Decoding the smart city narrative
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 10:24 by Desislava Boynska-Nikolova
It is a common misconception that smart cities are simply those that use Information and Communication Technologies. In fact, it is not as straightforward as that. A wide range of definitions exists out there regarding the smart city concept. While they do have in common an innovative and creative approach to solving urban problems, they also differ in the extent, reach, method, goals, and strategies utilized to fulfil those definitions. The author of this paper examined over 50 definitions from various contexts and identified a common, but also inherently diverse, set of goals smart cities claimed to represent. They also vastly diverged in their strategies and time lines. From brand new cities designed to be smart to smart initiatives of varying complexity, there is no single and agreed-upon definition among the various stakeholders. This paper attempts to decode the smart city narrative that has been over two decades in the making.