Smart and Connected Cities and Communities
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ItemUnderstanding the Role of Social, Technology, and Physical Infrastructures in Smart Communities: The Case of Rural Areas in the US( 2020-01-07)Smartness is a concept that frames a great variety of initiatives, particularly in the urban context. Smart cities are expected to be more resilient, more sustainable, and have highly engaged citizens, among many other expected outcomes. Given the focus on urban settings, many examples of smartness take for granted that the physical and technological infrastructures exist and are available to the majority of residents. For instance, Internet access, a reliable transportation system, or electrical power are rarely questioned or considered as a problem to be solved before becoming smart. In addition, formal education and technical skills are also expected as part of the social infrastructure of a city. However, when smartness goes beyond the urban settings, the availability and combination of these different infrastructures also differ. Based on a study of a rural community in the US, this paper begins to fill a gap in what is known about smartness in rural communities by analyzing how the physical, technology and social infrastructures in rural areas are different from urban settings, but still generate unique opportunities for building smart communities. Our results indicate that the unique conditions of rural communities create atypical strengths for becoming smarter.
ItemTowards Designing Effective Governance Regimes for Smart City Initiatives: The Case of the City of Duisburg( 2020-01-07)Smart cities are characterized by heterogenic stakeholders, many layers of authorities, complex decision-making processes, and competing objectives. As a result, they require a sophisticated and well-planned governance regime. We describe the development and design of a governance regime which is grounded on IS principles as well as the resulting governance structure in a medium-sized city in Europe. Using the action design research approach, we designed, implemented, and revised in multiple iterations an ensemble artifact consisting of the governance structures and processes for a smart city initiative. Our empirical observations highlight challenges of coordination, communication, and innovation in this smart city and report on how we implemented and adjusted the governance regime accordingly. Our results are a first step towards general recommendations for the design and implementation of smart city governance regimes in medium-sized cities.
ItemDigital Platform-Enabled Community Development: A Case Study of a Private-Public Partnership Sustainability Initiative( 2020-01-07)The significant human impact on the environment has prompted many governments to invest in sustainability initiatives across cities and communities. Moreover, although it has been suggested that information technology can aid in the development of these sustainability initiatives, there is a dearth of empirical field studies in this area. In this research-in-progress paper, we present preliminary findings from a case study of a private-public partnership (PPP) community-based sustainability initiative that is enabled by a digital platform. Preliminary analysis sheds light on the mechanisms underlying the formation of the PPP, the development of the PPP’s business model, the development of the digital platform, and ultimately the emergence of a community for sustainability. A framework for digital platform-enabled community development is posited based on the case analysis. Implications to both research and practice, as well as future research work are then discussed in concluding this paper.
ItemMultilevel Design for Smart Communities – The Case of Building a Local Online Neighborhood Social Community( 2020-01-07)Smart cities and communities aim for social well-being. Mobilizing and integrating various institutions, actors, and resources are crucial when building and instantiating smart community initiatives. The design of such an arrangement is a complex phenomenon, difficult to conduct systematically and to observe empirically. We address this challenge by applying a multilevel design framework for service systems to an ongoing design science research project. The research project pursues the goal of building a neighborhood community as an instantiation of smart communities by activating and leveraging local institutions, actors, and resources on an IT-enabled engagement platform. We demonstrate how this multilevel perspective informs the design process for building smart communities. Based on micro-level observations, the interdependence of engagement-stimulating mechanisms related to the platform’s design at the meso-level, and design implications for the institutional arrangement at the macro-level are emphasized as inseparable design activities for mobilizing and integrating actors and resources.
ItemTechnological and Human Development of Smart Cities: An Empirical Characterization of EUROCITIES Case Studies( 2020-01-07)Smart Cities are conceived as strategic models to confront the wicked problems that exist in urban contexts. The research literature, however, reflects a lack of consensus on the elements that make a city "smart." While some authors focus on technological aspects, others consider human factors as principal targets of the cities’ initiatives. Aiming to shed light on this discrepancy and understand what makes a city smarter, in this paper, we analyze a large number of real case studies implemented in major European Smart Cities. From our analysis, we first characterize and categorize the cities according to theoretical Smart City models proposed in the literature. Based on the cities' characteristics and categories, we then compare them according to external variables, such as their positions in worldwide Smart City rankings, and their administrative contexts.