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How to Overcome the Dichotomous Nature of Smart City Research: Proposed Methodology and Results of a Pilot Study

Mora, Luca; Deakin, Mark; Reid, Alasdair; Angelidou, Margarita


Margarita Angelidou


Overcoming the dichotomous nature of smart city research is fundamental to providing cities with a clear understanding of how smart city development should be approached. This paper introduces a research methodology for conducting the multiple-case study analyses necessary to meet this challenge. After presenting the methodology, we test the practical feasibility, effectiveness, and logistics of such a methodology by examining the activities that Vienna has implemented in building its smart city development strategy. The results of this pilot study show how the application of the proposed methodology can help smart city researchers codify the knowledge produced from multiple smart city experiences, using a common protocol. This in turn allows them to: (1) coordinate efforts when investigating the strategic principles that drive smart city development and test the divergent hypotheses emerging from the scientific literature; (2) share the results of this investigation and hypothesis testing by conducting extensive cross-case analyses among multiple studies able to capture the generic qualities of the findings; (3) gain consensus on the way to think about, conceptualize, and standardize the analysis of smart city developments; and (4) develop innovative monitoring and evaluation systems for smart city development strategies by reflecting upon the lessons learned from current practices.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 16, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2020
Journal Journal of Urban Technology
Print ISSN 1063-0732
Electronic ISSN 1466-1853
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 89-128
Keywords Smart city; Urban innovation; Sustainable urban development; Research methodology; Vienna
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Oct 16, 2018


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