New Zealand cities have fared poorly in an annual ranking of 500 ‘innovation cities’.
The Innovation Cities ranking is produced by Melbourne based data analytics company 2thinknow. It has been produced annually since 2007 and is claimed to be the world’s largest ranking of cities by innovation.
Four New Zealand cities made it into this year’s index, but all have dropped substantially down the scale.
Auckland fared best at 110, down 14 places from 2018. Wellington came in at 120, down 20 places. Christchurch was at 209, down nine places and Queenstown at 286, down 26 places.
2thinknow director Christopher Hire said the index was designed to measure innovation conditions, and often predicted rising cities before other rankings.
“It is up to the city whether they can keep on top of the latest trends, and exploit their innovation potential ongoingly,” he said.
“Cities that place well every year do that, which is not as simple as it sounds for urban areas to adapt and transform.”
The Innovation Cities ranking for New Zealand cities — which is just one of many that attempt to rank cities on how smart/intelligent/innovative they are — is in stark contrast to a couple of years ago when IDC’s recognition of various smart cities project in New Zealand attracted international attention. Following publication of IDC’s results the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation posted on its website an article headed: New Zealand leads the way on “smart city” innovation.
It said: “Despite the fact that New Zealand’s economy is significantly smaller than that of the US, New Zealand is a leading nation at the forefront of smart city technologies. … Due to the growing need for improved infrastructure, intelligent transport systems and environmentally sustainable cities, New Zealand is seeing increased funding for smart city initiatives from its major city council.”
It concluded: “This heightened demand should result in opportunities for Wisconsin companies with proven smart city technologies to collaborate with New Zealand-based partners.”
Also, in 2017 the Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA) declared New Zealand as the winner across four smart city categories: Public Works, Smart Grid, Connected Health, and Tourism, Arts, Libraries, Culture, Open Spaces.
“Out of 14 categories, New Zealand was the only country to bag the highest number of wins (four) for smart city initiatives, SCAPA said.