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The First Two Decades of Smart-City Research: A Bibliometric Analysis


  • Luca Mora
  • Roberto Bolici
  • Mark Deakin


This paper reports on the first two decades of research on smart cities by conducting a bibliometric analysis of the literature published between 1992 and 2012. The analysis shows that smart-city research is fragmented and lacks cohesion, and its growth follows two main development paths. The first one is based on the peer-reviewed publications produced by European universities, which support a holistic perspective on smart cities. The second path, instead, stands on the gray literature produced by the American business community and relates to a techno-centric understanding of the subject. Divided along such paths, the future development of this new and promising field of research risks being undermined. For while the bibliometric analysis indicates that smart cities are emerging as a fast-growing topic of scientific enquiry, much of the knowledge that is generated about them is singularly technological in nature. In that sense, lacking the social intelligence, cultural artifacts, and environmental attributes, which are needed for the ICT-related urban innovation that such research champions.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Mora & Roberto Bolici & Mark Deakin, 2017. "The First Two Decades of Smart-City Research: A Bibliometric Analysis," Journal of Urban Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 3-27, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cjutxx:v:24:y:2017:i:1:p:3-27
    DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2017.1285123

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    1. -, 2018. "The Inefficiency of Inequality," Documentos de posición del período de sesiones de la Comisión 43443, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3252-:d:169279 is not listed on IDEAS

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