Urenio Watch Watch: Publications on Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Redefining the Smart City: Culture, Metabolism and Governance

redefining smart citiesThis paper reviews the literature about the Smart City paradigm in terms of culture, metabolism and governance and proposes a theoretical framework around it. This framework adopts a citizen-centered and outcome-oriented approach rather than a technology-based, corporate-driven solution. This approach applies smart infrastructure to each of the three fundamental values of a city in order to show how smart culture, smart metabolism, and smart governance can be created.


The Smart City concept is still evolving and can be viewed as a branding exercise by big corporations, which is why the concept is not being used by the United Nations (U.N.). Smart Cities tend to represent the information, communication, and technological (ICT) industry alone without considering the values and cultural and historical profiles that some cities hold as legacies.
However, the technology inherent in Smart Cities promises efficiencies and options that could allow cities to be more “inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable’ as required by the U.N. agenda including cultural heritage. There is a notable lack of Smart City application to cultural and historical urban fabrics. Instead, the modernist new town approach has emerged under this new rubric leading to many problems such as urban decay and unsustainable car dependence.
This study therefore presents a review of the literature on the nature, challenges, and opportunities of Smart Cities. A new Smart Cities framework is proposed based on the dimensions of culture, metabolism, and governance. These findings seek to inform policy makers of an alternative viewpoint on the Smart City paradigm, which focuses on urban outcomes rather than technology in isolation.

About the Journal

Smart Cities  is a transdisciplinary Journal on the Science and Technology of Smart Cities. It is an international scientific peer-reviewed open access journal and focuses on:

  • Electrical engineering for smart cities: smart grids, smart buildings, smart homes, smart lighting, renewable energies, power electronic for smart cities, energy market, and blockchain.
  • Computer engineering and information technology engineering for smart cities and smart enterprises: ICT infrastructure and information management in smart cities; IoT architectures, protocols, and algorithms; IoT device technologies, IoT network technologies; cloud computing; autonomic computing; data management; intelligent data processing and big data management for smart cities; real-time and semantic web services; context-aware systems for smart cities; and Industry 4.0.
  • Cyber-physical systems for smart cities.
  • Virtual reality for smart cities.
  • Smart hospitals and health informatics for smart cities: smart health, e-health, digital health, telehealth, and telemedicine.
  • Transport and mobility: intelligent transportation systems and vehicular networks, smart mobility, electric mobility, smart parking, traffic congestion, city logistics, and people mobility.
  • Measurements engineering for smart cities: networks and communications, advances in smart grid sensing, sensor interface and synchronization in smart grids, multi-sensor data fusion models for smart grids and smart cities, traceability and calibration of distributed sensing grids, distributed and networked sensors for smart cities, wireless sensor networks, embedded sensing and actuating, radio frequency identification (RFID), mobile internet, and ubiquitous sensing.
  • Civil engineering for smart cities: smart city architecture and infrastructure, environmental engineering for smart cities, smart water management, sustainable districts and urban development, waste management for smart cities, smart agriculture, and green houses.
  • Weather analysis, forecasting, reporting, and flood management for smart cities.
  • Mechanical sciences and automobile engineering for smart cities.
  • Applied science and humanities for smart cities.
  • Retail for smart cities: supply chain control, NFC Payment, intelligent shopping applications, smart product management, etc.
  • Security, privacy, and emergencies in smart cities, cryptography, and identity management.
  • Smart Living: pollution control, public safety, welfare and social innovation, culture, and public spaces.
  • Smart urban governance and e-government for smart cities.
  • Business and social issues for smart cities: smart economy and business model innovation in smart cities, marketing strategies for firms offering new services in smart cities, and green and blue economy.
  • Experimentation and deployments: real solutions, system design, modelling and evaluation for smart cities, pilot deployments, and performance evaluation.
  • Trends and challenges in smart cities.
  • BigData; data storage, data analysis, governance, and visualization.
  • Smart sensors, design, use, and data transmission.
  • Social sciences such as smart governance, economic model, innovation social acceptability, law, and privacy.
  • E-governance, on-line smart services.
  • Smart maintenance.