Untangling Smart Cities

Untangling Smart Cities

From Utopian Dreams to Innovation Systems for a Technology-Enabled Urban Sustainability

1st Edition - June 27, 2019

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  • Authors: Luca Mora, Mark Deakin
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128154779
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128154786

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Untangling Smart Cities: From Utopian Dreams to Innovation Systems for a Technology-Enabled Urban Sustainability helps all key stakeholders understand the complex and often conflicting nature of smart city research, offering valuable insights for designing and implementing strategies to improve the smart city decision-making processes. The book drives the reader to a better theoretical and practical comprehension of smart city development, beginning with a thorough and systematic analysis of the research literature published to date. It addition, it provides an in-depth understanding of the entire smart city knowledge domain, revealing a deeply rooted division in its cognitive-epistemological structure as identified by bibliometric insights. Users will find a book that fills the knowledge gap between theory and practice using case study research and empirical evidence drawn from cities considered leaders in innovative smart city practices.

Key Features

  • Provides clarity on smart city concepts and strategies
  • Presents a systematic literature analysis on the state-of-the-art of smart cities' research using bibliometrics combined with practical applications
  • Offers a comprehensive and systematic analysis of smart cities research produced during its first three decades
  • Generates a strong connection between theory and practice by providing the scientific knowledge necessary to approach the complex nature of smart cities
  • Documents five main development pathways for smart cities development, serving the needs of city managers and policymakers with concrete advice and guidance


Smart City researchers and graduate students from sustainability, transport, energy, environmental science, engineering, economics, public health, behavior, and urban planning departments; Smart City planners and engineers involved with research, consultancy, funding, and distribution of services, products, and technologies; City policy makers in government and development agencies

Table of Contents

  • Preface: The landscape of smart cities ix

    1 Moving beyond the smart city utopia
    1.1 Utopian urbanism
    1.2 Smart cities and the new utopia
    1.3 Making sense of smart cities: Aim and structure of this book 9 References

    2 Smart city development as an ICT-driven approach to urban sustainability
    2.1 Introduction
    2.2 Cities in the digital era: Emerging technological trends
    2.2.1 Faster, cheaper, smaller: The evolutionary process in the ICT sector
    2.2.2 Intangible: The virtual image of cities
    2.2.3 Everywhere: Mobility, ubiquity, and the Internet of Things
    2.2.4 Volume, velocity, and variety: Data production in the digital era
    2.3 Smart stories: Deploying ICT to boost urban sustainability
    2.3.1 Facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources
    2.3.2 Ensuring equal access to basic services and infrastructures
    2.3.3 Improving food security
    2.3.4 Promoting environmentally sound waste management and reducing waste generation
    2.3.5 Improving the resilience of cities to natural disasters 41 2.4 The smart city movement is worldwide

    3 The first two decades of research on smart city development
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Bibliometrics and the analysis of knowledge domains
    3.3 The first two decades of smart-city research
    3.3.1 New and fast-growing 64 3.3.2 Lack of cohesion
    3.3.3 Divergent roots
    3.3.4 Two leading knowledge hubs
    3.4 A promising but divided research field
    3.5 The need to act in concert
    References 80

    4 Revealing the main development paths of smart cities
    4.1 Introduction 89
    4.2 Hybrid techniques for thematic cluster analysis
    4.3 Research methodology and results of the data processing phase
    4.4 Multiple smart city development paths
    4.4.1 Experimental path (C.02): Smart cities as testbeds for IoT solutions
    4.4.2 Ubiquitous path (C.05): The Korean experience of ubiquitous cities
    4.4.3 Corporate path (C.08): IBM and the corporate smart city model
    4.4.4 European path (C.14): Smart city for a low-carbon economy
    4.4.5 Holistic path (C.17): Digital, intelligent, smart
    4.5 The dichotomous nature of smart city research
    4.5.1 Dichotomy 1: Technology-led or holistic?
    4.5.2 Dichotomy 2: Top-down or bottom-up?
    4.5.3 Dichotomy 3: Double or quadruple-helix?
    4.5.4 Dichotomy 4: Monodimensional or integrated?

    5 Smart city development in Europe
    5.1 Introduction
    5.2 Hypothesis testing with case study research: Phase 1
    5.3 A multiple case study analysis into European best practices
    5.3.1 Dichotomy 1: Technology-led or holistic strategy
    5.3.2 Dichotomy 2: Double- or quadruple-helix model of collaboration
    5.3.3 Dichotomy 3: Top-down or bottom-up approach
    5.3.4 Dichotomy 4: Monodimensional or integrated intervention logic
    5.4 Strategic principles for smart city development: Lessons from Europe
    5.4.1 Strategic principle 1: Look beyond technology
    5.4.2 Strategic principle 2: Move toward a quadruple-helix collaborative model
    5.4.3 Strategic principle 3: Combine top-down (government-led) and bottom-up (community-driven)
    5.4.4 Strategic principle 4: Build a strategic framework
    5.4.5 Strategic principle 5: Boost the digital transformation by establishing a smart city accelerator
    5.4.6 Strategic principle 6: Adopt an integrated intervention logic
    5.5 Toward a smart-city knowledge platform 161 References

    6 Smart city development in North America
    6.1 The architecture of smart cities
    6.2 Hypothesis testing with case study research: Phase 2
    6.3 Smart city development in New York City
    6.3.1 Building Block A: Collaborative environment
    6.3.2 Building Block B: Strategic framework
    6.3.3 Building Block C: Network infrastructure
    6.3.4 Building Block D: ICT services and applications
    6.4 Extending the generalization 206 6.4.1 Philadelphia, Quebec City, Mexico City and Seattle
    6.4.2 Camden 208 6.4.3 Kansas City 209 References

    7 The social shaping of smart cities
    7.1 Smart cities and the dynamics of expectations
    7.2 Separating the hype from reality: Key lessons and recommendations
    7.2.1 Reframing smart city research
    7.2.2 Smart cities as complex adaptive systems for urban innovation
    7.2.3 Strategizing and operationalizing the smart city

Product details

  • No. of pages: 414
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2019
  • Published: June 27, 2019
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128154779
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128154786

About the Authors

Luca Mora

Luca Mora is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Smart Cities at Edinburgh Napier University. Luca’s research includes ICT-driven urban development, urban and regional innovation, and smart cities innovation and strategic planning. He is the Principal Investigator for the Roadmap for European Smart City research project.

Affiliations and Expertise

Lecturer in Urban Innovation Dynamics, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, United Kingdom

Mark Deakin

Mark Deakin is Professor of Built Environment in the School of Engineering and Head of the Centre for Smart Cities at Edinburgh Napier University. He’s directed Smart Cities and urban sustainable development research projects for the European Commission and UK, is the author of 12 books on Smart Cities, Sustainable Urban Development, and Urban Technology Management, editor of seven special journal issues on smart and sustainable community management and development, is an expert advisor to the European Investment Bank on smart and sustainable city development, and an Editorial Board Member of six academic journals, including Elsevier’s Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Built Environment, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, United Kingdom

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