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Strategic principles for smart city development: A multiple case study analysis of European best practices

Mora, Luca; Deakin, Mark; Reid, Alasdair



Recent studies reveal a deep-rooted division in research on smart cities, which surfaces as a set of dichotomies that question whether smart city development should be based on a: (1) technology-led or holistic strategy; (2) double or quadruple-helix model of collaboration; (3) top-down or bottom-up approach; (4) mono-dimensional or integrated intervention logic. These dichotomies generate a critical knowledge gap because they suggest diver-gent hypotheses on what principles need to be considered when implementing strategies for enabling smart city development. This paper starts filling such a gap by reporting on the findings of a multiple case study analysis which is conducted into European best practices. In meeting this aim, four European cities considered to be leaders in the field of smart city development are analyzed to test the validity of the hypotheses emerging from each dichotomy. These cities are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Helsinki and Vienna. The results of this best practice analysis offer a series of critical insights into what strategic principles drive smart city development in Europe and generate scientific knowledge which helps to overcome the dichotomous nature of smart city research.


Mora, L., Deakin, M., & Reid, A. (2019). Strategic principles for smart city development: A multiple case study analysis of European best practices. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 142, 70-97.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2018
Publication Date 2019-05
Deposit Date May 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 25, 2018
Journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Print ISSN 0040-1625
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 142
Pages 70-97
Keywords smart city; urban development; urban innovation; case study research; best practices; strategic principles
Public URL


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