The making of smart cities: Are Songdo, Masdar, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Brisbane the best we could build?

Tan Yigitcanlar, Hoon Han, Md. Kamruzzaman, Giuseppe Ioppolo, Jamile Sabatini-Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Transforming urban areas into prosperous, liveable, and sustainable settlements is a longstanding goal for local governments. Today, countless urban settlements across the globe have jumped into the so-called ‘smart city’
bandwagon to achieve this goal. Under the smart city agenda, presently, many government agencies are attempting to engineer an urban transformation to tackle urban prosperity, liveability, and sustainability issues mostly through the means of technology solutions. Nonetheless, the notion of smart cities is ambiguous, and there are limited conceptual frameworks to assist cities and their administrations in understanding the big picture view of this urban development paradigm. The aim of this paper is to generate a clear understanding on the making of successful smart city practices. This is done by elaborating the smart cities notion through a multidimensional conceptual framework, examining smart city best practices across the globe—i.e., Songdo,
Masdar, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Brisbane—, and providing insights of smart city approaches from these cases. The findings of the study disclose the need for a comprehensive smart city conceptualisation to inform policymaking and consequently the practice. This will help in the formation of a much-needed smart urbanism model for the resilient settlements of the climate emergency era.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number88
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • smart cities
  • smart urbanism
  • smart urban technology
  • sustainable urban development
  • sustainable urbanism
  • urban policymaking
  • climate emergency

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