Smart City Governance: From E-Government to Smart Governance

Smart City Governance: From E-Government to Smart Governance

Maria do Rosário Matos Bernardo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1978-2.ch014
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Smart governance is one of the characteristics of smart cities, having its roots in e-government, in the principles of good governance, and in the assumptions of citizens' participation and involvement in public decision-making. This chapter aims to answer the question: “What smart governance practices are being implemented in smart cities” through an extensive literature review in the areas of e-government, good governance, smart cities and smart governance, and content analysis of the websites of seven smart cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Manchester, Singapore, and Stockholm. The objective was to identify the presence of factors related with e-participation; e-services; and public administration functioning on the cities' websites. The chapter ends with directions for future research and the conclusion that all the smart cities analyzed presented some factors related with smart governance, but with different levels of development and application.
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The smart city concept was recently introduced in the political arena and in academic research in order to highlight the relevance and importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the development, growth, productivity and competitiveness of modern cities (Caragliu, Del Bo & Nijkamp 2011). This is often associated with the idea of a digital city, with high use of technologies, particularly in terms of:

  • Security,

  • Communication infrastructure,

  • Transport,

  • Health,

  • Education, and

  • Governance (Cebreiros & Gulin, 2014; Giffinger et al., 2007; Jucevicius, Patasiené & Patasius, 2014).

However, the concept of a smart city goes beyond the technology and is also related with other determinants of sustainability and urban growth, namely:

  • Human capital,

  • Education,

  • Social and relational capital,

  • Sustainability and environmental issues (Caragliu et al., 2011; Cohen, 2012; Walravens, 2015).

Considering governance as one of the relevant aspect of smart cities (Cohen, 2012; Giffinger et al., 2007), due to the importance of city administration and management, and collaboration between the various stakeholders to achieve the desired levels of development, growth, sustainability and quality of life, the main objective of the present study is to analyze how smart cities are implementing smart governance.

Adopting the view of smart governance as emerging from the evolution of e-government, in a context of modernization, continuous growth and integration of ICT in public administration and from citizens’ involvement in public decisions, this study raises one research question:

  • What smart governance practices are being implemented in smart cities?

The answer to the research question was achieved through accomplishing the research objectives:

  • To consolidate the concepts relevant to the study, based on a literature review of the topics of: smart cities, governance, e-governance and good governance.

  • To analyze, based on the literature, the evolution of ICT in public administration and the different development stages of e-government.

  • To identify the role of ICT in local government and the concept of smart governance.

  • To establish a set of categories to be included in a framework to analyze smart governance in smart cities.

  • To identify and select smart cities to be included in the case study.

  • To apply the framework proposed for identification of the smart governance practices adopted in the selected smart cities.

This chapter is organized into six sections including this introduction to the research question and main objectives. In the second section, “Background”, the concepts relevant to this study are presented and discussed, and the third section, “Methodology”, deals with the methodology adopted to achieve the research objectives, the proposed framework of analysis, and the strategies applied to select the seven smart cities:

  • Amsterdam;

  • Barcelona;

  • Copenhagen;

  • Lisbon;

  • Manchester;

  • Singapore; and

  • Stockholm.

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Consultation: The use of ICT tools and the Internet to ask people, or more specifically residents, to give their views and opinions on a set of issues related to projects, policies or decisions to be implemented.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Digital devices and technologies that enable users to access, store, transmit and manipulate information. Some examples are: Internet, cellular telephones, computers and digital television.

Open Data: Data and information freely available to be used and re-used by everyone in their projects or business.

E-Decision Making: The use of ICT tools and the Internet to involve citizens in policy and public decision-making or in the co-production of services.

Governance: The process whereby the public sector, citizens and private entities interact and organize themselves towards collective decision-making and to determine who should be involved and how to render account.

Good Governance: Concept related to the responsibility of governments to meet citizens’ needs and promote aspects such as competence, equity, participation, pluralism, transparency, accountability, openness and respect for law, and protection of human rights in the governance process.

E-Government: The use of ICT tools and the Internet in public administration to provide information and public services, and to enhance the interaction between public administration and citizens.

Smart Governance: The process of governance based on using ICT tools and the Internet to provide information and public services, on communication and collaboration between government and citizens and on the principles of good governance.

Web2: Term used to refer to a second generation in the development of the World Wide Web, which includes technologies and applications that allow users to interact and collaborate with each other. Some examples are: blogs, wikis, user-generated content, video-sharing sites and social networks.

E-participation: The involvement and participation of citizens in public affairs supported by ICT tools and the Internet.

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