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Smart cities in Europe

  • Caragliu, A.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Del Bo, C.
  • Nijkamp, P.

Urban performance currently depends not only on the city’s endowment of hard infrastructure (‘physical capital’), but also, and increasingly so, on the availability and quality of knowledge communication and social infrastructure (‘human and social capital’). The latter form of capital is decisive for urban competitiveness. Against this background, the concept of the ‘smart city’ has recently been introduced as a strategic device to encompass modern urban production factors in a common framework and, in particular, to highlight the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the last 20 years for enhancing the competitive profile of a city. The present paper aims to shed light on the often elusive definition of the concept of the ‘smart city’. We provide a focussed and operational definition of this construct and present consistent evidence on the geography of smart cities in the EU27. Our statistical and graphical analyses exploit in depth, for the first time to our knowledge, the most recent version of the Urban Audit data set in order to analyse the factors determining the performance of smart cities. We find that the presence of a creative class, the quality of and dedicated attention to the urban environment, the level of education, multimodal accessibility, and the use of ICTs for public administration are all positively correlated with urban wealth. This result prompts the formulation of a new strategic agenda for smart cities in Europe, in order to achieve sustainable urban development and a better urban landscape.

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Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0048.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:2009-48
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