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Small and Smart: Why and How Smart City Solutions Can and Should be Adapted to the Unique Needs of Smaller Cities


  • Lam Debra

    () (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA)

  • Givens John Wagner

    () (Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)


Research and development on smart cities has been growing rapidly. Smart cities promise a new era of living efficiently, sustainably, and safely. The tools and technologies deployed aim to drive better public decision-making on everything from where we live to how we work. While the world is rapidly urbanizing, a substantial percentage of the population still lives in smaller and rural communities. Smart city solutions as they are defined here are process driven and not constrained by population or geographic metrics; they are the application of technology and data to improve the quality of life. Smaller communities can also be smart, and excluding or ignoring them widens inequality, limits use cases, and restrains innovation. Using South Bend, Indiana as an example, the authors examine the power and potential of smaller smart cities. They then transfer this thinking to Georgia and Georgia Tech’s initiative working with local governments across the state on smart community development. This article is one of the first of its kinds in examining smaller smart communities as models for smart living.

Suggested Citation

  • Lam Debra & Givens John Wagner, 2018. "Small and Smart: Why and How Smart City Solutions Can and Should be Adapted to the Unique Needs of Smaller Cities," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 21-36, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:nglost:v:12:y:2018:i:1:p:21-36:n:7

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