New York took first place in a list of the world's most innovative cities on Tuesday, with the United States performing strongly for its embrace of smart technology and startups.

Tokyo — last year's winner — and London took second and third place in the Innovation Cities Index, with Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston also making the top 10.

"What really surprised us this year was a United States bounce back at the top of the league," said Christopher Hire, director of commercial data provider 2thinknow, which publishes the annual ranking of 500 cities.