Leading Cities Rating Powered by Bright Cities

500 U.S. Cities Rated

The Leading Cities Rating powered by Bright Cities, fosters the natural instinct cities have to collaborate and share best practices while achieving their ultimate goal of sustainability, resiliency, and equity– becoming a Smart City.


A Smart City is a designation given to a municipality that achieves everything from economic and environmental sustainability to incorporating information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve the quality and performance of urban services, such as energy, transportation and utilities, in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs. These challenges are fundamental to defining the quality of life residents, workers and visitors will have in tomorrow’s cities as well as their usability experience. Smart Cities solutions enhance public management and help solve many of these urban challenges in a more efficient way.

We have created a rating system that does not include the inherent flaws of a traditional ranking—that no matter how good or bad the analyzed subjects are, the “number one” slot is always filled or that unnecessary competition between cities develops when in order for one city to move up in a ranking another city must move down. The Leading Cities Rating powered by Bright Cities is a fundamental shift in how cities are measured and provides ample incentive for cities to achieve the advancements that their constituents deserve. In addition, this new system of measuring municipalities provides a framework for collaboration rather than competition where knowledge and best practices can be shared and applied through trustworthy collaboration among cities and citizens.


The Leading Cities Rating is based on the input of experts from around the world and powered by Bright Cities’ disruptive platform for Smart City transformation. We use data science to analyze and score publicly available data and compare a city’s score with that of a “model city.” This “model city” is determined using the best results already achieved by a city in each of the 32 indicators analyzed. These indicators are divided into ten categories: Governance, Economy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Health, Mobility, Security, Technology and Urbanization.

Unlike a traditional ranking, the Leading Cities Rating system does not create a false sense of competition between cities, which results when one city must be forced to a lower ranking in order for another city to move up. The Leading Cities Rating, created in partnership with Bright Cities, uses a scale of A+ to F to score each indicator and each city overall.