Smart city implementation has faced many challenges despite having benefits for urban development. Cities have failed to implement smart city strategies. Assessing the influencing factors on the realization of a smart city is essential in clarifying the challenges facing these cities. This study aims to investigate the affecting factors of the smart city realization to define the feasibility factors and variables of the smart city.
Using new technologies such as ICT in cities and citizen's life has opened opportunities and challenges for officials and related institutions in the urban area. Since cities are a cultural and social reflection of their inhabitants, changes in how people live also lead to the transformation of cities. Urban planning and management seek to provide smarter solutions for improving the quality of life through new technologies. Increasing the rate of urbanization in the world and the resulting environmental crises, such as the destruction of natural resources, environmental pollutants, climate change, reduction of fossil resources, and mass production of waste, have posed major challenges to human life. Therefore, sustainable development as a form of development that ensures the sustainable life of cities and urban communities provides a solution to improve current urbanization problems. On the one hand, the increasing use of information and communication technologies in People's life and the need to expand sustainable development have led to the formation of a new model of urbanization to overcome these issues.
The smart city uses information and communication technologies to achieve sustainable development and improve the quality of life. The smart city is expanding rapidly as a common pattern in developed countries due to the many opportunities it presents to cities. Currently, there is wide competition between cities to become smart. However, our country has not been able to take an effective step to be smart. The realization of smart cities in Iran faces many challenges. In order to identify these challenges, this study tries to examine the factors affecting the feasibility of smart cities based on their components and to explain the contribution of each of these factors affecting the smart city.
This study assumes the significance of the six components of a smart city (economy, environment, people, living, governance, mobility) on the feasibility of a smart city in Mashhad. Therefore, this study utilizes a mixed research method and questionnaire analysis method. For this purpose, first, the components and variables affecting the feasibility of the smart city are explained, and for data analysis, the structural equation modeling method, Smart PLS 3 software, has been used.
Results and discussion
At the 95% confidence level, the effective components in the realization of Mashhad smart city have been prioritized: Smart governance 92%, smart living 82%, smart economy 79%, smart mobility 69%, smart environment 59%, and smart people 57%.
Comparatively, with the feasibility of smart cities in Europe, it can be concluding:The component of a smart environment that has been achieved in most European cities in Mashhad is facing serious challenges; the most important challenges are: assessing the sustainability of urban plans and programs, integrating resource management, measuring energy efficiency, and transparency of energy consumption.
The component of smart people, which has a low percentage of feasibility in European cities, faces fewer challenges than other components of the smart city in Mashhad, which can be considered as one of the main capacities in the development of smart city strategies.
this article aims to review the feasibility of a smart city in Mashhad and its challenges by reviewing the literature, smart city projects, and questionnaire from managers and employees in the field of urban management. The relationship and impact of each of these challenges on the realization of the smart city introduces the effective components and variables in the realization of smart city strategies in Mashhad. It can be concluded that: Each of the components of a smart city includes different variables, and the nature of these variables is focused on the context and complex conditions of each city. Therefore, it is expected that in examining the feasibility of smart cities, a diverse set of variables related to the specific issues and problems of each city will be considered:
• The most important challenge for the feasibility of the smart city depends on providing a proper definition of the components of the smart city and its structuring to develop innovation ecosystems.
• The method of examining a smart city's feasibility based on each city's issues and challenges can be used by urban management institutions, policymakers, and planners.
• Identifying the challenges of achieving smart cities can provide an opportunity for smart cities in Iran to define smart projects more realistically and efficiently.
Keywords: Smart city, feasibility, Mashhad city, structural equations