A Participative Method for Prioritizing Smart City Interventions in Medium-Sized Municipalities

A Participative Method for Prioritizing Smart City Interventions in Medium-Sized Municipalities

Yannis Charalabidis (Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Samos, Greece) and Christina Theocharopoulou (University of the Aegean, Samos, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2019010103
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Abstract

One of the most critical issues relating to smart cities is the selection of the most suited interventions, among numerous available options. Especially when medium-sized municipalities are concerned that typically have less capabilities and available expertise, the need for a methodological framework for supporting the selection of possible interventions is profound. The aim of this article is to propose such a participative method for investigating the sectors in which a municipality could take actions, and for deciding on possible interventions. The approach includes citizens' opinion, municipality policy, and the organizational, technological and economic status of the municipality, as well as best practices from other smart cities. This way, a multi-criteria decision support model was developed, in order to select the best application scenarios for a medium-sized municipality. The model was applied in Samos Island in Greece, revealing that citizens show great interest in the development of smart applications. The whole approach can be easily applied, with the proper modifications, in a large variety of cities, offering a useful tool to decision makers and societies.
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On Smart City Interventions

A Smart City uses information and communication technologies in order to achieve high quality of life in multiple key areas: economy, mobility-transportation, environment, health care, tourism and culture, waste and water management, safety, democracy and governance. For the first time in 1994, the term “Digital City” was born with the creation of the digital city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, using the city as a metaphor combined features of a community of people, a site, and a platform for virtual communication and collaboration. In the years that followed, especially after 2000, a large number of studies for this new concept of smart city have been identified (Albino et al, 2015). At the same time, there are a variety of definitions and terms of similar importance, such as: “Virtual City”, “Cybercity”, “Wired City”, “Virtual Community”, etc. Many researchers use more than one of the above terms to describe the same concept, and others use the same term with a totally different meaning. In nowadays, the common place of all these definitions is the use of “smart city” as an allegory for describing a network of people and information moving digitally. A new dimension of a city is presented in the context of the technological revolution in the field of telecommunications and electronics and their integration in the city, the diffusion of information, and the increasing dominance of the digital on the physical space.

The evolutionary journey from “Digital” to “Smart Cities” has shifted interest from cities' technologies and digital infrastructure (communication networks, sensors, intelligent agents) to the human and institutional dimensions of the city. For example, the use of human creative skills, the cooperation in the field of innovation as well as artificial intelligence applications have gained new interest as key contributors to the design of a smart city. The perception of the “smart city” is not something static, but a process or a number of steps, the development of which is transforming cities into more sustainable, adaptable to the needs of citizens, and therefore more able to respond immediately to the new challenges.

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