Austin crowned No. 1 'smartest' city in the U.S. by new tech-driven study
Sometimes being smart is knowing things like practical math and the history of Waterloo. Sometimes it’s navigating a hybrid work schedule with grace, creating the perfect plan for xeriscaping the front yard, and knowing when it’s a bad idea to get onto MoPac. Austin is smart in lots of ways, and a new tech-driven study by real estate technology company ProptechOS puts the Capital City at the very top of its list of smartest cities in the United States.
In this study, “smart” takes a tech-y form, implying connectivity, efficiency, and forethought, and applies to the city itself rather than its residents. The study looked at "which major cities in Europe and the USA are best prepared for a smarter future," rating them in three metrics: technology infrastructure, green infrastructure, and tech job market, for a total score out of 100 possible points.
Austin's green infrastructure catapulted it to the top of the list, followed closely by tech infrastructure, with jobs lagging considerably (surprising considering other reports), but not enough to pull it under Los Angeles, which had nearly identical scores in each category.
“Both the city’s technology infrastructure (87.7 out of 100) and green infrastructure (91.7 out of 100) rank significantly high in comparison to many other cities, with the 8th highest number of publicly accessible EV charging stations (329), the 11th highest per 10,000 people (33.2), and the 8th highest number of ‘Internet of Things’ companies (76) headquartered and operating there,” says the report.
One other Texas city makes the top 10: Dallas, at No. 7. Big D did almost equally well in the technology and green infrastructure categories (81 points and 80 points, respectively). It received a middling 48 points (one point higher than Austin) for its tech job market.
Some of the metrics, like presence of free Wi-Fi, availability of airports, and number of electric vehicle charging stations, make tangible impacts on the day-to-day life of civilians. Others, like the number of IoT companies and “green certified” buildings, make a compound difference that fades into the background of city life.
The top 10 smartest cities in the United States, with their total scores, are:
- No.1 Austin, 75.4
- No. 2 Los Angeles, 74.5
- No. 3 Seattle, 73.3
- No. 4 San Francisco, 72.9
- No. 5 Atlanta, 72.5
- No. 6 Washington, D.C., 70.9
- No. 7 Dallas, 69.6
- No. 8 New York, 69.3
- No. 9 (tied) San Jose, California, 69.2
- No. 9 (tied) Portland, Oregon, 69.2
Austin and Los Angeles also bested London, the top smart city in Europe, which received 73.7 points in the European ranking. More information about methodology, comparisons, and facts about high-performing cities are available at proptechos.com.