Two Up & Coming Smart Cities Outside Of America

London and Montreal are just two familiar examples of smart cities, which are springing up all over the world.

When talking about smart cities, it’s easy to get distracted by the classic American examples, like New York’s old metropolises or emerging markets in Texas. However, there are a lot of smart cities developing outside of US borders, growing their tech economy and infrastructure in interesting ways. Naturally, Montreal is one of them.


Last year, London was named the #1 hotspot for tech investors in Europe. The capital has transitioned away from being known as The Big Smoke during the industrial age, now pursuing a tech economy and succeeding at becoming one of the largest in the old continent. Through their Smarter London Together program launched in 2018, London states its aims clearly – ‘make London the smartest city in the world.’

This comes as online entertainment dominates in the United Kingdom. Many traditional broadcasters like ITV have reoriented to offer content through online streaming services while industries that were born online, like online casinos, continue to grow from strength to strength. As the industry has evolved, online casinos now offer more than simulated games, branching out into live blackjack or roulette as can be seen with Betfair live casino games. When the internet is used for both administration and entertainment, hub cities like London need to have the best possible infrastructure to keep up with the demand of these services.

London is mainly targeting congestion and data collection/transparency. 33 local authorities are working together to shore up digital services and source digital talent to uplift both public and private enterprises, all united and accountable through public data access where beneficial for all involved. For even more details on London’s smart city roadmap, you should check out the Mayor of London’s website.


In 2019, Quebec’s largest city beat out all other Canadian municipalities, regionals, and indigenous communities to win the Smart Cities Challenge hosted by Future Cities Canada. Alongside Toronto, Montreal has a reputation for being a technology hub that offers software development to consumers across the world.

In an increasingly digitized world, cities like Montreal that position themselves on offering online services are set to grow. Over the past decade, we have seen many markets flourish upon contact with the internet. As more industries make the transition online, it’ll be the cities that offer superior digital infrastructure that stand to benefit most.

Montreal aims to capitalize on this by pursuing sustainable power, something already implemented through projects like a smart traffic management system that uses data to do away with congestion. Based on their figures, it reduced travel time by 20%. Then there’s BIXI, the world’s most successful bicycle ride-sharing program involving 7,000 cycles, 600 stations and 10 million rides taken every year. In the future, Montreal wants to automate transportation as much as possible to take away from congestion even more.

Why Smart Cities Are Taking Off

London and Montreal are just two familiar examples of smart cities, which are springing up all over the world. Why? It’s simple – now that we’re deep into the information age, digital innovations have changed our lives. However, it hasn’t changed the places we live that much in comparison.

Smart cities take a data-obsessed, optimizing lens and apply it to city administration, in order to cut costs, save energy, and automate anything that can be safely automated. The result is a more comfortable and efficient home that makes it easier to both govern and live in a city.  Naturally, these changes have a great positive effect on the economy, as explained by Seagateusing McKinsey figures.

Ultimately, smart cities are a reaction to how we have changed. How we work and how we find entertainment has shifted over the past decade or two, from Montreal to London and beyond. By adopting automation, improved connectivity, and software that prizes efficiency, public services can shift in the right direction too.