Thursday, June 21, 2007

Leading cities for the Information Age

An article published in an Australian online publication gives a list of the top 10 cities of the world for the Information Age. The criteria that were used to identify the top cities include the existence of affordable broadband infrastructure, technology adoption, government support for technology and wireless Internet access. As ever, it is very difficult to get a clear picture of the indicators used to quantify the performance of each city for any given criterion and also quite difficult to get a feel for the list of cities that were assessed, but still quite interestingly:

  • six out of the ten top "tech capitals" are Asian cities;

  • four out of the top 5 tech capitals are Asian cities;

  • the first European tech-city is Stockholm and ranks 5th in the world;

  • the second European tech-city is Tallin (7th in the world), the capital of a former communist country;

  • the two US cities in the ranking are New-York and the Bay Area, i.e. coastal cities that have generated much of the economic activity in the US since the early 1980s;

  • none of the major European cities (London, Paris, Madrid, Roma, Milan, Berlin, Frankfurt...) is even present in the top-10 digital cities of the world. What does that tell us about the much hyped European initiative decided in Lisbon in 2000? What does it tell us about Europe's future role in the world?