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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Searching for the Real Sustainable Smart City?
Author(s): Webster, C William R
Leleux, Charles
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Keywords: Sustainable smart cities
smart cities
citizen participation
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2019
Date Deposited: 6-Aug-2019
Citation: Webster CWR & Leleux C (2019) Searching for the Real Sustainable Smart City?. Information Polity, 24 (3), pp. 229-244.
Abstract: The emergence of ‘Smart Cities’ is a contemporary global phenomenon which is closely aligned to a vision of modern technologically advanced sustainable urban environments. However, public policy and academic discourses differ about what constitutes a city that is either ‘smart’ or ‘sustainable’, and assumptions are frequently made about the positive impact of technology and its potential benefit to the environment. Whilst a smart city is not necessarily a sustainable city, the terms ‘smart city’ and the ‘sustainable city’ are increasingly being fused together in the concept of the Sustainable Smart City (SSC). This article seeks to explore the conceptual components of the SSC, with a particular focus on the participatory role of the citizen, where this involves the use of new digital technologies. Conventional eGovernment has tended to focus on service delivery rather than engaging citizens in participatory activity, whilst traditional discourses on sustainability focus on environmentalism rather than broader societal sustainability. Sustainability in the context of the SSC is a much wider concept, where the aspiration is also to improve the quality life by engaging citizens in participatory governance, by co-creating sustainability values, and by developing relationships, trust and sustainable mechanisms for ongoing engagement. In this respect, new digital technology is understood according to its transformational potential and the opportunities which it offers to citizens in delivery of services, meaningful participation and of sustainable societal solutions. This article explores the three underlying conceptual pillars of the SCC, namely insights deriving from perspectives associated with (1) sustainability, (2) new technology and (3) participation, where each of these perspectives offers up its own rationale and institutional logic. Here, it is argued, that whilst practice around SSC’s differs considerably, the ‘real’ SSC stands at the nexus of new technology, citizen engagement and sustainable outcomes.
DOI Link: 10.3233/IP-190132
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Information Polity, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 229-244, 2019 by IOS Press. The original publication is available at:

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