Urenio Watch Watch: Publications on Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Conceptualizing Smart City with Dimensions of Technology, People, and Institutions

This article seeks to answer a series of conceptual questions related to smart city, such as what are its main characteristics, in what aspects people label some cities as smart etc, in order to conceptualize smart city for both academics and practitioners who use this concept.


This conceptual paper discusses how we can consider a particular city as a smart one, drawing on recent practices to make cities smart. A set of the common multidimensional components underlying the smart city concept and the core factors for a successful smart city initiative is identified by exploring current working definitions of smart city and a diversity of various conceptual relatives similar to smart city. The paper offers strategic principles aligning to the three main dimensions (technology, people, and institutions) of smart city:

  • integration of infrastructures and technology-mediated services,
  • social learning for strengthening human infrastructure, and
  • governance for institutional improvement and citizen engagement.
Figure 1: Strategic Directions of Smart City. Source: Current paper

Cite this article

Taewoo Nam and Theresa A. Pardo. 2011. Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions. In Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference: Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times (dg.o ’11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 282-291. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2037556.2037602

  • Read the whole article here