Reference : Governance and stakeholders of Smart Cities:A call for stronger theoretical foundatio...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Business & economic sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Governance and stakeholders of Smart Cities:A call for stronger theoretical foundation to tackle the complexity
Desdemoustier, Jonathan mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > Sustainable Strategy >]
Crutzen, Nathalie mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > Sustainable Strategy >]
58th ERSA Congress: “Places for People: Innovative, Inclusive and liveable Regions”
28 août 2018 au 31 août 2018
[en] Smart City ; Stakeholders ; State of the art
[en] Over the past few years, the phenomenon of Smart City has been perceived as a new way to transform cities and territories. Despite the popularity of the phenomenon, the concept is still fuzz and no agreed definition on Smart Cities exists (Allwinkle & Cruickshank, 2011; Anthopoulos & Vakali, 2012; Hollands, 2008; Komninos, Pallot, & Schaffers, 2013). The concept of Smart City addressed an extensive thematic scope. Smart City research is at an interdisciplinary crossroads (Ricciardi & Za, 2015). A challenge is to identify what can make a city to become smarter (Gil-Garcia, Helbig, & Ojo, 2014)? Governance is a recurring and transversal theme (Dameri & Benevolo, 2016; Gil-Garcia, Pardo, & Nam, 2015).

Different aspects and forms of governance in a Smart City are described; multidisciplinary perspective and co-creations are highly promoted (Ben Letaifa, 2015). Smart City publications with governance focus emphasize on interactions between various stakeholders (Meijer & Bolívar, 2016). In the literature on Smart Cities in 2017, what is known about governance and stakeholder’s interactions? Which are the theoretical approaches and empirical researches? Which governance principles are highlighted? Which actors are studied? Which territorial scales are considered?

To respond to these questions, the paper introduces discussions on “Smart Cities, Stakeholders, Actors, Governance and Urban Governance” to better understand these central concepts. Then, a literature review is constructed based on a broad set of papers. An advanced search query within four databases and a methodical selection of papers furnished a set of 61 documents. Afterwards, some epistemological issues are described as the structure/agency and positive-normative debates. Finally, a discussion underlines the trends, gaps and future path of researches thanks to a confrontation of the results with some theoretical and epistemological considerations.

The literature on governance and stakeholders has a late development in the Smart City publications. A fragmentation exists and is reinforced by a literature insufficiently framed by theories. Case studies and empirical researches are dominating. Governmental and private actors remain the two most discussed players, even if, the place of the civil society is gaining importance. The stakeholders’ analyses show considerations to an horizontal integration (Urban Governance Theory: Galès, 1998; Pierre, 2014). However, the vertical integration is not addressed as an essential concern. Researches are mainly concentrated at a micro or mezzo level. Researchers should pay attention to the “multilevel governance”. They should study processes and institution operations in and between varieties of geographical and organizational scales.
Smart City Institute

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