A Spanish business school says Baltimore is the world's 20th "smartest" city -- smarter, by their reckoning, than Rome, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, all of Canada and anywhere in Africa.
We are only a tick less smart than Chicago, which came in 19th.
The "Cities in Motion Index," from Spain's IESE Business School, ranks cities using a complicated, and borderline indecipherable, set of criteria involving 10 "dimensions considered key to determining their efficiency." They include: governance, public management, urban planning, technology, the environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital and the economy.
The study, which looked at 135 cities, placed Tokyo atop the list, followed by London, New York, Zurich and Paris. The Top-20 included six U.S. cities (Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Dallas came in 11-13).
Barcelona was said to have improved the most, climbing from 63rd to 51st over two years. Which makes Baltimore sound not only "smart," but relatively stable.
(The report reaches a number of other conclusions, including one that Baltimoreans should be able to relate to: "A city's reputation does not always correspond to its reality.")
To be totally honest, we're not absolutely sure what to make of this (if you want to see and interpret the results yourself, be our guest). But any study that puts Baltimore in such prestigious company is OK by us.
By the way, be glad you don't live south of the U.S. border. According to a report in Business Insider Australia, the city of Santo Domingo, Cuba, ranked last, and six of the bottom 10 cities were in Brazil.