Smart Cities at the Intersection of Public Governance Paradigms for Sustainability

Giuseppe Grossi*, Olga Welinder

*Corresponding author for this work

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As a research domain, the smart city keeps growing, despite the remaining contradictions and ambiguity related to its conceptual aspects. We propose to dig deeper into the complex socio-technical nature of the smart city and examine the concept through the lens of different public governance paradigms, therefore aligning it with the sustainability outcomes. Embracing interrelated dimensions of humans, technologies and organisations, the smart city can be viewed through the intersection of public governance paradigms (digital governance, collaborative governance and networks). The case of the smart city initiative of Tampere in Finland serves as an empirical illustration of how the proposed conceptual model might be applied in practice. Providing a novel approach to the smart city from a public management perspective, this model would allow policymakers to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of smart city governance and its multi-dimensional outcomes, in terms of social, environmental and economic sustainability. This approach enables the unlocking of the potential to generate multiple values for each group of actors and ensure more effective integration of smart initiatives, policies and projects, based on the public governance paradigms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 14 February 2024.


  • Public governance
  • Smart cities
  • Sustainability

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