted by homeless schizo’s), expensive jewelry at prices that rival the ‘Diamond distric'(45th-47th Sts. from 5th Ave. across to 7thAve.)in NYC.
      The two best places in the world to buy Jewelry: L.A. & NYC ‘s ‘Diamond Districts’. NYC/Paris are the ‘pioneers’ of under-ground railways and nailed it, but now suffer from AGE.

      Manila, well it is a tragic case. The short sightedness with which it was built is just being heaped upon by Hi-Rise bldgs. that will eventually sink Luzon Island,while adding to traffic congesting.In fact, it seems that the entire country has been afflicted by short-sighted urban planners.CDO with its uneven sidewalks that fit one person,I mean WTF? Bashing the Philippines cities is an easy affair requiring zero effort.Fixing these problems will be a monumental challenge and with a corrupt gov’t, like it has, nothing is likely to change.Unfortunatly, it will get worse as the politicians do not care as they have homes in L.A./Sydney and don’t have to deal too much w/being in MANURE,I mean,MANURE,I mean MANILA.

      1. NYC/Paris are not the pioneers of underground railways, London underground started being built in 1860 and is the worlds oldest.

        The great thing about Metro Manila is that if there’s a nuclear attack it’ll look exactly the same afterwards.

      2. @ Yawn…IDK about that one Yawn. i’ll not argue with you though, as we are like minded and I support your positions.
        Suffice to sat that sadly,NYC,LONDON & PARIS ALL have much better ‘tubes’ ‘Metro’s’ and ‘Subway’s’ than Manila and all without the benefit of anyone to really learn from at the time of construction and certainly not as much to access as the Philippines had the opportunity to learn from and thus innovate/copy ect…

    1. So am I. Hong Kong seems to me to be a model of what a city should be – 90% of journeys by public transport, no “shanty towns” or “favelas”, stunningly high levels of civic pride, cleanliness and general law-abidingless and very good forward planning. It was not always thus – these things have been worked for.

      Actually I would rate HK no.1.

  2. A City that should rank higher:Toronto,Canada…beautiful city, bearable traffic and almost no garbage on the streets, smogless air,top-notch museums and ‘Wi-Fi’ everywhere.Should certainly rank higher than Baltimore,Maryland,USA.I mean,OMG! ‘Charm City’ has lost its charm, and not just recently. Who made this list?

  3. What could you expect from a City managed by two movie stars…

    The Mayor of Manila is a convicted plunderer, who is re-elected by stupid people pf Manila. You can just see, how those officials behave under fire…look at the Luneta Hostage tragedy…

  4. keywords: “The team assert that there is a pressing need for “a global vision”…”

    Seeing this as a qualification already I can say we fail. And no you can’t simply blame government corruption for this. That’s just childish.

  5. Yeah, I’ll have to incline with the questionable rankings the ICIM posted. Baltimore and LA are not the first places to come to mind when it comes to “smart” urban planning. These two above Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei and Dubai? Laughable. Might I mention the cities I cited aren’t even on the 20.

    At least they place Manila where it rightfully deserves. Everything from that urban pitstain has been poorly managed in virtually everything imaginable.

  6. The bad WI FI and the Internet connection is the first thing that sticks out. Every time you go to an internet cafe something is always not working. The headphones are broken. And they need to turn the computer on first and you have to wait till it starts. Then they ask you to go to yet another computer. When you get mad at the bad service, they get mad at you and start sumungit.
    The Wi FI is sloooooooooooooooooooow and goes off often. There’s no way a country can be a regional power without decent internet speed and services.

  7. I’ll take this ranking with a grain of salt. I can think of dozens of cities that are a lot worse off than Manila. Just pick any of them in sub-Saharan Africa – Kinshasa, Mogadishu, Harare, etc.

    1. Good point, the reviewers may have not even bothered going to sub-sarahan Africa…I know I wouldn’t.

  8. Nothing surprising about this news. The Philippines likes to brag that it’s world class. Ha! The only thing world class about the Philippines is its widespread graft and corruption and lawlessness.

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