From September 11th to 13th the city of Atlanta hosted the Smart City Expo Atlanta, reuniting some of the world’s most recognized smart city experts and researchers to discuss what’s new and innovative on the subject. The event is the only U.S. edition of Smart City Expo World Congress, the world’s leading conference and expo on smart cities and smart urban solutions, held annually in Barcelona. Together, they are redefining what it means for a city to be “smart” with equity, prosperity, humanity, inclusion, and justice serving on par with blockchain, A.I., IoT, big data, and automation.

At the Smart City Expo Atlanta, Bright Cities and Leading Cities released their latest initiative– The Leading Cities Rating powered by Bright Cities, a rating system to stimulate the development of smart cities.

Combining Leading Cities’ pioneering tools and network of global experts with Bright Cities’ innovative diagnostic technology, The Leading Cities Rating powered by Bright Cities is an accurate tool for comparing urban policy performances and evaluating how municipalities are becoming smarter. The rating analyzes a city’s performance among 45 indicators from nine dimensions of a smart city: Governance, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Health, Mobility, Security, Technology and Energy. Rated cities are categorized on a scale from A+ to D-.

Twenty-five cities from the United States were initially chosen to be evaluated. The list was based on the 100 Resilient Cities program, a former initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation. The inaugural cities are: Atlanta, Berkeley, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Columbia, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tulsa, Honolulu and Washington. The goal is to provide a rating that measures cities against achievable goals and to eliminate the zero-sum game inherent in a ranking system that causes an unnecessary sense of competition between cities. By virtue of its design, this rating system provides every municipality the opportunity to achieve the top rating and can do so collaboratively.