Publications in Scientific Journals:

J. Desdemoustier, N. Crutzen, R. Giffinger:
"Municipalities' understanding of the Smart City concept: An exploratory analysis in Belgium";
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 142 (2019).

English abstract:
The Smart City is a fuzzy concept, which integrates numerous characteristics, components and dimensions. These characteristics are challenged in the academic literature, especially the technocentric approach and the central position of private companies. Moreover, the lack of proper conceptualisation pushes cities to claim themselves `smartī. Finally, there are few rigorous analytical or statistical analyses of the concept and its application to territories. Therefore, this paper studies how Belgian municipalities understand the concept of Smart Cities in 2016. Based on the groundwork of literature on Smart Cities and the results of a survey of 113 Belgian municipalities, a typology of four understandings of the Smart City (technological, societal, comprehensive and non-existent) is elaborated. The results also show that municipalities with no understanding of the Smart City concept or with a technical understanding are mostly located in small and rural municipalities. This could be a sign of rejection of the phenomenon in this context. Conversely, medium and large-sized municipalities mostly develop a societal or comprehensive understanding. Therefore, this study highlights a dichotomy of understanding and acceptance of the concept of the Smart City between peripheral (rural and small size municipalities) and central municipalities (urban, medium and large size municipalities).

Smart City, Belgium, Municipalities, Understanding

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

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