Once Again, Manila Ranked Among the Lowest in the World's Smartest Cities


The Institute for Management Development's (IMD) Smart City Index for 2020 is out. And surprise, surprise: Once again, Manila is at the bottom—only, this year, we've dropped even more places from last year.

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From last year's 94th place, Manila slipped 10 spots landing at 104 out of 109 cities. Rabat, Cairo, Abuja, Nairobi, and Lagos followed after Manila. The countries to beat are Singapore, Helsinki, and Zurich, all of which figured at the top spots. Many European cities, however, fell in the rankings. 

To come up with the index's results, IMD surveyed hundreds of citizens on the city of their residence's health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance. With Manila at the bottom, that essentially means we flunked just about every key area, right? Damn.

"It is of course too early to draw the lessons from COVID," says IMD Smart City Observatory president Bruno Lanvin. "However, it is clear that we are at a critical juncture, where the sanitary crisis is still very much with us, while the economic and social crisis that it will entail has hardly started."

Lanvin continues, "This year’s Smart City Index suggests that the cities that have been able to combine technologies, leadership, and a strong culture of ‘living and acting together’ should be able to better withstand the most damaging effects of such crises."

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Paolo Chua
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Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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