For citation: 

Karagulyan, E. A., Zakharova, O. V., Batyreva, M. V., & Dusseault, D. L. (2020). Smart City — Prosperity for All? Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 17 (3), 657-678.


In recent years, urban authorities have striven to declare their readiness to implement the popular concept of smart city, expecting that it will provide solutions to cities’ most pressing social, economic and ecological problems. However, in the absence of a universal definition of a smart city and its constitutive elements, it is problematic to build a coherent urban development policy or conduct a meaningful discussion. Moreover, foreign researchers increasingly criticize the implementation of the smart city concept, which should be taken into account by Russian experts and policy-makers. This article is based on content analysis of articles and books dealing with the concept of smart city. We trace the evolution of the smart city concept in research literature and identify three main groups of studies. The characteristics of the smart city highlighted within each of these three approaches underlie the principles of smart city creation, which are often subject to criticism in the academic world and in the public sphere. The conclusion is made that although the success of smart city projects depends on many factors, more emphasis needs to be placed on citizens’ involvement into the discussion of the concept itself and city management plans. The theoretical significance of this study resides in the fact that it seeks to systematize the research on smart city while on a practical level, our research findings can be used for improvement of the legislation and state programs for urban development in Russia.

PDF full
Downloaded: 40

Egine Araratovna Karagulyan — PhD in Economics, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Institute of Finance and Economics, University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russian Federation; e-mail:

Olga Vladimirovna Zakharova — Candidate of Philosophy, Associate Professor, Department of State and Municipal Administration, Institute of State and Law, University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russian Federation; e-mail: o.v.zakharova@

Maria Vladimirovna Batyreva — Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Associate Professor, Department of General and Economic Sociology, Institute of Finance and Economics, University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russian Federation; e-mail:

David Luis Dusseault — PhD, Professor, School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russian Federation; e-mail:

Alawadhi, S., Aldama-Nalda, A., Chourabi, H., Gil-Garcia, J. R., Leung, S. et al. (2012). Building understanding of smart city initiatives. Electronic Government. EGOV 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 7443. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 40–53.

Albino, V., Berardi, U., & Dangelico R. (2015). Smart Cities: Definitions, Dimensions, Performance, and Initiatives. Journal of Urban Technology, 22. DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2014.942092.

Allison, I. (2019). Smart Cities Need to Spend More on Security Tech, Study Suggests, available at: (accessed: 12.02.2020).

Anthopoulos, L., & Fitsilis, P. (2010). From digital to ubiquitous cities: Defining a common architecture for urban development. Proceedings – 2010 Sixth International Conference on Intelligent Environments. Kuala Lumpur, 301–306.

Anthopoulos, L. G., & Fitsilis, P. (2014). Smart cities and their roles in city competition: A classification. International Journal of Electronic Government Research, 10(1).

Bătăgan, L. (2011). Smart Cities and Sustainability Models. Informatica Economică, Academy of Economic Studies, 15(3), 80-87.

Caragliu, A., del, Bo, C., & Nijkamp, P. (2011). Smart cities in Europe. Journal of Urban Technology, 18(2), 65–82.

Cardullo, P., & Kitchin, R. (2019). Being a ‘citizen’ in the smart city: up and down the scaffold of smart citizen participation in Dublin, Ireland. GeoJournal, 84(1).

Chevrette, J., Ellermeier, F., & John, J. (2017). 2018 Black& Veatch Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Utilities Report, available at:

Chourabi, H., Nam, T., Walker, S., Gil-Garcia, J. R., Mellouli, S., Nahon, K., Scholl, H. J. et al. (2012). Understanding smart cities: An integrative framework. 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2289–2297.

Cocchia, A. (2014). Smart and Digital City: A Systematic Literature Review. Smart City. Progress in IS. Springer, Cham.

Cowley, R., Joss, S., & Dayot, Y. (2018). The smart city and its publics: insights from across six UK cities. Urban Research & Practice, 11(1), 53–77.

Dameri, R. (2013). Searching for Smart City definition: a comprehensive proposal. International Journal of Computers & Technology, 11(5).

Dobbs, R., Smit, S., Remes, J. et al. (2011). Urban world: Mapping the economic power of cities, available at: https://www.

Eremia, M., Toma, L., & Sanduleac, M. (2017). The Smart City Concept in the 21st Century. Procedia Engineering, 181, 12–19.

Ergazakis, K., Metaxiotis, K., & Psarras, J. (2004). Towards knowledge cities: Conceptual analysis and success stories. Journal of Knowledge Management, 8(5), 5–15.

Giffinger, R., Fertner, C., Kramar, H. et al. (2007). Smart cities. Ranking of European medium-sized cities, available at:

Green Cities Programme (2010). Available at:: Greenfield, A. (2013). City Cynic: “Against the Smart City”, Forbes, available at: (accessed: 02.02.2020).

Hall, P. (2000). Creative cities and economic development. Urban Studies, 37(4), 639–649, available at:

Harrison, C., Eckman, B., Hamilton, R., Hartswick, P., Kalagnanam, J., Paraszczak, J., & Williams P. (2010). Foundations for Smarter Cities. IBM Journal of Research and Development, 54(4).

Hollands, R. G. (2008). Will the real smart city please stand up? City, 12(3). 303–320.

Hsiaoping, Yeh. (2017). The effects of successful ICT-based smart city services: From citizens’ perspectives. Government Information Quarterly, 34(3), 556–565.

Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of great American cities. New York: Random House.

Joss, S., Sengers F. et al. (2019). The Smart City as Global Discourse: Storylines and Critical Junctures across 27 Cities. Journal of Urban Technology, 26(1), 3–34.

Kitchin, R. (2016). The ethics of smart cities and urban science. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374(2083).

Komninos, N. (2006). The architecture of intelligent cities: Integrating human, collective and artificial intelligence to enhance knowledge and innovation. 2nd IET International Conference on Intelligent Environments, (518), 13–20.

Kourtit, K., & Nijkamp, P. (2012). Smart cities in the innovation age. Innovation, 25, 93–95. 511610.2012.660331.

Kourtit, K., & Nijkamp, P. (2015). Exploring the “New Urban World”. The Annals of Regional Science, 56, 591–596. DOI: 10.1007/s00168-015-0717-6.

Larsen, K. (1999). Learning cities: the new recipe in regional development. OECD Observer, 73.

McCord, C., & Becker, C. (2019). Sidewalk and Toronto: Critical Systems Heuristics and the Smart City. Toronto, availa- ble at:

M-Government – Mobile Technologies for Responsive Governments and Connected Societies (2011), available at:

Mora, L., Bolici, R., & Deakin, M. (2017). The First Two Decades of Smart-City Research: A Bibliometric Analysis. Journal of Urban Technology, 24(1), 3–27.

Murgante, B., & Borruso, G. (2015). Smart cities in a smart world. In Springer Optimization and Its Applications, 102, 13–35.

OECD (2013). Green Growth in Cities. OECD Green Growth Studies, OECD Publishing.

Pardo, T. A. (2011). Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions. Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference: Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times, 282-291.

Rivera, M. B., Eriksson, E., & Wangel, J. (2015). ICT practices in smart sustainable cities — In the intersection of tech- nological solutions and practices of everyday life. Proceedings of EnviroInfo and ICT for Sustainability 2015. https://doi. org/10.2991/ict4s-env-15.2015.36.

Routray, S. K., Sarangi, S. K., & Javali, A. (2019). Smart Cities: The Hopes and Hypes, available at:

Schuler, D. (2002). Digital cities and Digital citizens. In: Tanabe M., van den Besselaar P., Ishida T. (Eds.). Digital Cities II: Computational and Sociological Approaches. Digital Cities 2001. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2362, 71–85.

Scott, K. (2016). Smart City Seattle and Geographies of Exclusion. The Digital City and Mediated Urban Ecologies, 119– 160.

Shapiro, J. M. (2006). Smart cities: Quality of life, productivity, and the growth effects of human capital. Review of Economics and Statistics, 88(2), 324–335.

Su, K., Li, J., & Fu, H., (2011). Smart city and the applications. International Conference on Electronics, Communications and Control (ICECC), 1028-1031. DOI: 10.1109/ICECC.2011.6066743.

Thite, M. (2011). Smart cities: Implications of urban planning for human resource development. Human Resource Development International, 14(5), 623–631.

Thuzar, M. (2011). Urbanization in Southeast Asia: Developing Smart Cities for the future? Regional Outlook, 96–100. Townsend, A. M. (2013). Smart cities: big data, civic hackers, and the quest for a new utopia. W. W. Norton & Company, 320.

Trindade, E. P., Hinnig, M. P. F., da Costa, E. M. et al. (2017). Sustainable development of smart cities: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 3(11).

Valdez, A. M., Cook, M., & Potter, S. (2018). Roadmaps to utopia: Tales of the smart city. Urban Studies.

Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel (2019). DSAP Preliminary Commentary and Questions on Sidewalk Labs’ Draft Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP), available at:,+2019.pdf?-MOD=AJPERES.

Wellman, B. (2002). Digital Cities II: Computational and Sociological Approaches, 2362.

Winters, J. V. (2011). Why are smart cities growing? Who moves and who stays. Journal of Regional Science, 51(2), 253–270.

Woetzel, J., & Kuznetsova, E. (2018). Smart city solutions: What drives citizen adoption around the globe? available at:

Zhang, K., Ni, J., Yang, K., Liang, X., Ren, J.,& Shen, X. S.(2017). Securityand Privacyin Smart City Applications: Challenges and Solutions. IEEE Communications Magazine, 55(1), 122–129.

Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. Public Affairs New York.

Zuboff, S. (2019). Toronto is surveillance capitalism’s new frontier, available at: