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Special Issue: Creating Smart-er Cities

The Journal of Urban Technology (Taylor & Francis) published the Special Issue “Creating Smart-er Cities’ edited by Mark Deakin. The issue includes an Editorial that reviews the policy debate on smart cities and five papers that highlight the major challenges cities face attempting to become “smart.’

Together the papers advocate a more neo-liberal roadmap, rooted in a critically aware knowledge-base and more realistic understanding of what it means for cities to be smart(er). In this respect, they offer a language, a syntax, and a vocabulary by which to understand the emerging policy debate on smart cities.

Creating Smart-er Cities: An Overview
Sam Allwinkle & Peter Cruickshank

The following offers an overview of what it means for cities to be “smart.’ It draws the supporting definitions and critical insights into smart cities from a series of papers presented at the 2009 Trans-national Conference on Creating Smart(er) Cities. What the papers all have in common is their desire to overcome the all too often self-congratulatory nature of the claims cities make to be smart and their over-reliance on a distinctively entrepreneurial route to smart cities. Individually, they serve to highlight the major challenges cities face in their drive to become smart. Collectively they begin to uncover what it means for cities to be smart. Together the papers offer an alternative route to smart cities laid down by those advocating a more neo-liberal roadmap, rooted in a critically aware knowledge-base and more realistic understanding of what it means for cities to be smart(er).

The IntelCities Community of Practice: The Capacity-Building, Co-Design, Evaluation, and Monitoring of E-Government Services
Mark Deakin, Patrizia Lombardi & Ian Cooper

The paper examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization’s capacity-building, co-design, monitoring, and evaluation of e-government services. It begins by outlining the IntelCities CoP and goes on to set out the integrated model of electronically enhanced government (e-government) services developed by the CoP to build the capacity to co-design, monitor, and evaluate the IntelCities’ e-Learning platform, knowledge-management system, and digital library. The paper goes on to examine the information technology (IT) underlying this set of semantically interoperable e-government services supporting the crime, safety, and security initiatives of socially-inclusive and participatory urban regeneration programs.

The Business Models and Information Architectures of Smart Cities
George Kuk & Marijn Janssen

In the Netherlands, there are two ways cities acquire the smart city status: one way has business models preceding information architecture and the other takes an opposite direction. We used two cities to examine the underlying differences of these two approaches in terms of service enhancement, resource implications, and the sustainability of service development. The first case focused on creating business value through the use of technology by enhancing existing services and/or bringing new services whereas the second case started with creating an infrastructure that served as a technology platform to induce changes in business practices. We found that the first case accumulated business value faster with more new services made available to the public. In contrast, the second case was more resource-intensive and relatively slower in bringing new services to the general public, yet the services were much improved and sustainable over time.

The Triple-Helix Model of Smart Cities: A Neo-Evolutionary Perspective
Loet Leydesdorff & Mark Deakin

This paper sets out to demonstrate how the triple-helix model enables us to study the knowledge base of an urban economy in terms of its civil society’s support for the evolution of the city as a key component of an innovation system. It argues that cities can be considered as densities in networks among three relevant dynamics: the intellectual capital of universities, the wealth creation of industries, and the democratic government of civil society. It goes on to suggest that these interactions generate dynamic spaces within cities where knowledge can be exploited to bootstrap the technology of regional innovation systems. These dynamic spaces can best be understood as spaces of ubiquitous information and communication technologies (ICT) where knowledge is key to regional innovation systems, creating the notion of “smart cities.’

Smart Cities in Europe
Andrea Caragliu, Chiara Del Bo & Peter Nijkamp

Urban performance currently depends not only on a city’s endowment of hard infrastructure (physical capital), but also, and increasingly so, on the availability and quality of knowledge communication and social infrastructure (human and social capital). The latter form of capital is decisive for urban competitiveness. Against this background, the concept of the “smart city’ has recently been introduced as a strategic device to encompass modern urban production factors in a common framework and, in particular, to highlight the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the last 20 years for enhancing the competitive profile of a city.

The present paper aims to shed light on the often elusive definition of the concept of the “smart city.’ We provide a focused and operational definition of this construct and present consistent evidence on the geography of smart cities in the EU27. Our statistical and graphical analyses exploit in depth, for the first time to our knowledge, the most recent version of the Urban Audit data set in order to analyze the factors determining the performance of smart cities. We find that the presence of a creative class, the quality of and dedicated attention to the urban environment, the level of education, and the accessibility to and use of ICTs for public administration are all positively correlated with urban wealth. This result prompts the formulation of a new strategic agenda for European cities that will allow them to achieve sustainable urban development and a better urban landscape.

SCRAN: The Network
Peter Cruickshank

This paper outlines the relationship between the Smart Cities (inter)Regional Academic Network (SCRAN) and the triple-helix model of knowledge production, a model encompassing industry, the university, and the government. The “step-wise’ logic of SCRAN’s triple helix for the SmartCities venture is then set out. This draws attention to the networking of the intellectual capital underpinning SCRAN’s knowledge base and learning platform. From here the paper goes on to set out how SCRAN’s wiki is being used to match the intellectual capital and wealth creation of the SmartCities’ triple helix with the e-government services developing under the North Sea’s regional innovation system.

More info

Journal of Urban Technology – Special Issue: Creating Smart-er Cities