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The development process of smart city strategies: the case of Barcelona

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The development process of smart city strategies: the case of Barcelona

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THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OF SMART CITY
STRATEGIES: THE CASE OF BARCELONA
Luca Mora
Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
luca.mora@polimi.it
Roberto Bolici
Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
roberto.bolici@polimi.it
ABSTRACT
Smart cities are urban areas in which information and communication technologies are used to
solve their specific problems and support their sustainable development in social, economic and/or
environmental terms. In recent years, turning ordinary urban environments into smart cities has
become a strategic priority for a growing number of municipalities around the world that have
decided to launch specific strategies, characterized by different approaches, in an attempt to achieve
this aim. However, the available knowledge concerning the possible ways in which the
development of strategies for becoming smart can be faced is very low indeed. Within the literature
concerning this topic, there is an evident lack of clarity and common approaches based on empirical
evidence that can be used to guide the different actors involved in the construction and management
of these strategies towards successful results. The research activities documented in this paper have
been implemented in order to provide an initial response to this urgent need. Specifically, using
case study research with a descriptive approach and focusing attention on large European cities, the
strategy proposed by Barcelona City Council has been analyzed in-depth and a step-by-step
roadmap in which all the phases and activities considered in this successful case has been defined
and illustrated in detail. This roadmap can be considered a first and important step towards
establishing a common and empirically valid theory for developing smart city strategies in this type
of urban area, because it provides useful knowledge in the consideration of other similar initiatives
as well as a possible conceptual framework for future comparative research and theory building.
Keywords: ICT-based urban development, smart city, roadmap, development process, Barcelona
1. INTRODUCTION
The industrial revolution has left a deep impact on urban contexts, causing numerous issues that are
limiting their development, together with individual and collective wellbeing. The solution to these
problems requires the definition of new models of sustainable development and the implementation
of urban regeneration or urban renewal initiatives. These are two terms which can be considered as
synonymous, used for identifying a series of actions aimed at resolving the multi-faceted problems
of urban areas and improving their physical, socio-economic and environmental conditions (Ercan,
2011; Zheng et al., 2014).
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In this context, the belief that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can represent a
useful tool for helping urban areas to solve these issues has begun to spread rapidly (European
Commission, 2010a; 2010b; U.S. National Intelligence Council, 2012; Webb, 2008). In fact, as
already observed by Aurigi (2003), “many commentators […] suggest that the new frontier [of
information technology is] to provide solutions for overcoming most spatial and social problems
[and] cities [look] like the ideal arena where this revolution would […] show itself, changing
economic development, services, and above all community life.”
During recent years, local and national governments, academic research institutes, businesses and
many other organizations have begun to observe and study this perspective with great interest. Over
a brief period of time, this exploration has led to experimentation as numerous cities around the
world have launched specific strategies with the aim of becoming smart cities, that is, urban areas in
which ICTs are used to solve their specific problems and support their sustainable development in
social, economic and/or environmental terms.
As a result, smart cities have become a growing phenomenon in the real world (Lee and Hancock,
2012; Manville et al., 2014), and a new but confused research territory that has attracted the
attention of many researchers and scholars. This is an emergent and interdisciplinary research area
within the field of urban studies (Graham, 2004) that has encouraged further research concerning
the management of ICTs in urban contexts. But unfortunately, despite the growing interest and the
continuous production of scientific publications (Wolfram, 2012; D’Auria et al., 2014), the level of
knowledge concerning this subject is still underdeveloped and characterized by numerous open
questions and multiple aspects to be explored. In particular, analyzing the literature produced to
date, it is quite evident that there is a lack of clarity and common approaches based on empirical
knowledge that can be used to guide the actors involved in the construction and management of
smart city strategies towards successful results (Abdoullaev, 2011; Angelidou, 2014; Chourabi et
al., 2012; Frei et al., 2012; GSMA et al., 2011; Hollands, 2008; Kitchin, 2014; Komninos, 2011).
In smart city research the trend is to focus only on individual factors that characterize smart city
strategies, rather than on the definition of explicit and holistic procedures to be followed during
their development (see for example Beck, 2011; Belissent et al., 2010; Dirks and Keeling, 2009;
Gil-Castineira et al., 2011; Hollands, 2008; Moss Kanter and Litow, 2009; Naphade et al., 2011;
Paskaleva, 2009; Washburn et al., 2010; Webb et al., 2011). As a result, very few examples of
guidelines and roadmaps can be found in the literature and most of them come from the business
sector. Moreover, they are characterized by a very low level of detail and a lack of empirical
evidence (Berthon and Guittat, 2011; Clarke, 2013; Dirks et al., 2009).
Considering this scenario, it can be stated that the knowledge framework associated with the
development processes of smart city strategies must be expanded, and with particular reference to
the need to provide a possible answer to the following questions: What are the essential steps to
consider for developing successful smart city strategies? How are they organized? In order to
provide an initial response to this urgent need, focusing the attention on large European cities,
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the
strategy developed by the City of Barcelona has been analyzed in-depth, and a step-by-step
roadmap in which all the phases and activities considered in this successful case has been defined
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In this study, large cities are urban areas with a population of between 500 000 and 1500 000 inhabitants, a
definition aligned with the classification system of urban areas proposed by the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) (Brezzi et al., 2012).
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and illustrated. This roadmap can be considered a first and important step towards establishing a
common procedure for developing smart city strategies in this type of urban area because it
provides: 1) useful knowledge to consider in other similar initiatives; 2) and a possible conceptual
framework for future comparative research aiming at building an empirically valid theory able to
explain how to correctly develop smart city strategies in large cities.
2. METHODOLOGY
Descriptive case study research as defined by Yin (1984) has been identified as the most suitable
research method. This method has been chosen considering the nature of the problem being
investigated, the research aim and the present state of knowledge on the development processes of
smart city strategies, which is quite limited.
The case of Barcelona has been selected using a theoretical sampling approach (Yin, 1984;
Eisenhardt, 1989). With a number of inhabitants that is slightly above 1,5 millions (Ajuntament de
Barcelona - Àrea d'Economia, Empresa i Ocupació, 2013), the city of Barcelona falls within the
category of large cities, and its success in the field of smart cities makes its strategy an ideal sample
to analyze. This assertion can be easily demonstrated considering the multiple awards that the city
has received during recent years and its international positioning as a smart city (Achaerandio et al.,
2011; Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2014a; 2014g; Cohen, 2012a; 2012b; 2014; European
Commission, 2014; Manville et al., 2014).
After being selected, the case study has been analyzed considering the qualitative data extracted
from multiple sources of evidence identified with a series of searches performed in various online
databases during the period between April and June 2015. A total of 991 sources has been collected.
Archive records and documents produced by public and private organizations directly involved in
the development of the smart city strategy have been considered as primary sources (agendas,
minutes of meetings, press releases, news and newsletters, conference presentations and conference
speeches, reports, brochures, videos, governmental acts, articles and webpages). In addition, a
wealth of data has been acquired from other documents produced by organizations not directly
involved in the smart city initiative of Barcelona. These sources have been considered as secondary
(reports, interviews, journal and online articles, books, as well as research project deliverables).
This strategy has allowed us to analyze the case considering the different perspectives of multiple
observers. Moreover, the final description of the process and the conceptual framework have gained
greater strength thanks to the triangulation made possible by the use of multiple sources of evidence
(Yin, 1984; Eisenhardt, 1989; George and Bennett, 2005; Voss et al., 2002).
Coding analysis has been used to facilitate the management of the vast amount of data that has been
collected. This phase of research has been developed following the procedure described by Voss et
al. (2002) and Strauss and Corbin (1990). Through the coding process, raw data have been
reorganized and the activities which characterize the development process of the Barcelona smart
city strategy have been listed in a chronological order, allowing us to build a step-by-step roadmap.
These activities have been identified thanks to a repeated reading and analysis of the available
sources.
The roadmap has been described and illustrated through the production of a “story” (Bourgeois and
Eisenhardt, 1988), a detailed report in which all the data associated with the case have been
summarized and presented in a narrative form (within-case analysis) (Miles and Huberman, 1994).
This is a fundamental step for supporting future comparative research and cross-case analysis (Yin,
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1984; Eisenhardt, 1989; Patton, 2012).
3. PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Through the knowledge accumulated during the analysis phase, a step-by-step roadmap which
describes the development process of the smart city strategy proposed by Barcelona City Council
has been created. The roadmap, which is composed of 5 main phases and 16 different activities
(Figure 1), is described and discussed in the following pages.
Figure 1: The development process of the Barcelona smart city strategy
3.1. Phase 1: starting
In 2011, the mayor Xavier Trias and his municipal administration decided to transform Barcelona
into a smart city by developing a single strategy for the entire city, moving away from the risks of a
fragmented approach. This intention has become official with the approval of two important
governmental measures and the definition of a working group within the Area Urban Habitat, the
organizational context in which the Barcelona smart city strategy has been developed.
Step 1.1 – Grow up the idea to become smart
Confidence in ICT as a tool for supporting urban development was extremely widespread within the
municipality before 2011, and the attempt to transform the city into a smart city were translated into
a series of projects and initiatives managed by various executive units of the city administration.
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For example: the development of a new model for the management of services, relationships and
interactions with citizens based on the principles of e-government (Conesa, 2009); the construction
of the municipal wireless network called Barcelona WiFi (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2014d);
different pilot projects developed by both the private municipal company 22@ Barcelona and the
Municipal Institute of Information Technology (IMI).
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This situation was characterized by an evident lack of coordination, a shared vision and a single
strategy. There was a gap that various representatives of the city council interpreted as a possible
risk of failure and a limit to overcome (Ajuntament de Barcelona - Comissió d’Hàbitat Urbà i Medi
Ambient, 2012a; 2012b; Ajuntament de Barcelona - Comissió de Presidència i Règim Interior,
2012). In fact, as explained by Julia Lopez, Strategic Director of the Directorate for ICT Strategy
and Smart City of the IMI, the real challenge from the end of 2010 was "[to create] a global
strategy, rather than siloed strategies in different departments" (Buscher and Doody, 2013). This
challenge was accepted by the entire municipality, which became the initiator of the Barcelona
smart city strategy, a choice sustained through the political support and guidance of the new mayor
Xavier Trias.
Step 1.2 – Define the motivation and take the leadership
During the first months of his term of office, Trias (2011) stated: "we will drive a municipal smart
city strategy in order to incorporate advanced solutions for service management within public
spaces." This assertion highlights the central role of the municipal administration, which has
decided to assume full responsibility for initiating and leading the process of developing a smart
city strategy for the entire city of Barcelona. This was a strategy necessary, in Trias’s words, "to
enhance citizens' quality of life and reduce the cost of government operations while revitalizing
[the] whole community and creating long-term economic growth through high-tech innovation and
entrepreneurship" (Cisco System, 2012). Furthermore, “Barcelona has a strong commitment to
become a smart city and a show-case for the rest of the world in sustainable urban development"
(Cisco System, 2012), and this clearly emerges within the public statements proposed from 2011 by
both the mayor and other local government representatives (see for example Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2011b; 2012a; 2012c; 2013c; 2014b; 2014c; Cisco System, 2012). Moreover, this
commitment has been officially formalized with the drafting and subsequent approval of two
important strategic documents: 1) the Municipal Action Program for the period 2012-2015; 2) the
government measure MES (Mobility, E-government, Smart cities), in which the overall ICT
strategy for the city has been defined (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012e; 2012f; 2012g).
The Municipal Action Program contains the vision, strategic commitments and objectives proposed
at the political level, and also the goals and relevant actions defined at the executive level in order
to contribute to the accomplishment of the political priorities. In this case, three strategic areas have
been identified by the municipal administration in order to “inspire the organization’s actions”
between 2012 and 2015. One of them is called "urban renewal” and is associated with a precise
strategic commitment: to transform "Barcelona [into] a sustainable, smart urban model at the
service of its residents." However, as reported in the document, in order to fulfill this commitment,
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The Municipal Institute of Information Technology (IMI) is an autonomous local body created by the City
of Barcelona which is integrated in its executive structure and has the task to develop and manage all the ICT
systems and infrastructures of the city administration (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2010a).
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the city has to achieve a significant objective: the definition of a new development model for a
healthy and hyper-connected city with zero emissions "where the environment, urban planning, and
ICT infrastructures are fully integrated" and characterized by "productive neighborhoods at a
human pace". The responsibility associated with the development of the actions required to achieve
this goal has been almost totally entrusted to the Executive Office for Urban Habitat and the various
departments located within it (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012g).
Conversely, by approving the MES measure, the city administration has been able to: 1) reassert its
willingness to use ICTs to contribute to "the economic and social future of the city"; 2) establish the
cornerstones of a comprehensive ICT strategy defined for the entire city and based on specific lines
of action relating to "mobility, e-government and smart cities"; 3) entrust the strategy coordination
and responsibility for the proper development of each course of action to the IMI, which has been
identified as the point of reference for all the activities of the municipality linked to the ICT sector
(Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012f).
The strategic scenario defined by these two documents shows that the development of a smart city
strategy is a priority and an objective of significant importance for the Barcelona City Council. This
choice is motivated by the awareness that “ICTs are with no doubts a fundamental factor to
consider in order to come out from [the] crisis” and “[they] have become vital to the future of the
city and its citizens" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012f).
Step 1.3 Identify the department responsible for the development of the strategy and form a
planning team
Modifying the organizational structure has been one of the first actions proposed by the new
administration. Specifically, a new area called Urban Habitat was set up in 2011 (Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2014f). This area ”works as an umbrella to facilitate departments that used to work in
isolation to come together" (Buscher and Doody, 2013) and consists of two organizational
elements: 1) the Executive Office for Urban Habitat, which combines all the departments dedicated
to planning, infrastructure, housing, urban services, and environment; 2) the IMI, which
encompasses the field of ICTs. This important change has allowed the municipal administration to
create an area for interdepartmental work under the supervision and control of the Third Deputy
Mayor's Office (Ajuntament de Barcelona Comissió d’Hàbitat Urbà i Medi Ambient, 2012b).
As previously mentioned, in accordance with the directives of the government, the activities
associated with the development process of the smart city strategy have been carried out in the Area
Urban Habitat, thanks to the collaboration between the IMI and the various departments brought
together in the Executive Office for Urban Habitat. Furthermore, from an observation of the
affiliation of the authors of the conference presentations and documents in which the characteristics
of the Barcelona smart city strategy have been described, it is possible to argue that the main
working group involved in its development and implementation is represented by the Directorate of
ICT Strategy and Smart City (Buscher and Doody, 2013; Ferrer, 2013; 2014; Lopez, 2014;
Sanromà, 2013).
In addition, it is necessary to consider the support of the strategic partners selected by the
municipality which have been involved in specific phases or activities. Indeed, some external
subjects have worked as consultants in the planning phase. These certainly include: the
multinational company Cisco Systems, which signed an agreement with the city administration
committing itself to providing support and advice regarding the approach for developing the
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strategy (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012); and Doxa Consulting, a Spanish
consulting firm which has been mentioned in some presentations describing the features of the
smart city strategy.
3.2. Phase 2: planning
The first documents describing the Barcelona smart city strategy were drafted between late 2010
and mid-2011. Each presented an initial conceptual model and listed several ICT-based initiatives
developed within the city by various working units from the municipal administration. The strategy
was poorly defined and characterized by a few reflections of a technological nature (Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2011c; Battle, 2010a; 2010b; 2011). However, it underwent substantive changes during
the period between February and October 2012, the same period in which the MES measure and the
Municipal Action Program were approved (Doncel and Pons, 2012). During these seven months,
the whole strategy was planned within the Area Urban Habitat, and analyzing different documents
developed from this period onwards, it has been possible to identify and describe the different
activities carried out during the planning phase.
Step 2.1 – Rebuild and analyze the strategic framework of the city
The Barcelona smart city strategy has been properly included in the strategic framework of the city,
in line with the objectives, priorities and directives that characterize it. This framework has been
reconstructed and analyzed, and represents the result of the convergence of several strategies
proposed at the local and European level (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2013b; Ajuntament de
Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012; 2013a; 2013b; Lopez, 2014)
Step 2.2 – Formulate a long-term vision and define objectives, approach and lines of action
The strategic framework has become the point of reference for developing a vision statement that
identifies the most important principles and values that will characterize the city in the next future,
as well as for defining objectives and lines of action that will make it a reality. According to this
vision, the smart city strategy will allow Barcelona to become "a self-sufficient city, made of
productive neighborhoods at human speed, inside a hyper-connected metropolis, of high speed and
zero emissions." In this long-term vision, ICTs have become an enabler of actions "[for improving]
citizens’ welfare and quality of life [and supporting] economic progress" (Ajuntament de Barcelona,
2013a).
The possibility to build the Barcelona of the future has been associated with two important
objectives to be achieved through the implementation of the smart city strategy: 1) the development
of a new city model in which ICTs are used "to provide the city with technological infrastructures
[and services] of high added value for Barcelona" (Buscher and Doody, 2013); 2) "to acquire the
global leadership on the development of smart cities" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012f), which are
considered a "driving force behind a new urban service economy" (Buscher and Doody, 2013).
In order to achieve these objectives, three complementary lines of action have been defined
(Sanromà, 2013): 1) promotion: the on-going communication and promotion of Barcelona and its
approach through participation in international conferences organized by the municipality or other
external parties. This course of action is not only aimed at the dissemination of information but also
at activating new partnerships with public and private actors; 2) international projection: the
development of international projects. The documents cite various projects funded by the European
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Union, along with other international projects such as the City Protocol (Ajuntament de Barcelona,
2013a; Ferrer, 2014); 3) projects: the implementation of local projects developed primarily on a
neighborhood scale, which is the spatial unit of reference for the entire strategy. As suggested by the
vision, starting from the neighborhood, the benefits of technology can gradually be extended to the
entire city and, with time, to the entire metropolitan area. All this is achieved through a strategy
characterized by a transversal approach (working and producing impacts in all areas of the city) and
by sharing (collaborating with the private sector and with cities throughout the world) (Ajuntament
de Barcelona, 2012f).
Step 2.3 – Select the fields of action
The individual initiatives and projects that characterize the three lines of action have been divided
in two categories (cross-cutting and vertical) and grouped into various programs. In turn, these
programs have been linked to 14 fields of action associated with the achievement of specific
objectives (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2013a; Ferrer, 2014; Lopez, 2014). The first two are
"network" and "platform" and contain the cross-cutting projects developed for building a "unified
data management platform [and a] unified network covering the entire city and connecting each
service" (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012). The technological equipment that
results from these projects serves as an enabler for all the vertical projects: "smart services
developed by different City Council […] departments or […] companies operating in the city [that]
are independent but work in the same environment" (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa
Consulting, 2012). The vertical projects fall within 11 fields: "open government, social impact
[which include education, health, commerce, security, culture, tourism, sport, government], public
space, built domain, ICT, water cycle, matter cycle, energy, mobility, nature [and] environment".
The cross-cutting projects also include the international initiatives, which are linked to the field of
action called “international".
This approach makes it clear that the "international projection" and "projects" lines of action form
the cornerstone of the smart city strategy. Both are linked to the implementation of initiatives that
allow ICT-based services and infrastructures to be developed and integrated within the city in the
short to medium term. In fact, the objective of these projects is "to provide an infrastructure that
guarantees the development of a range of services" linked to multiple fields of action (Ajuntament
de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012). As reported by Buscher and Doody (2013), in Barcelona
"the smart city movement started in energy, but now is spreading across all the sectors. […] The
city describes this as a transversal approach." This is a response to the directives of the MES
measure.
Step 2.4 Set up a team responsible for the implementation of the strategy and establish roles and
responsibilities
In order to ensure that the steps linked to the implementation of the strategy are carried out
properly, it has been necessary to define "a new organization oriented towards the goals and
objectives of a smart city" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2013a; Lopez, 2014). This implementation
team was subsequently activated and characterized by a political component and an operational
structure. The former is represented by the Third Deputy Mayor's Office, which is responsible for
coordinating and supervising the Area Urban Habitat. The latter consists of a series of commissions
and a Project Management Office (PMO) (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012).
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Step 2.5 – Establish how to produce and select project ideas
During the planning phase, the procedure leading to the production, selection and implementation
of project ideas has been defined (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012). Its
description is provided in the section devoted to the implementation phase.
Step 2.6 – Define a monitoring and evaluation methodology
The municipality has decided to use a unified methodology for evaluating the impact of the services
produced with the various projects and for monitoring the progress. This methodology is based on
the development of two technological tools: the "situation room" and the platform called "Bigov
Better City Indicators" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2013a).
3.3. Phase 3: development of projects
The Barcelona smart city strategy is based on the continuous implementation of projects and
initiatives in the short-medium term that allow the introduction of ICT-based services and
infrastructures within the city.
Step 3.1 – Activate the implementation team and start the activities for implementing projects
According to the Barcelona City Council, "the definition, deployment and management of projects
imply the need to organize a wide range of actions in a multidisciplinary, complex and
technologically innovative environment, which includes a variety of activities and multiple agents.
This requires comprehensive coordination by a Project Management Office (PMO)". The PMO
supports the activities carried out by the IMI and the various departments of the Area Urban Habitat
for all the projects and subjects linked to the smart city initiative. The direction of this office has
been entrusted to Doxa Consulting, but the team of people working in it is comprised of staff from
both the company and the municipality. The functions of the PMO include: ensuring the alignment
of the projects with the objectives of the smart city strategy; coordinating and monitoring the
project development activities; dealing with the project management activities; developing quality
and improvement plans; producing informative reports about the progress of the various projects;
evaluating the activities and providing recommendations; and resolving any contingencies
(Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012).
Data show that the kick-off meeting of the PMO took place on 30 June 2012. During the first six
months, the staff of this office held more than 60 meetings, many of them with business partners or
representatives of the various departments of the Barcelona’s municipal administration. They
discussed subjects directly involved in the development of projects and activities associated with
the smart city strategy. This also includes the projects started before the activation of this new
office. In fact, the “many smart city projects dispersed in various departments across the city"
(Buscher and Doody, 2013) initiated prior to the development of the unified strategy have been
mapped, collected and subjected to checks and supervision by the Project Management Office
(Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012).
Step 3.2 – Generate, select and organize project ideas to achieve your objectives
Within the Barcelona smart city strategy, the procedure leading to the implementation of any project
is structured in a precise manner (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012). The first
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step is the definition of a proposal. The project idea is formed within the PMO, in which a series of
meetings are held in an effort to identify and clearly define the needs to be met, as well as the
objectives, scope and functional requirements. In the case of cross-cutting projects, these meetings
are only conducted with the representatives of the IMI. For vertical projects, conversely,
collaboration and comparison takes place with the departments of the municipal administration and
any other external subject. All other phases remain the same for both types of projects, and start by
identifying and contacting potential external partners in an effort to form a working group and to
analyze the possible technological solutions to be used. The possible partners are selected through
specific sector analyses. Whatever the composition of the working group, the IMI is always
included as a "technology consultant" in all vertical projects (Sanromà, 2013). Upon completion of
this phase, it is possible to proceed with drafting the project and all the documentation related to the
planning and preliminary estimate of the budget necessary to implement the project. Finally, by
analyzing the documentation, the political component has the task of deciding whether to select or
reject the proposal based on the strategic priorities of the city.
The proposal may also be produced by subjects outside the public administration. For example, in
the case of the company Schneider Telvent, the agreement included the clause "selection of pilots by
the City Council between 21 proposals made by Telvent" (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa
Consulting, 2013b). In addition, citizens are also called on to propose and carry out project ideas. In
this respect, the municipal administration has proposed many initiatives aimed at creating a
collaborative environment based on open-innovation. The creation of the OpenData BCN web-
portal is a good example to cite, a digital place in which anyone can use public data for producing
new services (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2010b; 2014a). But the most important role has been
played by the organization of awards, events to raise awareness of the smart city topic, and
hackathons (Apps4citizens, 2014; Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2015a; 2015b)
Step 3.3 – Ensure financial support to the projects
By approving the MES measure, the city administration has been able to allocate 1,2 million euros
for the development of the city’s ICT strategy, which included the smart city line of action
(Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2012f). Other resources have been acquired through the Municipal
Action Program, as "urban regeneration for a sustainable smart city" (Doncel and Pons, 2012) is
one of three strategic commitments approved and funded by the local government (Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2012g). However, these public funds only provide part of the resources needed to
support the transformation of Barcelona into a smart city. In fact, by analyzing the key points
established during the planning phase it is clear that the financial strategy defined by the city is
based on a combination of public and private investments (Lopez, 2014; Olivella, 2012; Sanromà,
2012).
As pointed out by Josep Ramon Ferrer, head of Directorate for ICT Strategy and Smart City at the
IMI, the possibility to develop a smart city strategy requires "changing the traditional model of
financing used by the municipality to a model based on collaboration between the public and
private sectors in which both assume risks, but it is private enterprise that makes the investment"
(Col·legi d'Ambientòlegs de Catalunya, 2013). For this reason, the municipality has launched a
specific program in an effort to promote "collaboration with private companies for the creation and
development of new and innovative products for a more efficient urban management” (Ajuntament
de Barcelona, 2013a): “Barcelona has developed a collaborative company-City Council model for
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companies wishing to carry out research on the provision of services and the smart management of
urban space. […] The City Council provides human and material resources that depend on the
company’s nature, scope and contribution, and the importance of the proposal”. The private
partners guarantee their commitment and resources by signing an agreement with the city
government (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012)
Step 3.4 – Implement the projects
The last step of this phase is the implementation of the selected projects, an activity that has
continued to grow over time. In early 2012, the list of projects included in the strategy was
extremely limited, comprising a total of just 10 initiatives (Olivella, 2012; Sanromà, 2012). But this
number has increased very significantly following the planning phase and the activation of the
Project Management Office. A report published in October 2012 by the City of Barcelona and Doxa
Consulting refers to a total of 40 projects, of which 26 were under development and the remaining
14 were in the starting phase (Ajuntament de Barcelona and Doxa Consulting, 2012). Moreover,
according to the estimate proposed at the end of 2013 by the Department for Business, Innovation
and Skills of the United Kingdom Government, "there are over one hundred projects considered to
be part of the smart city work in Barcelona, and this number is growing" (Buscher and Doody,
2013).
3.4. Phase 4: monitoring and evaluation
The monitoring of the progress and evaluation of the results achieved through the projects are
performed periodically, in part through the use of specifically created technological tools.
Furthermore, the strategy constantly undergoes changes aimed at improving its structure and
functioning.
Step 4.1 – Monitor progress and evaluate results
During the planning phase, the procedures for monitoring progress and evaluating the results
achieved have been defined with each single project. In this regard, a specific program named
"intelligent data" was launched in 2012, in which the two initiatives that made it possible to
develop some technological tools used to conduct these activities have been included (Ajuntament
de Barcelona, 2013a).
Step 4.2 – Adjust and modify
The Barcelona smart city strategy is managed with a dynamic approach and characterized by a
cyclical trend. This means that the various phases that compose the strategy are never definitively
closed but are subjected to a continuous process of review and change, oriented towards on-going
improvement. This cyclical trend is particularly evident in the phase of the development of projects,
which is constantly active but influenced by possible changes in the strategic objectives or
directives from above. For example, following the approval of the city’s Master Plan for ICT, a
number of standards associated with the technological component of the various projects have been
introduced, resulting in a modification of the selection criteria for the possible initiatives to be
implemented (Ajuntament de Barcelona Tercera Tinència d’Alcaldia d’Hàbitat Urbà, 2014). The
same consideration can be applied to the fields of action selected by the municipality, with a
specific focus on energy and environmental sustainability in the first period, and then the extension
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to multiple areas of intervention (Buscher and Doody, 2013).
3.5. Phase 5: communication
The communication of data and information connected to the smart city strategy represents a
transversal and continuous activity that the municipal administration has performed since the
starting phase. The aim is to disseminate and share knowledge, but also promote the strategy in an
attempt to attract new potential partners. This phase is linked to the "promotion" line of action and
its implementation is ensured by an approach that combines three complementary activities: the
organization of international events in collaboration with other partners; the participation in
international events proposed by other public or private subjects; and the continued production of
informative documents disseminated through the use of web platforms.
Step 5.1 – Communicate and promote the smart city strategy
Conferences are the main communication tool used by the municipality. Through the organization
of conference events and participation in those proposed by other entities, the city has been able to
disseminate the contents of its strategy and promote its initiative throughout the world, acquiring
high visibility within the smart city field. Indeed, these events represent an opportunity for
providing information about the activities carried out, but also serve as a promotional tool for
"attracting investment, strengthening economic ties and establishing Barcelona as an example of
smart city" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2013c).
Reviewing the various sources of evidence, it is clear that a very high number of international
events has been organized by the municipality since the arrival of the new administration. The
situation is quite similar with regard to participation in international conferences organized by other
entities (see for example Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2011b; 2012b; 2012d; 2014a; Navarro, 2012).
However, this is only a part of the efforts made by the city to promote and communicate its smart
city initiative outside the administration. These efforts are also sustained through the continuous and
steady production and dissemination of different types of informative documents which describe the
contents of the strategy, the activities in progress, the achievements made, and much more. All these
data and information are transmitted using different digital platforms, such as the website developed
specifically for the smart city strategy or the "e-headquarters" of the City of Barcelona (Ajuntament
de Barcelona, 2014a; 2014e).
4. FINAL REMARKS AND CONCLUSION
According to Aurigi (2006), one “major limit of far too many ICT-based regeneration initiatives in
Western cities has been a somehow enthusiastically deterministic way to see the effects of
information technology on urban functions.” In the late 1990s, Graham and Marvin (1999) reached
the same conclusion after analyzing a series of international strategies and projects developed by
different cities in order to use ICTs for supporting urban development. As pointed out by these two
authors, in fact, these types of initiatives “are often intimately connected with utopian and
deterministic ideas of technology’s beneficial and linear impacts upon the social, environmental and
spatial development of cities [and their] real benefits […] to localities may be dubious or massively
overblown because they remain inappropriate to real local needs.” This situation seems to be
caused by difficulties in understanding that integrating ICTs in urban areas is much more than a
technological matter and placing too much emphasis and preoccupation on infrastructures and
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devices can be misleading and dangerous (Aurigi, 2005; 2006; Graham, 2000; Mino, 2000).
For this reason, cities aspiring to become smart need to proceed with great caution and adopt an
approach that allows them to look beyond technology and consider other non-technical yet crucial
factors. This is what the City of Barcelona has done during the development of its smart city
strategy, thanks to an approach in which the technological component has been rightly combined
with several “human factors” (Nam and Pardo 2011a) which have been essential to the success of
the initiative. These include leadership and political commitment (Alawadhi et al., 2012; Chourabi
et al., 2012; Hill et al., 2011), which have been provided by the municipal administration since the
starting phase. In this way, it has been possible to manage the complex organizational context that
has allowed for the planning and implementation of the strategy. An interdisciplinary environment
in which sectoral and departmental separation has been eliminated in favor of cross-collaboration.
The need to create a collaborative and participative environment for supporting the development of
smart city strategies has been extensively discussed in scholarly literature (Beck, 2011; Kakderi et
al., 2012; Naphade et al., 2011; Manville et al., 2014; Nam and Pardo, 2011a; 2011b; Paskaleva,
2009; Zygiaris, 2012; European Commission, 2012), and it has become clear that in these
initiatives, “success is […] a product of collaboration between a wide range of […] organizations
and individuals” (Kakderi et al., 2012). In fact, the positive results achieved by Barcelona are
linked to the continuous stimulation of public-private collaboration, together with citizens’
involvement. By using this approach, the Catalan city has created an ecosystem for ICT-based urban
innovation. Moreover, it has benefited from “the enormous innovative potential of grass-roots
efforts” (Ratti and Townsend, 2011), avoiding the risks of an excessively top-down oriented view
(Komninos et al., 2012; Townsend et al., 2011).
In addition to leadership, political commitment and collaboration, others important factors
discussed in smart city research and successfully managed by Barcelona City Council are: 1)
selectivity: defining procedures for the selection and development of the best project ideas in order
to channel resources and efforts more effectively (Dirks et al., 2009); 2) vision: formulating a long-
term vision that will help to draw up an action plan (van Beurden, 2011); 3) motivation: defining
how to use technology in term of problems to solve and strategic priorities to achieve (Berthon and
Guittat, 2010; Zygiaris, 2012); 4) identification and capitalization of past ICT initiatives: mapping
and integrating projects initiated or concluded before the launch of the strategy (Angelidou, 2014);
5) monitoring: using performance metrics to measure and evaluate results achieved by projects
(Moss Kanter and Litow, 2009); 6) financial sustainability: developing new business and operating
models, and attracting external funding to support the progressive implementation of projects
(Belissent et al., 2010). This is one of the greatest issues linked to the construction of smart cities
(Anderson et al., 2012) and Barcelona has solved it by combing the use of public and private
resources, an essential mix which can ensure the long-term sustainability of smart city strategies
(Alusi et al., 2011; Schaffers et al., 2012; Singh et al., 2009).
To manage the complex scenario just described, the municipal administration has adopted an
approach strongly geared towards strategic urban planning principles. This is the most important
lesson to be learned from Barcelona on how to develop smart city strategies in large cities, a lesson
which is in line with the results of research proposed by Komninos (2014). According to him,
traditional planning processes based on the production of masterplans and comprehensive planning
are inadequate to support the development of smart city strategies. On the contrary, strategic
planning seems to be the most suitable tool. The analysis of the case of Barcelona confirms this
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assumption, demonstrating the effectiveness of strategic urban planning when used to govern the
complexity of smart city strategies in large urban areas.
However, this is only a single-case analysis, insufficient to fill the lack of knowledge concerning the
development process of smart city strategies, but very useful in providing a robust knowledge base
and new research perspectives for further investigations. The roadmap presented in this study
represents a useful tool for both future comparative research aiming at obtaining a broad
generalization of the results achieved and building an empirically valid theory able to explain how
to approach the development of smart city strategies in large cities but without forgetting that the
absence of procedures and development methodologies is not an issue limited to large cities. On the
contrary, it is valid for any type of urban areas, whether small, medium or large in size, precisely as
observed by Kitchin (2014): “presently [research on smart cities] has four shortcomings
[including] an absence of in-depth empirical case studies of specific smart city initiatives and
comparative research that contrasts smart city developments in different locales”. This means that
the field of investigation linked to the development process of smart city strategies will have to be
further expanded in the near future.
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... In particular, the generation of data and the advancement of computational/analytics techniques for monitoring, understanding, analyzing, and planning the city are the most significant strengths of smart cities that are being increasingly embraced and leveraged by sustainable cities in order to improve and advance their contribution to sustainability. For supranational states, governments, and city officials, smart cities offer the enticing potential of environmental improvement and socio-economic development, as well as the renewal of urban centers as hubs of innovation and research (e.g., Bibri & Krogstie, 2020a, b, c;Kitchin, 2014Kitchin, , 2016Mora & Bolici, 2016;Nikitin et al., 2016;Noori, Hoppe, & de Jong, 2020;Townsend, 2013). ...
... It provides a flexible and responsive means of addressing the challenges of urban growth and renewal, tackling environmental problems, and building a more socially inclusive society. This emerging academic discourse, a language of smartness, is reshaping debates about contemporary cities, along with a new set of programs and practices that are aimed at realizing smart urbanism (see, e.g., Bibri & Krogstie, 2020b;Eden Institute Strategy, 2018;Mora & Bolici, 2016;Noori et al., 2020;Nikitin et al., 2016). This is visible in the importance given to the smart city approach in diverse plans and initiatives in Europe, the UK, the USA, Asia, Australia, and elsewhere, and in the emergence of dedicated teams aimed at developing business opportunities in smart urban development projects, such as IBM, Cisco, Google, General Electric, and others. ...
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A new era is presently unfolding wherein both smart urbanism and sustainable urbanism processes and practices are becoming highly responsive to a form of data-driven urbanism under what has to be identified as data-driven smart sustainable urbanism. This flourishing field of research is profoundly interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary in nature. It operates out of the understanding that advances in knowledge necessitate pursuing multifaceted questions that can only be resolved from the vantage point of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. This implies that the research problems within the field of data-driven smart sustainable urbanism are inherently too complex and dynamic to be addressed by single disciplines. As this field is not a specific direction of research, it does not have a unitary disciplinary framework in terms of a uniform set of the academic and scientific disciplines from which the underlying theories can be drawn. These theories constitute a unified foundation for the practice of data-driven smart sustainable urbanism. Therefore, it is of significant importance to develop an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary framework. With that in regard, this paper identifies, describes, discusses, evaluates, and thematically organizes the core academic and scientific disciplines underlying the field of data-driven smart sustainable urbanism. This work provides an important lens through which to understand the set of established and emerging disciplines that have high integration, fusion, and application potential for informing the processes and practices of data-driven smart sustainable urbanism. As such, it provides fertile insights into the core foundational principles of data-driven smart sustainable urbanism as an applied domain in terms of its scientific, technological, and computational strands. The novelty of the proposed framework lies in its original contribution to the body of foundational knowledge of a burgeoning field of urban planning and development.
... A significant body of research has focused on four approaches to the development of smart city (1) top-down or bottom-up approach [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]; (2) double or quadruple-helix model of collaboration [16][17][18][19][20]; (3) technology-led or holistic strategy [7,[21][22][23] and (4) mono-dimensional or integrated intervention logic [24,25] (Table 1). ...
... Many studies such as [6,7,[13][14][15][26][27][28][29] discuss the differences in the top-down/bottom-up smart city planning. ...
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Abstract This article outlines Taiwan’s experience in developing smart cities, including visions, implementation strategies and application cases. To take global trends and local needs into account, Taiwan has applied a dual development model that combines top‐down (theme‐based)/bottom‐up (needs‐based) approaches for a synergy effect in balancing innovations and local needs. Furthermore, a public–private partnership program has been adopted to prompt collaboration between central/local authorities with local businesses.Meanwhile, Taiwan uses a private finance initiative program and a global marketing strategy for strengthening the scalability and sustainability of smart city solutions. Three visions in the project help achieve the transformation to ensure smarter urban governance, more comprehensive industrial business models and better livelihoods of residents. Moreover, this article also presents five application cases in the top‐down approach and four application cases in the bottom‐up approach with proven track records which covered eight industry sectors: agriculture, healthcare, education, mobility, retail, energy, governance and environment.
... All stakeholders who can comment on the definition of the strategy and the subsequent building of a smart city should be invited to all phases. Synergistic effects can be achieved through the cooperation of individual stakeholders (Ferrer, 2017;Mora & Bolici, 2016). ...
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According to the modified models of the marketing mix, countries and regions are also products. They can be attractive for life, study, business, employment and tourism. One of the benchmarks is creative potential. Creativity is difficult to measure and subjective feature. It does not exist only in the psychological context, but also in the business (innovation ability) and regional (concept of creative economy). Measuring the creative potential of countries and regions is based on the Florida 3T Index (Technology, Talent, Tolerance). This index has many modifications for European, national and regional conditions. The aim of the paper is to create a national (Slovak) creative index and modify the regional index (PSK) using competitive benchmarking. These indices are composed of 6 sub-indices (Openness and Diversity, Human Capital, Cultural Environment, Technologies, Institutional Environment, Creative Outputs), 36 indicators (SCI) and 38 indicators (PCI). The following methods are used in the paper: analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, comparative method, desk research, mathematical-statistical methods. The contribution of the paper lies mainly in the new use of competitive benchmarking, which is traditionally used when comparing products, services, processes, in a spatial (regional) context. Benchmarking the creative potential of countries and regions has many advantages, e.g. municipalities and regional development organizations can see the structure of weaknesses and their quantitative expression, not just the final result. Then they can implement preventive and corrective activities.
... All stakeholders who can comment on the definition of the strategy and the subsequent building of a smart city should be invited to all phases. Synergistic effects can be achieved through the cooperation of individual stakeholders (Ferrer, 2017;Mora & Bolici, 2016). ...
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Creative potential of region is very important for its attractivity – e.g. for living, study, business, employement and tourism. Prešov region (regional level NUTS3) is composed of 13 districts (regional level LAU1), which have different roles in creative regional development (preference of technological innovations and start-ups or focusing on art, culture and history). Aim of this work is to suggest integrated model of management of creative cluster in Prešov region. Integrated management is composed of basic managerial functions (planning, organization, leadership and control) on regional and company level. These levels are connected and in this model is used systematic and project approach. Authors use these methods: analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, comparative, abstraction and mathematical- startitical methods – e. g. indices. Benefits of this work can use potential cluster stakeholders (e. g. creative companies, public administration, universities, art, environmental and tourism organizations, regional development organizations).
... All stakeholders who can comment on the definition of the strategy and the subsequent building of a smart city should be invited to all phases. Synergistic effects can be achieved through the cooperation of individual stakeholders (Ferrer, 2017;Mora & Bolici, 2016). ...
... Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) seem to be the most useful tool in order to help the urban areas to solve these issues from spreading rapidly (Mora & Bolici, 2015). Recently, local and national government, academic institutes, business corporation and other organization have begun to show their interest to study about this issue. ...
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Seminar Falsafah Sains & Ketamadunan yang diadakan pada setiap semester ini direalisasikan dengan beberapa tema utama, antaranya: 1) Isu-isu Migrasi dan Imigrasi, 2) Kemelesetan Ekonomi Global, 3) Sistem Keselamatan dan Keganasan, 4) Kemahiran Kepimpinan dan Pengurusan, 5) Idea, Inovasi dan Penyelidikan, 6) Isu-isu Akhlak dan Etika, 7) Isu-isu Gender. Adalah diharapkan seminar ini akan menjadi medan percubaan dalam bidang penyelidikan kepada calon-calon pacsa siswazah yang sedang menimba ilmu di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, serta dapat menyebarkannya kepada masyarakat luar kampus, khususnya ilmu berkaitan falsafah sains & ketamadunan.
... There are still misunderstandings and differing opinions about what a SC is (Kitchin, 2015;Komninos, 2011). Additionally, the implementation of smart city developments ought to be realized with strategic methods (Angelidou, 2015;Komninos, 2014;Mora & Bolici, 2016. The particularities of how these strategic principles should be considered are relatively well researched; however, there are only of few publications available on what beneficial outcomes cities are anticipating from SC developments, and how are they represented in their implemented activities. ...
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There are still misunderstandings and differing opinions about what a smart city (SC) is, and there are only of few publications available on what beneficial outcomes cities are anticipating from SC developments. This paper identifies nine anticipated benefits/value proposition components of smart city activities, based on a literature review. It then uses a comparative multiple case study analysis to investigate how value proposition components are present in the SC activities of six cities with demonstrated excellence: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Helsinki, New York, Vienna; and three with emerging excellence: Berlin, Budapest, Moscow. The study reveals the distribution of the components in each city for different years, then these annual activity portfolios are clustered. Four different types of smart cities emerge from the analysis: (1) The Green City-in which years of activities, cities are focusing on environmentally related objectives; (2) The App City-in which years of activities , cities are focusing on developing and rolling out platforms and ICT applications to provide Quality of Life improvements directly for citizens; (3) The Socially Sensitive City-in which years of activities socially sensitive activities are prominent; (4) The Participatory City-in which years of activities citizen engagement is in focus. The findings provide a more comprehensive explanation to the mono-dimensional and holistic strategic approach of smart cities.
... Indeed, Barcelona is taking concrete actions for implementing the applied data-driven technology solutions developed for urban operational functioning and planning as part of the city management to improve and advance sustainability-thereby evolving into what has been termed as a data-driven sustainable smart city (Bibri 2020a). Barcelona is strongly committed to becoming a smart city and a show-case for the rest of the world in sustainable urban development (Mora and Bolici 2016). This is clearly figured in the public statements proposed by different local government representatives (see, e.g., Ajuntament de Barcelona 2011Barcelona , 2012Barcelona , 2013Barcelona , 2014bBarcelona , 2014c. ...
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Originally proposed as an alternative to traditional energy planning methodology in the 1970s, backcasting is increasingly applied in futures studies related to sustainability, as it is viewed as a natural step in operationalizing sustainable development. This futures study is concerned with data-driven smart sustainable urbanism as an instance of sustainable urban development—a strategic approach to achieving the long-term goals of urban sustainability. This is at the core of backcasting, which typically defines criteria for a desirable (sustainable) future and builds a set of feasible and logical pathways between the state of the future and the present. This paper reviews, discusses, and justifies the methodological framework applied in the futures study. This aims to analyze, investigate, and develop a novel model for data-driven smart sustainable cities of the future as a form of transformative change towards sustainability. This paper corroborates that the backcasting approach—as applied in the futures study—is well-suited for long-term urban problems and sustainability solutions due to its normative, goal-oriented, and problem-solving character. It also suggests that case study research is the most effective way to underpin and increase the feasibility of future visions. Indeed, the case study approach as a research strategy facilitates the investigation and understanding of the underlying principles in the real-world phenomena involved in the construction of the future vision in the backcasting study. The novelty of this work lies in the integration of a set of principles underlying several normative backcasting approaches with descriptive case study design to devise a framework for strategic urban planning whose core objective is clarifying which city model is desired and working towards that goal. Visionary images of a long-term future based on normative backcasting can spur innovative thinking about and accelerate the movement towards sustainability. The proposed framework serves to help researchers in analyzing, investigating, and developing future models of sustainable urbanism, smart urbanism, and smart sustainable urbanism, as well as to support policymakers and facilitate and guide their actions with respect to transformative changes towards sustainability based on empirical research.
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This study starts by questioning what smart cities are and how they are being planned for the future of the population. Faced with a wide range of information, the coexistence of multiple definitions, and differences between the theoretical concept and what is being carried out in the real world, it is recognized that entrepreneurs and public managers require more clarity regarding the essential attributes that need to be considered in the initiatives of a city that aims to be classified as smart. This study strives to identify and synthesize essential information, helping managers to define and develop projects and initiatives within the context of smart cities. Through a literature review, six widely cited and commonly used groups of indicators are selected, and the most frequent themes, indicators, and keywords are identified. The results are the essential elements founded and synthesized in a single visual scheme. Although this study has a practical purpose, it is also necessary to promote new policies focused on incentives for local initiatives to support and complement them due to the new decentralized and anthropocentric approach to smart sustainable cities.
Chapter
This chapter examines how the city of Barcelona has marked a transition since 2015 from the conventional, hegemonic smart city approach to a new paradigm—the experimental city. Against the backdrop of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in the European Union (EU) in May 2018, a debate emerged about the role of citizens and their relationship with data. This chapter elucidates how (smart) citizens are increasingly considered decision-makers rather than data providers by commoning data: Data Commons. Hence, this chapter considers (i) the implications of the techno-politics of data ownership and, as a result, (ii) the ongoing implementation of the Digital Plan 2017–2020, its three experimental strategies, and the related seven strategic initiatives. This chapter concludes that, from the policy perspective, smartness may not be appealing in Barcelona, although the experimental approach has yet to be entirely established as a paradigm.
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This book concludes a trilogy that began with Intelligent Cities: Innovation, Knowledge Systems and digital spaces (Routledge 2002) and Intelligent Cities and Globalisation of Innovation Networks (Routledge 2008). Together these books examine intelligent cities as environments of innovation and collaborative problem-solving. In this final book, the focus is on planning, strategy and governance of intelligent cities. Divided into three parts, each section elaborates upon complementary aspects of intelligent city strategy and planning. Part I is about the drivers and architectures of the spatial intelligence of cities, while Part II turns to planning processes and discusses top-down and bottom-up planning for intelligent cities. Cities such as Amsterdam, Manchester, Stockholm and Helsinki are examples of cities that have used bottom-up planning through the gradual implementation of successive initiatives for regeneration. On the other hand, Living PlanIT, Neapolis in Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia intelligent cities have started with the top-down approach, setting up urban operating systems and common central platforms. Part III focuses on intelligent city strategies; how cities should manage the drivers of spatial intelligence, create smart environments, mobilise communities, and offer new solutions to address city problems. Main findings of the book are related to a series of models which capture fundamental aspects of intelligent cities making and operation. These models consider structure, function, planning, strategies toward intelligent environments and a model of governance based on mobilisation of communities, knowledge architectures, and innovation cycles.
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Concepts of ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ cities currently enjoy great popularity. They offer frameworks for interpreting certain linkages between information and communication technology (ICT) and urban development, and put forward a particular agenda for action. In this, they claim a broad legitimacy for guiding stakeholders, drawing on findings from a number of strands of scientific inquiry. Furthermore, building on the everlasting albeit problematic promise of technology as a key to resolve pressing societal problems, they equally constitute an attractive reference for actors at all levels and across sectors. But despite their striking virulence in research, policy and practice, it remains rather open what the actual pursuit of a ‘smart city’ is, and therefore, which winners and losers we are to expect from realization. Against this backdrop this paper puts forward an intertextual reading of recent contributions to the ‘smart city’ discourse, probing in particular the context conditions under which it has emerged, the conceptual orientations developed, and the implementation strategies derived. It appears that, while suffering from affinities to technological determinism and urban entrepreneurialism, ‘smart cities’ largely neglect the need to select and balance goals for integrated urban and ICT development, and to develop suitable approaches for actually doing so. Instead, by conflating the descriptive and the normative, ‘smart cities’ tend to substitute an orientation at societal ends by an orientation at selected means, thus supporting path optimization but structurally evading radical urban change. Hence, in order to become meaningful for enhancing sustainable and resilient local development, such concepts need to be embedded within a much wider cultural change perspective that should underpin especially the social, ecological and political dimensions of ‘smart’ urban development. In particular, they need to strengthen their focus on and engagement with the governance of integrated urban and ICT development.
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This paper reviews the factors which differentiate policies for the development of smart cities, in an effort to provide a clear view of the strategic choices that come forth when mapping out such a strategy. The paper commences with a review and categorization of four strategic choices with a spatial reference, on the basis of the recent smart city literature and experience. The advantages and disadvantages of each strategic choice are presented. In the second part of the paper, the previous choices are illustrated through smart city strategy cases from all over the world. The third part of the paper includes recommendations for the development of smart cities based on the combined conclusions of the previous parts. The paper closes with a discussion of the insights that were provided and recommendations for future research areas.
Article
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Chapter
This chapter sets out a new methodology for defining urban areas, as functional economic places, in a consistent way across countries. The methodology is applied to 28 OECD countries, where more than 1 000 urban areas (with population greater than 50 000) are identified and compared according to their size, form of development, density and population growth. The derivation of a methodology able to describe urban areas can help respond to relevant policy questions. First, it can be used to better analyse the links between urbanisation and economic growth, by taking into account that development does not necessarily imply further increases in the size of the metropolitan areas. Development can occur through a strengthening of linkages among medium-sized urban areas. Second, it opens up to monitoring the quality of life of the people living in urban areas and the sustainable use of resources. The work presented is, thus, meant to be a first step towards the development of a new international dataset aimed at monitoring more inclusive forms of growth and sustainable development of both large and medium-sized urban areas.