Co.Exist recently published a list of the top 10 smartest cities in North America. The rankings are based on measurements of six components: people, economy, government, environment, lifestyle and mobility. Each component is measured with a number of related data sources. For example, smart governance was evaluated based on a not-yet-released e-governance ranking conducted by Rutgers University, and the Center for Digital Government's 2012 Digital Cities Survey.* Here are the top 10 overall smartest North American cities based on Co.Exist's evaluation system:

  1. Boston
  2. San Francisco
  3. Seattle
  4. Vancouver
  5. New York City
  6. Washington D.C.
  7. Toronto
  8. Chicago
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Montreal

While these are the overall rankings, individual category rankings were somewhat varied. New York City was ranked first when it came to smart mobility, thanks to the city's open data efforts and events like NYC Big Apps.

Seattle ranked first in smart governance, based on the city's use of RFIDs to track waste as well as its use of Twitter to communicate about stolen vehicles. Seattle Police also announced a program in Oct. that allows residents to monitor crime in realtime through a program called Tweets-by-Beat.

San Francisco ranked first in smart environment, thanks to high rankings in energy, buildings, waste and air quality measurements. The city also tied for first place with Boston for smartest people, as the city is a known center of innovation, home to organizations such as Code For America.

* Editor's Note: The Center for Digital Government is an advisory and research organization operated by e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.

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