The City of Tel Aviv won the award for the ‘World’s Smartest City’ at the Smart City Expo World Congress held this week in Barcelona, Spain. The White City was selected for the prize among 250 competing international cities, including London, Washington D.C., New York, Dubai, Amsterdam and more.
Tel Aviv was nominated for the prize due to its provision of an impressive array of technologies to city residents that include: city-wide WiFi access (Tel-Net), location-based smartphone technology to help visitors get around the city, and active measures to engage residents through public round-table policy discussions and a collaborative budget.
In addition, Tel Aviv provides its residents with a unique service dubbed ‘Digi-Tel,’ allowing them to access services and information via email, text message or a personalized website that can be customized according to location, preferences, marital status and more. As part of the services, Tel Aviv residents can engage in a city-wide application development competition based on open databases, as well as register online for municipal services.
In response to the honor bestowed on his city, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai commented: “I am pleased with the recognition the municipality has received for the technological knowledge and creativity it has used to improve public services and make city services more advanced, efficient and transparent.”
In November of last year, the ‘Digi-Tel’ program won the special merit prize at the 2013 Webi Awards, held by the “People and Computers” publication. This and the latest award joins the list of achievements for Tel Aviv as a ‘Startup City,’ which includes its recognition as an international center for innovation and entrepreneurship.
This is the third year of the Smart City Expo is Barcelona, an event that has quickly gained attention as an important milestone for city innovation. Last year, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro was the recipient of the first place award.
Photos: Jeremy Woodhouse/ courtesy