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A critical review of selected smart city assessment tools and indicator sets

Sharifi, Ayyoob
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.233 pp. 1269-1283
cities, climate change, data analysis, issues and policy, stakeholders, uncertainty, urbanization
In the era of digital revolution many cities around the world have invested significantly in the design and implementation of smart city projects and initiatives to provide solutions to the challenges of climate changes and urbanization. At the same time, various efforts have been made to evaluate performance and outcomes of those projects and initiatives. This study provides a critical analysis of 34 selected smart city assessment tools to highlight their strengths and weaknesses and to examine their potential contribution to the evolution of the smart city movement. The selected tools are evaluated against an analysis framework that covers criteria related to comprehensiveness, stakeholder engagement, context sensitivity, strategic alignment, uncertainty management, interlinkages and interoperability, temporal dynamism, flexibility, feasibility, presentation and communication of the results, and action plans. Results indicate that selected tools have achieved limited success in addressing these criteria. In particular, only few tools have addressed criteria related to stakeholder engagement, uncertainty management, interlinkages, and feasibility. The paper argues that assessment tools should capitalize on the advancements in smart solutions and big data analytics to develop better strategies for addressing these criteria. In addition to highlighting weaknesses that need to be addressed in the future, results of this study can be used by interested target groups such as smart city developers, planners, and policy makers to choose tools that best fit their needs.