Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Smart cities ranking: an effective instrument for the positioning of the cities?

Rudolf Giffinger, Haindlmaier Gudrun


Due to different reasons cities are increasingly challenged to improve their competitiveness.
Different strategic efforts are discussed in planning sciences, new approaches and instruments
are elaborated and applied, steering the positioning of cities in a competitive urban world. As
one specific consequence city rankings have experienced a remarkable boom. However, there
is some evidence that public attention of city rankings is mainly concentrated simply on the
ranks themselves totally neglecting its meaning as an instrument for strategic planning.
In order to elaborate this potential meaning of rankings the paper gives an overview of different
types and introduces an own approach called ‘Smart City ranking’. Based on this ranking
approach and corresponding experiences of different cities reacting on its dissemination in the
second part the paper shows how this approach can be used as an effective instrument
detecting strengths and weaknesses and improving a city’s competitiveness through relevant
strategic efforts.

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