Citizen Participation in the Smart City: Findings from An International Comparative Study



Przeybilovicz E, Cunha MA, Geertman S, Leleux C, Michels A, Tomor Z, Webster CW & Meijer A (2022) Citizen Participation in the Smart City: Findings from An International Comparative Study. Local Government Studies, 48 (1), pp. 23-47.

This article focuses on understanding the dynamics of citizen participation in smart city initiatives. With different degrees of emphases, the literature identifies citizens as key actors in smart cities. At the same time, our understanding of their roles and influence is underdeveloped. Using modes of urban governance to provide contextual depth, alongside the literature on citizen participation in smart cities, this article conducts an in-depth examination of the roles of citizens in smart city environments. It presents the results of an empirical study of citizen engagement in smart city governance in Brazil, the UK and the Netherlands. The research demonstrates that the roles and functions undertaken by citizens are not static, they participate in a dynamic mode that evolves and changes over time. The empirical research presented here identifies three emerging patterns of contextually specific citizen interaction: contestation, acceptance and collaboration. This highlights how smart city initiatives have differentiated outcomes and how the mode of governance in a societal and institutional context plays an important role in shaping patterns of citizen participation.

smart city; citizen participation; urban governance; dynamic roles; local government; international comparative research

Local Government Studies: Volume 48, Issue 1

FundersESRC Economic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online18/12/2020
Date accepted by journal02/11/2020

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Professor William Webster

Professor William Webster

Personal Chair, Management, Work and Organisation

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