Rome: B-smart! How Co-creation Makes Cities Smarter

Stefano d' Angeli

Student thesis: Master thesis


Today, cities are the centers of the world in economy, society, and culture, but also in the role of driving global innovation and progress. In the international scenario, several cities aim to reach the status of Smart City, but the problem that emerged is that they are more interested in the “Smart” than in the “City”. The traditional approaches to the Smart City, indeed, were fashioned by technological progress and the clustering of the most educated human capital in the urban context. Institutions rely on top-down orientation to achieve these goals, which end up not including participation and collaboration of stakeholders in the process of developing the Smart City. This research illustrates the need to undertake an orientation to the Smart City which is instead committed to increasing the engagement of urban stakeholder in the policy-making process to co-create an improved process of urban development. This study is conducted through abductive research method to compare empirical evidence from the Rome Case Study herein analyzed with the theoretical contributions from Brand Co-Creation literature: “B-SMART”, indeed, represents the integration of these two fields to address the mentioned problem and to develop new knowledge on how to build more participatory and engaged urban contexts. Ultimately, “ROME: B-SMART!” is a thoughtful advice to the city of Rome and the worldwide urban scenario: as complex as cities might be, if they take insights from the Brand Co-Creation literature in urban contexts, indeed, they might have mutual beneficial advantages, for both institutions and stakeholders, to create more empowered and engaged stakeholders, and a new approach to delineate the path towards the Smarter City.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages103
SupervisorsRichard Jones & Sylvia von Wallpach