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Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors

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As the majority of world population will be living in cities by 2050, it became a necessity for societies to build cities that are capable of meeting the needs of current and future generations in a smart way. There have been initiatives toward smart/sustainable cities that had succeeded, and others had failed. Being sustainable and smart had been used in a quite confusing way. In this paper, we attempt to understand related concepts, such as smart, sustainable, sustainable development, and sustainability. Then, we analyse five examples of existing initiatives of smart/sustainable cities to understand the factors behind their success or failure, by applying SMART criteria as a managerial perspective on those initiatives. Finally, we conclude the paper with key implications and possibilities for future research.
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Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both?
A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors
Rasha F. Elgazzar1 and Rania F. El-Gazzar2
1Department of Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design, College of Engineering,
Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt
2Department of Economics, Marketing and Law, School of Business,
University College of Southeast Norway, Hønefoss, Norway
Keywords: Smart, Smart City, Sustainable, Sustainability, Sustainable Development.
Abstract: As the majority of world population will be living in cities by 2050, it became a necessity for societies to
build cities that are capable of meeting the needs of current and future generations in a smart way. There have
been initiatives toward smart/sustainable cities that had succeeded, and others had failed. Being sustainable
and smart had been used in a quite confusing way. In this paper, we attempt to understand related concepts,
such as smart, sustainable, sustainable development, and sustainability. Then, we analyse five examples of
existing initiatives of smart/sustainable cities to understand the factors behind their success or failure, by
applying SMART criteria as a managerial perspective on those initiatives. Finally, we conclude the paper
with key implications and possibilities for future research.
It is speculated that 70% of the world’s population
will live in cities by 2050 (ITU, 2015). As cities have
more opportunities for education and work to offer,
populations in cities, especially in emerging
economies, are speculated to reach 4 billion by 2030
(Deloitte, 2015). Consequently, the consumption of
resources and services in cities will grow massively.
To accommodate this growth, there is a need for
innovation in managing cities' resources. Thus,
sustainable urbanization became a key concern for
societies in terms of environmental efficiency and
intelligent employment of resources. Hence, the
notion of "a technologically interconnected city" or
Internet of Things (IoT) using Big Data is promoted
to achieve the efficiency and intelligence in managing
cities' resources (Bonomi et al., 2014; Deloitte, 2015).
Societies are becoming increasingly oriented
toward achieving sustainability and improving the
quality of life with the use of Information and
Communication Technology (ICT). Then, the
concept of “smart sustainable city” is put forward to
ensure that “sustainability” is not overlooked at the
expense of fancying ICT (ITU, 2015). In the
literature, sustainability in societies is usually
emphasized from the environmental aspect in terms
of how ICT can reduce carbon emissions and support
intelligent use of energy (Gholami et al., 2015;
Watson et al., 2010; Brandt et al., 2013), while the
other important aspects (i.e., economic, social, and
cultural) were under-researched.
We argue that ICT is a means of achieving
intelligent resource management in a city, but it does
not necessarily presuppose that the city is successful
in being smart and sustainable. Thus, the purpose of
this article is to clarify key concepts (i.e., smart,
sustainable development, sustainability and smart
cities) that have been used conjointly and separately
in some occasions. The objective is to understand
“what are the key success and failure factors of smart
sustainable cities?” by analysing examples of existing
This paper is organized as follows: in Section 2,
we introduce and discuss relevant concepts. In
Section 3, we analyze and discuss real examples of
smart/sustainable city initiatives. Section 4 concludes
the key contributions and limitations of the paper and
higlights opportunities for future research.
Elgazzar R. and El-Gazzar R.
Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? - A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors.
DOI: 10.5220/0006307302500257
In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems (SMARTGREENS 2017), pages 250-257
ISBN: 978-989-758-241-7
Copyright c
2017 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
2.1 Smart
The word "smart" has been treated as an adjective,
instrumental concept, or a normative concept (Höjer
and Wangel, 2015). As an adjective, smart had
several meanings in Oxford and Merriam-Webster
dictionaries, such as “mentally alert”, “very good at
learning or thinking about things”, “showing
intelligence”, “knowledgeable”, and “programmed so
as to be capable of some independent action”. These
meanings apply for persons, objects, or places. A
smart person is interpreted as either a mentally
intelligent and alert or using ICT.
As an instrumental concept, smart means creating
“products, services and product-service systems in
which ICT play a major role” (Höjer and Wangel,
2015), and this concept is more focused on the means,
and not the final outcome. As ICT started to reshape
our society and “the way we interact with our friends,
communities, transportation modalities, homes,
offices, and even our bodies” nowadays, smart word
is often related to the use of ICT that provides a level
of intelligence and coordination of information
around us through sensor-based technology
(Stimmel, 2015, p.6). However, using a smart phone
without being connected to the Internet and
interconnected with other mobile devices and/or
computers does not mean any smartness; “the novelty
is thus not so much the individual technologies,
products or services but the interconnection and the
synchronization of these and the systems they
include, so that they work in concerted action.”
(Höjer and Wangel, 2015).
Hence, a smart object (e.g., smart phone) is
programmed to act autonomously and intelligently by
being connected and interconnected with other
objects. A smart place, either a city or a building, is
often described as being capable of managing its
resources intelligently, and it is often based on the
notion of technologically-interconnectedness (i.e.,
IoT) (Bonomi et al., 2014; Deloitte, 2015).
Contrarily, smart as a normative concept is
focused more on the desired outcome mirrored in the
efforts to improve (Höjer and Wangel, 2015).
Accordingly, smartness is determined by achieving
an intended outcome as specified priori. Doran (1981)
has set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable,
Relevant, and Time-bound) criteria for writing
management's goals. SMART criteria model suggests
that a goal should be (1) Specific: precisely defined,
(2) Measurable: progress towards the goal can be
measured, (3) Achievable: realistic and attainable
within constraints of available resources, knowledge,
and timeframe, (4) Relevant: bring the desired social,
economic, or environments outcomes, and (5) Time-
bound: have clearly stated deadlines.
To conclude, the word smart is interpreted
differently (i.e., intelligent, ICT-supported, outcome,
or criteria) and at different levels (i.e., vocabulary,
concept, and model). This has to do with the context
(i.e., persons and their use of ICT, places managing
their resources intelligently, and objects and their
autonomy and interconnectedness).
2.2 Sustainability, Sustainable
Development, and Sustainable
The word “sustainable development” emerged in the
1980s to include various aspects (i.e., economic,
urban, rural, industrial, agricultural, technological)
(Hembd and Silberstein, 2011). Then, sustainable
development was defined by the World Commission
on Environment and Development as (Butlin, 1987):
“Sustainable development is development that meets
the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
There have been research efforts to identify indicators
for sustainable development employed in Europe,
which include socioeconomic development, social
inclusion, demographic changes, public health,
climate change and energy, sustainable consumption
and production, natural resources, sustainable
transport, good governance, and global partnership
(Steurer and Hametner, 2013). Sustainable
development goals are deemed to be interconnected
(Le Blanc, 2015) and require an integration of
thinking across all sectors of the city and providing
incentives for collaboration between national and
international organizations as well as citizens to
participate in the sustainable development decision-
making, policy-making, and governance (Dassen et
al., 2013; Martin et al., 2014).
In dictionaries, the word “sustainability”, means
the ability to be used without being completely used
up or destroyed. Sustainability, as a concept, has been
used at the corporate-level (Baumgartner and Ebner,
2010), industry-level (Erol et al., 2009), and
community-level (Dempsey et al., 2011). Sustainable
communities are defined as “places where people
want to live and work, now and in the future. They
meet the diverse needs of existing and future
residents, are sensitive to their environment, and
contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and
inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer
equality of opportunity and good services for all”
Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? - A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors
(UK Government Web Archive, 2010). Communities
are striving to continuously achieve the goal of
sustainability that refers to “the ability of humans and
human society to continue indefinitely within a finite
natural world and its underlying natural cycles”
(Hembd and Silberstein, 2011). This definition of
sustainability is focused more on the natural world
(i.e., water, energy and food); however, the
environmental view on sustainability of the
community is no longer accepted (Dempsey et al.,
2011). The United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has defined
sustainability as “a paradigm for thinking about the
future in which environmental, societal and economic
considerations are balanced in the pursuit of an
improved quality of life” (UNESCO, 2016). The
UNESCO’s definition of sustainability emphasized
the economic and societal dimensions of our world.
While the social and economic dimensions of
sustainability are recognized, less research attention
has been given to these dimensions (Lam et al., 2014;
Salahodjaev, 2016; Dempsey et al., 2011). The
concepts “sustainable development” and
“sustainability” can be easily confused with each
other, but the UNESCO has solved this confusion by
acknowledging sustainability as a “long-term goal”,
or a “desired end-state” that can be sustained over
time (Weingaertner and Moberg, 2014; Höjer and
Wangel, 2015), while sustainable development is the
series of “processes to achieve that goal of
The components of a community are represented
as economy (physical built capital, such as machinery
and buildings), society (human capital, such as
knowledge and health), and environment (natural
capital, such as water and energy) (Hembd and
Silberstein, 2011). From a systems-based view,
putting emphasizes on relationships among economy,
society, and the environment is paramount to
sustainability of a community, as the relationships
between these three parts constitute the properties of
systems (i.e., communities) (Hembd and Silberstein,
These relationships have been explained in three
different views that evolved over time (Hembd and
Silberstein, 2011): (1) unconnected view: in which
the priority is given to the economic development, for
instance, over the environmental and societal
considerations. (2) interconnected view: in which all
the economic, environmental, and societal
considerations need to be taken into account for
development decisions and sustainability lies in the
overlap between the three components. This
interconnected view better resembles the concept of
sustainable development, as it has to consider
economy, society, and environment in meeting the
needs of current and future generations. (3)
interdependent view: in which “economy exists and
functions within society, and together they exist and
function within a finite environment and depend on
it” (Hembd and Silberstein, 2011); this view is said to
hold true for the concept of sustainability that the
more economy and society grow, the more important
it becomes to preserve the finite natural environment.
To conclude, “sustainability” is a goal that can be
achieved by the “sustainable development” processes
with focus on economy, society, and environment
components of a community and the relationships
between these three. Additionally, strategies to
achieve the goal of sustainability need to reflect the
notion of “Think Globally, Act Locally” (Hembd and
Silberstein, 2011). A sustainable city (or eco-city)
must be built on social development, economic
development, environmental management, and urban
governance to ensure having “low ecological
footprint” and eliminate transferring economic, social
and environmental hazards to other locations and
future generations (UN, 2013).
2.3 Smart Cities and Smart Sustainable
Traditional cities are going through serious urban
challenges, nowadays, ranging from environmental
(i.e., climate change, energy, and pollution),
economic (i.e., globalization), to social (i.e.,
urbanization) (Mosterman and Zander, 2013). These
challenges make cities more consumers than
preservers of the environmental resources, which
threatens the sustainability of the cities for the years
to come. The increasing density of population in cities
may increase their economic significance; however,
this may have unlikely social and environmental
impacts (UN, 2015). According to figures from the
United Nations (UN), 80% of the world’s urban
population will be in Asia and Africa and,
particularly, in the developing countries in the
becoming 15 years (UN, 2013). World’s cities
significantly contribute to 70% of global greenhouse
gas emissions (UN-Habitat, 2011) as well as 60-80%
of global energy consumption and 75% of carbon
(CO2) emissions (UN, 2016).
To achieve sustainability, cities need to
implement smart solutions enabled by smart
technology. These smart technology solutions require
“smart city initiatives” from the society (Albino et al.,
2015). Smart city initiatives have to involve citizens,
government, businesses, and non-government
SMARTGREENS 2017 - 6th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems
institutions in collaboration and partnership efforts
(Vanolo, 2014; Mosterman and Zander, 2013). This
social involvement has to focus on organizing a team
with a dedicated manager, diagnosing the current
situation with regard to urban challenges specific to
the city and current ICT infrastructure, identifying
smart technological solutions, setting action plan (i.e.,
goals, schedules, costs, and performance indicators),
financing the smart city action plan, implementing
smart city project, and evaluating the smart city
project (Bouskela et al., 2016). Several indicators
have been proposed to measure the performance of a
smart city project (ISO/IEC JTC 1, 2015; Albino et
al., 2015). The widely cited indicators for the
“smartness” of a city are mapped to six
characteristics: smart economy, smart people, smart
governance, smart mobility, smart environment, and
smart living (Giffinger et al., 2007).
Several definitions have been put forward for
“smart city” concept; these definitions were
generated from many different disciplines (i.e., ICT
and urban planning) and communities (i.e., academic
and industry) (Nam and Pardo, 2011; Chourabi et al.,
2012; Albino et al., 2015). Additionally, various
keyword terms have been used as synonymous to
“smart city”, which makes the concept of smart city
quite blurry (Albino et al., 2015; Nam and Pardo,
2011). A smart, or smarter, city is a city that is
characterized as an “instrumented, interconnected,
and intelligent” (IBM, 2010; Kehoe et al., 2011;
Albino et al., 2015). These characteristics are enabled
by the use of ICT. The “instrumented” layer refers to
sensor-based systems that provide real-time data
through sensors, meters, cameras, and unstructured
data. The inputs from the instrumented layer are
integrated and transformed into event-related
information at the “interconnected” layer to provide
rich insights for decision-making. Business
intelligence and analytics are applied to the
information provided by the interconnected layer and
other city-relevant data and, then, the analysed
information is visualized to understand the city
requirements and city policies at the “intelligent”
layer to allow making informed decisions and taking
actions. These three layers that build up the smartness
in a smart city are constructed by smart technology
solutions and ICT infrastructure, such as IoT, Big
Data, and Internet. It is worthy to note that despite
ICT is a key ingredient of a smart city initiative
(Negre and Rosenthal-Sabroux, 2015), ICT in itself
does not denote an “intelligent or smart” city
(Kondepudi and Kondepudi, 2015). ICT should have
a degree of autonomy and intelligent devices, and
services have to be linked to the ICT infrastructure
through IoT that is defined as (Botterman, 2009,
“A global network infrastructure, linking
physical and virtual objects, through the exploitation
of data capture and communication capabilities. This
infrastructure includes existing and evolving Internet
and network developments. It will offer specific
object-identification, sensor and connection
capability as the basis for the development of
independent federated services and applications.
These will be characterized by a high degree of
autonomous data capture, event transfer, network
connectivity and interoperability.”
Smart cities are not so smart without a reliable and
superfast Internet that connects and integrates
sensors, meters, cameras, other smart devices as well
as data/information/knowledge systems throughout
the city to communicate people with those devices,
systems and other people promoting the concept of
IoT (Atzori et al., 2010). The other key smart
technology solution in a smart city is Big Data that
maximizes computation power and algorithmic
capability to analyse and identify patterns in large
data sets, and provide a form of intelligence along
with accurate and objective truth (De Mauro et al.,
2015). Several definitions have been set for big data;
however, it has been defined as “the information
assets characterized by such a high volume, velocity
and variety to require specific technology and
analytical methods for its transformation into value.”
(De Mauro et al., 2015).
From an ICT perspective, the term “smart” in a
smart city implies the use of Internet, ICT, IoT, and
Big Data. However, from the perspective of urban
planning and development, “smart” implies that a city
has a key goal to achieve its economic, social, and
environmental sustainability and, thus, improve the
quality of life (Albino et al., 2015; Kondepudi and
Kondepudi, 2015). A major critique to many smart
city initiatives was that these cities had focused on
using ICT to address environmental issues and
ignored the social aspects (Albino et al., 2015), and
the fact that smart cities are built for people to
improve the quality of life, which is defined as “an
individuals perception of their position in life in the
context of the culture and value systems in which they
live and in relation to their goals, expectations,
standards and concerns” (WHO, 1997, p.1).
Hence, the concept of “smart sustainable cities”
was suggested after analysing about 100+ definitions
of smart cities by the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s focus group
(ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities,
2014; ITU, 2015). The analysis indicated some
Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? - A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors
attributes that have been claimed to characterize
smart cities belong primarily to the concept of
sustainability, such as quality of life and sustainable
development (Vesco and Ferrero, 2015), which gave
rise for the concept of “smart sustainable cities
(SSC)s” that emphasizes the sustainability as a goal
to be achieved after iterations of sustainable
development efforts (i.e., economic, social, and
environmental). It is worthy to note that: (1) cities are
not necessarily made sustainable using smart ICT, (2)
using ICT in cities does not necessarily contribute to
sustainable development, (3) smart ICT can be used
for sustainable development in other settings than
cities, such as industries or buildings, and (4) SSCs
exist only when smart ICT is used for making cities
more sustainable (Höjer and Wangel, 2015).
An SSC is defined as “an innovative city that uses
information and communication technologies (ICTs)
and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency
of urban operation and services, and competitiveness,
while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and
future generations with respect to economic, social,
environmental as well as cultural aspects (ITU,
2015). An SSC has three key characteristics:
sustainability (i.e., governance, pollution, climate
change, etc.), quality of life (i.e., financial and
emotional well-being), and intelligence (i.e.,
improving economic, social, and environmental
standards) (ITU, 2014).
We selected five examples of smart/sustainable cities
that we found providing insights into key criteria to
consider when making decisions to build smart
sustainable cities, especially that this is the common
trend nowadays to be equipped for the needs of the
future generation. The five examples include cities,
such as Masdar, Dongtan, Sino-Singapore Tianjin
Eco-city, Songdo, and Busan (see Table 2). We
applied SMART criteria model to understand the
success and failure factors of existing smart city
example initiatives from a managerial perspective,
which need to be considered by governments when
investing in and implementing smart city projects in
the future.
The examples introduced with regard to their
location, area/capacity timeframe, goals, expected
outcomes, challenges faced, and achievements done
so far. From the descriptions in Table 1, it appears that
the most struggling smart/sustainable cities are
Masdar and Dongtan. Masdar had set a goal that is not
possible to achieve that is “to be zero-carbon city”
and it was not able to attract the exact population that
was intended to inhabit it. According to Table 1,
Masdar does not fulfill three important SMART
criteria: the achievability of its unrealistic goal “zero-
carbon”, the relevance of its goal in bringing desired
social outcomes that it could only attract 300 people
out of intended population 50000 people, and thus,
being unable to finish the project on the pre-set
deadline 2016. However, the goal of Masdar has been
rectified to reduce carbon emission by 50%.
For Dongtan, major challenges related to the
corruption of local politicians and greedy
consultancies who overlooked practicalities in
designing the city. According to SMART criteria in
Table 1, Dongtan made the same mistake as Masdar
by setting an unrealistic goal of reducing the
ecological footprint to 2.2 hectares per person, which
is beyond the maximum of 1.9 hectares per person.
The unrealistic goal of Dongtan has not been
rectified, which creates blurriness around the
measurability of the goal. Furthermore, due to
corruption and greediness, the project had stopped for
a long while, despite its valid timeframe, with only a
wind turbines farm and the city ended up with zero
inhabitants. Thus, Dongtan did not bring in relevance
to desired economic development outcomes that the
city was intended to achieve.
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, Songdo, and
Busan appeared to fulfill the SMART criteria and
provide examples of successful smart/sustainable
cities. The goals of the three cities considered the
social development including culture and aimed at
harmonizing it with the environmental and economic
developments, along with employing ICT
advancements. Despite this harmonization poses a
challenge for the three cities, the goal is still
achievable and the cities recorded a progress. This
finding corroborates the claim in the literature that the
success of smart/sustainable city initiatives has to do
with the focus on the social development beside the
environmental and economic developments, as this
will pave the way to achieving sustainability (Albino
et al., 2015). The key of building a successful
smart/sustainable city is to have clear vision and well-
Table 1: Mapping the examples to SMART criteria.
SMARTGREENS 2017 - 6th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems
Table 2: Analysis of examples for smart/sustainable cities.
Masdar City
(Zero Carbon City)
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Area/Capacity: 6 Km2 / 50000 residents
Time frame: started in 2006 and it is scheduled to be completed this year 2016, but the completion date has been further
extended to 2030
Goal: to be a zero-carbon city
Expected outcomes:
-100% renewable energy (solar panels, wind turbines, etc.), 80% of water is recycled
-It is a car free city provided with green transportation systems, such as rapid transit system, biking and walking
-Run out of the scheduled finishing time
-The set goal will not be achieved “to be a zero carbon city”, even after the project is finished, it will reduce it only 50%
-5% of the city is completed
-The city is inhabited by only 300 people all of them are students at Masdar Institute of Science and technology
Dongtan City
Location: Island of Chongming near Shanghai, China
Area/Capacity: 84 Km2 / 600000 residents
Time frame: started in 2005 and expected completion by 2040 on two phases
-To make Dongtan low carbon and zero waste city as possible by reduce the ecological footprint to 2.2 hectares per person,
while according the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF 1.9 hectares is the maximum for achieving sustainability
-To develop a new paradigm of economic development
Actual outcomes: self-sufficient city by using renewable energy (solar panels, wind turbines and bio-mass fuels)
Challenges: corruption and greediness
Achievements: The city remains as a ghost city with only 10 large wind turbines standing in the air with no buildings
Tianjin Eco-city
Location: between Singapore and China; the city located in China near to Beijing
Area/Capacity: 30 Km2 / 350000 residents
Time frame: started in 2007 and expected completion by 2020
Goal: to be socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient
Expected outcomes:
-Use of non-motorized modes of transport such as light rail system and bicycles
-Renewable energy, water conservation, and effective waste management
Challenges: making balance between achieving three harmonies ([people-environment], [people-economy], and [people-
people]) and three abilities (practicability, replicability, and scalability)
Achievements: Only 3 Km2 of the city are completed so far, the city is inhabited by 6000 people in 2014 and is still
growing but still no hospitals or shopping malls
Songdo Smart City
Location: 65 km southwest of Seoul, South Korea
Area/Capacity: 86 Km2 / 75000 residents
Time frame: started in 2005 and completed in 2015
-To be Aerotropolis (centrality of its airport infrastructure)
-To be Ubiquitous City (U-City) (integration of information systems with social systems through wireless networks
Actual outcomes:
-Qualified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
-Over 120 buildings intend to achieve LEED certification, making Songdo the largest private LEED development in the
-Co-generation and waste management systems relying on a network of tubes that suck in the garbage and transport it
efficiently to treatment facilities
-Occupancy rate is lower than expected
-Balancing its sustainable development goals with environmentalists’ calls for preserving bird habitats
Achievements: the city is finished since 2015
Busan Green
Location: southeast of Korea, fifth busiest sea port in the world and first IoT-Based smart city in Korea
Area/Capacity: 765.64 Km2 /3 540098 residents
Time frame: started the shifting and retrofitting to next generation of technology program in 2005 and the project is done
on 2 phases, Phase 1 (2006-2011) and phase 2 (2012-2016)
build a city with a 'smart' economy, 'smart' lifestyle, 'smart' culture, and 'smart' green environment
Expected outcomes:
Improve the structure of local industries, boost the local economy and enhance the quality of life for Busan residents by
integrating the latest next-generation ubiquitous technology into the city’s major infrastructure (logistics, transportation,
tourism, health, disaster prevention and safety and environment). Promote Busan City’s status in the international
community by creating the world’s first-ever U-city
Challenges: In developing business models to ensure that new city technologies and services are profitable
Achievements: currently Busan U-city in its final phase and when it is finished, it will be a role model of U-City (Smart
City) according to Young-Sik Kim, Director General, Planning and Financing of Busan Metropolitan City: “When the
implementation of the Busan U-City is complete, it will usher in a new era in urban mobility around the city, with education,
medical service, and public welfare all benefiting from the creation of a smart community environment.” (Cisco, 2016)
Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? - A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors
defined and doable goal to achieve. The most
important factor is to not only build many smart or
sustainable cities, the most important is how to get
them fully occupied. ICT and Big Data play a major
role in coordinating the economy, environment and
social and culture factors, and thus achieving
sustainability in a smart manner.
To conclude, the success of a smart/sustainable
city can be related to its goals being measurable,
achievable, relevant to the desired outcomes (i.e.,
social, economic, and environmental), and
accomplished within a certain timeframe.
In this paper, we clarified and discussed related
concepts (i.e., smart, smart city, sustainability,
sustainable development, and smart sustainable city),
that have been used interchangeably and confused
with each other, by highlighting the differentiating
characteristics of each concept. We applied SMART
criteria model by looking at success and failure
factors of existing smart/sustainable city initiatives
from a managerial perspective. Such a perspective
offers important considerations to governments when
investing in and implementing smart city projects in
the future. As any research effort, this study has a
limitation that it relies on a theoretical analysis of
documented data from secondary sources. Thus,
further empirical examinations can provide rich
insights into the outcomes of this study.
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Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, or Both? - A Critical Review and Synthesis of Success and Failure Factors
... Therefore, can rather introduce the compatible version as "smart sustainable city". and El- Gazzar (2017) Based on the most obvious differences, it is apparent that a smart city represents something more than the above different types of cities, except for the U-city which defines itself revolving around the term smart city. Some chronological studies have identified that smart city is the upshot of the global city development process where it carries the major aspects of global cities, liveable cities, and sustainable cities plus knowledge-based urban development and community participation ( Yadav and Patel, 2015). ...
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Distinctive nature of the problems a city holds, baptise a "smart city", which is a term, at the same time, is blamed for being befogged. Although defining the term "a smart city" is worth taking a risk, the maturity of the smart city definition in terms of practical use and research has not been reached. Even if it is defined, it would highly depend on the context and unique nature of cities. Yet there are city components that are only found in smart cities. A study of these components would be the most practical way of understanding "what make a smart city". Therefore, this study aims to analyse literature, review definitional elements of smart cities, and derive a comprehensive list of smart city components. Not being a one size fits all, smart city definitions are often interchangeable with other well-defined city conceptions. Those conceptions are a source to outline what smart cities are. Therefore, the terms digital city, intelligent city, ubiquitous city, global city, and sustainable city are compared with smart city characteristics. In the same way, definitional elements from ten latest literature sources were identified. Smart city components identified in the literature were then reviewed and combined to form a list of components under the themes; smart economy, smart people, smart living, smart environment, smart mobility, and smart governance which were supposed to integrate with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. While these components are the frontline, smart cities also intent to ensure urban, public services, and citizen development. With this, the paper presents a holistic summary of the characteristics that define the smartness of a smart city.
... A sustainable smart city is an interdisciplinary concept, and as such, it has many definitions, emphasizing various aspects and proposing different assessment indicators [6]. An attempt to systematize the concepts existing in that area was made by Mattias Höjer and Josefin Wangela [7], and [8], as well as Rasha F. Elgazzar and Rania F. El-Gazzar [9]. The latter of the aforementioned authors has been extensively discussing and clarifying the meaning of the words/concepts such as "smart", "sustainability", "sustainable development", and also the meaning of complex concepts such as "sustainable cities", "smart cities" and "smart sustainable cities". ...
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The idea of sustainable smart city has extensive scientific literature where the architects’ role in designing built environments, being a physical platform for implementing “elderly-friendly” solutions, is poorly referenced. The main objective of the article is to define the role of architects in creating the image of sustainable smart cities, focusing on senior citizens. The paper surveys the available literature on the subject and describes pilot studies carried out at the indicative level among the students of one of architecture faculties in Poland, based on the design thinking method. The studies demonstrate how students imagine intelligent elderly-friendly cities in the future from the architects’ perspective. In addition, examples of other studies with the students of that faculty are presented. Following the analyses combining the conclusions of research and pilot studies with the students, a tabular summary of the architects’ tasks and roles were provided—these were divided into six building blocks of a smart city and as a reference to the elements shaping the image of cities, districts and buildings. This is a new, innovative classification of architectural issues. The perspectives for further desk research and field participatory research were indicated, which should, in the future, translate into a novel holistic approach to the problem.
... Additionally, ICT is a technical platform for the process of collecting and processing massive amounts of data, called big data, enhancing digital devices, Internet services, the IoT, and the Internet of people's societies [25], and these techniques and technologies have been recognized as tools of urban planning to create innovative, intelligent spaces and improve urban sustainability [26]. In this way, the information gathered by these processes is accelerated to achieve intelligence and efficiency in managing urban resources and settings [27][28][29]. Collectively, ICT-based predictive analytics can demonstrate the best implements for gaining insight into data for future decisions [30,31], and enhance the outcomes for other stakeholders in the smart city area [2]. ...
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The aim of this study was to explore the keywords related to smart city concepts, and to understand their flow. This research used a keyword network analysis by collecting keywords from papers published on the web from Scopus, which is an international scholarly papers engine. The data were collected from before and after 2016, and since the amount of data has been growing rapidly after global agreements such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, we attempted to focus on adjacent years of publication. In order to understand the flow of research, we conducted a central analysis, which is widely used in quantitative research relating to social network analysis, and performed cluster analysis to identify relationships with related research. The results of the analysis are represented in the form of network maps, and the role of each keyword was clarified based on these network maps. In addition, the overall flow explained the change of flow through discarded and emerging keywords, and the relationships with related fields were explained through cluster analysis. The findings could serve as a basis for policymakers, urban managers, and researchers seeking a comprehensive understanding of the smart city concept in urban planning areas.
Sustainability is related to the coordination of a complex system that constitutes by society, economy, and environment. In particular, environmental factor is frequently considered irreplaceable among them. This paper proposed a framework for regional sustainability assessment by coupling environmental factor and an improved Human Development Index (HDI). The performance of the framework was then analyzed using the 66 counties in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) in China as a case study. On this basis, spatio-temporal assessment on the regional sustainability was assessed from the dimensions of society, economy, and environment. Results showed that the proposed framework could capture both socio-economic and environmental dimensions well to reflect the regional sustainability in the YRD. Specifically, it showed that sustainability was continuously improved in the YRD from 2000 to 2015. However, the sustainability revealed large differences among distinct dimensions. For instances, socio-economic sustainability was improved in 78.79% of the counties in the YRD from 2000 to 2015, but their environmental sustainability was declining in the same period. Spatially, the overall sustainability of the YRD showed autocorrelations and diverse aggregation characteristics among counties from 2000 to 2015. It is therefore essential to coordinate environment protection and economic development according to each city’s characteristic to realize sustainable development in future decades.
This paper identifies, categorizes, and elaborates the informational mechanisms that governments and municipalities employ to become eco-sustainable. Specifically, it illustrates how municipalities are successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions using Green IS. Based on case studies of Bristol and Manchester, the findings are significant in that they demonstrate how Green IS can be comprehended, adopted, implemented, and assimilated in municipalities and organizational fields. The findings are also noteworthy in that they advance the use of mechanism-based institutional theory in IS research. Thus, this paper helps to inform society on how it can address its greatest challenge—the climate emergency.
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This paper examines the attempt to develop smart, sustainable cities (SSC) in the Arab region. The paper identifies four barriers: 1) Infrastructural need for technological advances and availing information and transparency regarding the functioning of the administration. 2) High rates of adult illiteracy and lack of political participation. 3) Methods of data collection, validity, reliability, and analysis, which are of utmost importance for decision-making, are not always precise and rigorous. Also, 4) bound rationality that affects the planning process, thus hampering proper planning. Attempting to develop an SSC is not possible in a country where the majority are illiterate and poor. These attempts could lead to the loss of public space, social segregation, and dysfunctional democracy.
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We contend that too few information systems (IS) academics engage in impactful research that offers solutions to global warming despite the fact that climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing this generation. Climate change is a major threat to global sustainability in the 21st century. Unfortunately, from submissions of our call for papers presenting IS solutions for environmental sustainability, we found only one paper worthy of publication. Given that IS have been the major force for productivity increases in the last half-century, we suggest that IS scholars should immerse themselves in creating solutions for environmental problems. Moreover, information is a perquisite for assessing the state of the environment and making appropriate decisions to ameliorate identified problems. Indeed, the IS scholarly community needs to help create a sustainable society. While there is an emerging body of IS scholarship under the banner of green IS, we strongly believe that we need to step up these efforts. Our experience indicates that the emergence of green IS as an academic discipline is still by far too slow relative to the needs of society. Too few people are working on green IS given its importance, and fewer still are publishing papers about IS solutions that could contribute to dealing with climate change. In this editorial, we speculate on some reasons for why and explore how the IS discipline can grasp the opportunity to contribute to one of the most important societal challenges of our time. We identify the major barriers that we assert curtail the involvement of IS scholars in green IS research; namely, incentives misalignment, the low status of practice science, data analysis poverty, identification of research scope, and research methods. We discuss each barrier and propose solutions for them.
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In this paper we show how IS research can contribute to two major issues many societies face today – dealing with the decreasing availability of easily accessible fossil fuels and the threat of climate change. We introduce an IS artifact that uses historical data on energy consumption, energy generation, and mobility behavior to unleash synergies between residential photovoltaic panels and electric vehicles. Using real world data we show in simulations that our residential information system allows households to decrease annual net energy costs by up to 68 percent. This results in an earlier break-even point of green technologies and clears a path towards a more sustainable society. Following up with an investment analysis we show that the information system has the same financial impact as the subsidy for plugin-hybrid electric vehicles by the U.S. federal government following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – at no cost to the taxpayer.
The increasing threat for environmental attributes has led to the onset of adopting sustainability concepts. In India, much importance is not given on systematic community development, rather we are still reclined on conventional methodology that leads to stress on environment and resource depletion caused by various types of pollution and giving no scope for community development on a larger scale. The prime focus is to look into water management, rainwater harvesting, vertical growth and vertical farming, zero waste management, green energy usage, water source management, etc., and integrating all these on a site-specific scenario. Through this project, a self-sufficient and future stable community is being achieved by self-production of energy through available solar, biomass and other energy sources, and water demand is trying to be sufficed by different water conservation methods using the available water and providing a green corridor for community health.
The term “smart city” defines the new urban environment, one that is designed for performance through information and communication technologies. Given that the majority of people across the world will live in urban environments within the next few decades, it’s not surprising that massive effort and investment is being placed into efforts to develop strategies and plans for achieving “smart” urban growth. Building Smart Cities: Analytics, ICT, and Design Thinking explains the technology and a methodology known as design thinking for building smart cities. Information and communications technologies form the backbone of smart cities. A comprehensive and robust data analytics program enables the right choices to be made in building these cities. Design thinking helps to create smart cities that are both livable and able to evolve. This book examines all of these components in the context of smart city development and shows how to use them in an integrated manner. Using the principles of design thinking to reframe the problems of the smart city and capture the real needs of people living in a highly efficient urban environment, the book helps city planners and technologists through the following: Presentation of the relevant technologies required for coordinated, efficient cities Exploration of the latent needs of community stakeholders in a culturally appropriate context Discussion of the tested approaches to ideation, design, prototyping, and building or retrofitting smart cities Proposal of a model for a viable smart city project The smart city vision that we can create an optimized society through technology is hypothetical at best and reflects the failed repetition through the ages of equating scientific progress with positive social change. Up until now, despite our best hopes and efforts, technology has yet to bring an end to scarcity or suffering. Technical innovation, instead, can and should be directed in the service of our shared cultural values, especially within the rapidly growing urban milieu. In Building Smart Cities: Analytics, ICT, and Design Thinking, the author discusses the need to focus on creating human-centered approaches to our cities that integrate our human needs and technology to meet our economic, environmental, and existential needs. The book shows how this approach can lead to innovative, livable urban environments that are realizable, practical, and economically and environmentally sustainable.
Smart City is a fuzzy concept that has not been clearly defined either in theoretical studies or in empirical projects. Smart Cities are based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), people (with their knowledge, habits, experiences, culture and behaviour) remain at the heart of concerns. In this chapter we are interested in the centrality of citizens (i.e. in the heart of the city) and of ICT in their environment. This leads us to take into account the tacit knowledge brought by citizens and the knowledge that may be divulged through ICT. We then present the concept of the Information and Knowledge System (IKS), and then we explain how it differs from that of the Digital Information System (DIS). We also point to the role of ICT in the DIS, and to their impact on improving the smartness of cities.
As population growth accelerates, researchers and professionals face challenges as they attempt to plan for the future. Urban planning is a significant component in addressing the key concerns as the world population moves towards the city and leaves the rural environment behind, yet there are many factors to consider for a well rounded community. The Handbook of Research on Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability in the Development of Smart Cities brings together the necessary research and interdisciplinary discussion to address dilemmas created by population growth and the expansion of urban environments. This publication is an essential reference source for researchers, academicians, investors, and practitioners interested in the urban planning and technological advancements necessary for the creation of smart cities.
We explore the effect of intelligence on environmental sustainability, using data from more than 150 nations over the period 2000–2014, taking into consideration various control variables as documented in related studies. Our measure of intelligence is national IQ scores. The results show that a 10-point increase in national IQ scores yields a 12-point increase in sustainability, measured by the Environmental Performance Index. We also document that the intelligence–environment association varies with GDP per capita levels. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment