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Book Chapter: Co-producing Smart City Services

This chapter provides theoretical empirical information regarding methods and tools that can make co-production of public services a   more efficient process. Through an exploration of six pilot case studies, authors find out that, apart from methods and tools, other skills as well as the capacity to manage the governance of co-production are crucial for this objective.


Studies have shown the potential of co-producing public services with the stakeholders for more efficient and sustainable smart city services. However, evidence-based records of the success of such initiatives are limited and there is a strong deficit of analysis of what makes co-production efficient. This study addresses these limitations by exploring the methods, tools and techniques for managing the process effectively, and the skills required to do so, drawing on both literature and empirical data.

A case study method and survey is employed to uncover specific factors and challenges operating among public service project managers in European smart cities’”based on experience gained from Peripheria, a multidisciplinary project focused on the co-production of Future Internet-enabled services. Six pilot cases are explored to understand how each of them set about engaging their stakeholders in service co-production in order to reach the desired services and impacts for their smart city. A clear pattern emerged from the results of the comparative analysis, showing that, for the most part, there is no one-size-fits-all that can be applied to the cities’ attempts to engage their stakeholders in efficient service co-production.

The evidence collected also suggests that public service managers need not only the tools and techniques to encourage collaboration between the multiplicity of stakeholders involved in co-production but also the skills and capacity for managing the governance of co-production. It is these twin messages about no ‘˜one-size-fits-all’ and the importance of context-specific governance issues about who takes part in decision-making’”that need to be carried forward from this study.


Part of this work was presented at the R&D Management Conference: From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation, Cambridge University, UK, 3’“6 July 2016: Paskaleva, K. Cooper, I and Concilo, G. 2016. Tools and techniques for co-producing smart city services: Does one size fit all?’

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