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Challenges for Smart Cities in the UK

Dag Bennett (), Diana Pérez-Bustamante () and Maria-Luisa Medrano ()
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Dag Bennett: London South Bank University
Diana Pérez-Bustamante: Rey Juan Carlos University
Maria-Luisa Medrano: Rey Juan Carlos University

Chapter Chapter 1 in Sustainable Smart Cities, 2017, pp 1-14 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract The rising interest in smart cities in the UK and Europe is in danger of sliding into a public–private debate. While the literature on smart cities is extensive, it is also confusing and often contradictory. Moreover, the world of technology advances far more quickly than does the tail of academic analysis. We briefly summarize the literature in order to create a brief progress report for smart cities in the UK. We begin with a short review of the smart cities concept. Our main finding is that implementation of smart city concepts across the UK is patchy partly because in the UK, cities control only about 18 % of their budgets and their ability to act locally is constrained. As a result, smart city initiatives and investments leave much to be desired in terms of function and impact. We conclude that in the UK, the challenges to meeting the smart city ideal are many and profound, but not insuperable. The results can be summarized in four main issues that cities face in becoming smarter: (1) Critical political challenges—as opposed to technological—require involvement of highly placed political leaders. (2) Marketplace forces need to be shaped for the broader community to benefit. (3) Smart cities cannot be either bottom up or top down, they have to be both. (4) Concerns about privacy, engagement, and appropriate use of all aspects of smart city interfaces need to be better understood.

Keywords: Smart City; Business Model Innovation; Business Innovation; Private Sector Company; Future City (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40895-8_1

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