VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It may be a pricey city to live in but Vancouver is also one of the smartest cities in North America.
A new study, conducted by Smartcities Hub, ranks Vancouver in 4th place ahead of cities like Chicago and New York.

Boyd Cohen with Smartcites Hub says the ranking is based on six factors: the economy, environment, governance, livability, mobility, and people.
He says being green helps.

“You have a bold mayor who is combined with a city and other leaders aspiring to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, so that of course helped the city in that area,” says Cohen.

Vancouver won points when it came to livability and a high quality of life.

“There’s a lot of aspects of Vancouver that yield itself to having high quality of life ranking. Whether it be relatively mild climate, relatively low crime, very healthy population, lots of access to the outdoors,” explains Cohen.

The city has made progress in mobility but has a lot of catching up to be able to compete with European cities.
“Cities like Amsterdam have something like 65 per cent of all people using transit. In terms of commuting, it is actually done with non-motorized transit,  walking and biking.  Vancouver is not at that level yet. But in the context of North America it has done very well, particularly in encouraging people get our of their cars, and get into bikes and using the SkyTrain and walking more,” adds Cohen.
But he says Vancouver has a lot of work to do when it comes to affordability and technology. “Vancouver is struggling a little bit in terms of maintaining the cost of living at a level that’s consistent with rate of growth of the economy and income.”

“Vancouver has room to grow around smart governance and the use of information communication technology. Opening data about things like transit, pollution and congestion, anything associated with public infrastructure, cities are starting to open that data up to the private sector, to make useful tools,” says Cohen.