Smart Cities Around The World


  • Maria Skou Innovation Centre Denmark Udenrigsministeriet
  • Nicklas Echsner-Rasmussen Innovation Centre Denmark Udenrigsministeriet



Just like cities are not made up by the bricks but by its inhabitants, Smart Cities are much more than fast internet connection, big data, and interlinked applications. The key is to set the human – both as a user and citizen – at the core of the smart solutions, and keep the local context firmly in mind in order to gain most from the technology.

Smart Cities has been a buzzword for a number of years, and it is stated to contain endless opportunities for growth and welfare. Although full-scale Smart Cities and real market opportunities are only emerging slowly, it is an area that not only Denmark seeks to exploit and benefit from; it is also an area within which Denmark has better conditions for excelling than most other countries.

In order to unleash the Danish potential, develop, and capitalize from smart city technologies it is paramount that we understand how the rest of the world positions itself in relation to what it means to be a smart and digital city, and where the synergies with Danish strongholds are to be found.

The Innovation Centre Denmark is located in six of the biggest and most technology oriented mega hubs in the world: Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Munich, Sao Paolo, New Delhi and Seoul. We have spent some time investigating how smart cities develop, which policies are implemented and who the major stakeholders are. This article will outline some trends and policies taking a point of departure in American, South Korean and German projects and decisions.