Lagos has been ranked bottom of the world’s largest 25 cities in use of information and communications technology (ICT) to transform the lives of its citizens according to the second edition of the 2011 Networked Society City Index conducted by Ericsson in cooperation with Arthur D. Little management consultancy. The Networked Society City Index is a tool that can help city authorities and decision makers monitor the position and progress of cities along the ICT-development curve. It should be read as the starting point in an open dialogue, rather than the final word on how cities can progress their triple bottom lines. The new study looks at the benefits ICT has enabled in various cities in areas such as health, education, economy, the environment and efficiency, as well as at citizens’ interactions with ICT. The Index ranked 25 of the world’s largest cities according to their ability to transform ICT to social, economic and environmental benefits. The top three cities in the index – Seoul, Singapore and Stockholm- successfully met many social, economic and environmental targets by making extensive investments in ICT with scores of 59, 57 and 56 respectively. London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing complete the top 10, while Johannesburg, Karachi and Lagos are at the rear with 11, 10 and 6 scores respectively. According to the study, ICT-based applications such as e-government and smart transport could improve citizens’ lives, helping to overcome common challenges in urban environments. Earlier in 2011 Ericsson and Arthur D. Little presented a Networked Society - city index report that mapped the ICT maturity of 25 of the world’s largest cities to the society benefit created. The overall findings from the first report of the index stated that there was a connection between ICT maturity in cities and triple bottom line development especially from economic and social development. Cities at different stages of ICT maturity were urged to apply different strategies in order to maximise ICT-driven advancement. In this second release, Ericsson now provides the citizen’s view, highlighting the benefits of ICT from the citizen’s perspective in the same major cities world-wide. The rating is based on the ICT maturity scale that was developed in the first release, whilst the benefit rating is now geared at capturing the triple bottom line benefits of ICT to the citizens. This represents the ICT enabled improvements from living in the city and relates to areas such as health, education, economic gains and city efficiency as well as citizen’s ICT behavior that carries environmental improvement. The study also showed that several BRIC cities, such as Sao Paulo and Delhi, have promising initiatives in place to rapidly close the socio-economic gap through multi-stakeholder ICT engagements.
Patrik Regårdh, from Ericsson’s Networked Society Lab noting that it was crucial to analyse the perspective of individual citizens, said “Successful cities excel at attracting ideas, capital and skilled people. Such positive attraction requires constant progress in economic terms, as well as within a social and environmental context.” Director Arthur D. Little, Erik Almqvist, said, “As people get their most basic needs satisfied, attention shifts to e.g., balanced life styles, a rich cultural scene, good transport and transaction facilities, good health also in their senior years, self-fulfillment – for example - in terms of higher education and a clean environment throughout the city. ICT has the potential to improve quality of life in many fields and connectivity itself anytime, anywhere is increasingly regarded as a basic citizen’s right.” For low ICT maturity cities, the overall conclusion from the study is that governments should take an active role to “push” initiatives to improve ICT-literacy in parallel to continued ICT investments. Care should be taken to balance citizen and business needs within the constraints of the environment. For example, the substitution from e.g. bicycling to more private motorised transportation as income rises may be averted by leveraging ICT to improve city public transportation as well substitute transportation needs with telecommuting and teleworking.
It was concluded that citizens and workforce ICT literacy was a key enabler for city benefits from ICT. This is also true from the citizen’s perspective, and is relevant for cities across the ICT maturity index. The challenge for low ICT maturity cities is to learn and get inspiration from those at the top of the ranking to develop into true networked city societies.http://leadership.ng/nga/articles/9225/2011/11/29/lagos_ranked_bottom_25_cities_use_ict.html