Participation in “Smart Cities”
: a user-centric evaluation of the smart city-concept

  • Lars André (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation is addressing the smart city concept through identifying citizen participation as an essential part of the framework. Several smart city examples were analyzed and a high variety, not only in terms of affected areas, but also concerning the multiple ways how individual programs integrate citizens, was recognized. Three ways to participate in a smart city were identified: 1. Citizens help the government collecting data 2. Citizens being involved in using the data generated by the government 3. Citizens being involved in government activities. Through elaborating on the smart city concept, the presence and importance of citizen engagement was clarified. Further, participation itself was put into focus. Therefore, several subject-related topics were explored and the identified participation methods were specified. Furthermore, quantitative research was conducted in form of a survey, examining the key findings of the literature review. To facilitate the allocation of trends to several groups, a cluster analysis has been conducted and five clusters could be created: The “Creatives”, -“Alternatives”, -“Techies”, -“Greens” and -“Normals”. Major research results were: The majority associates a smart city with a rather technical nature. Privacy is standing out as the main concern. Respondents are the least confident about developing an application or a service. Combining those results with the key findings based on the literature review, the urge for city administrations to modernize and to embrace the smart city concept was identified. The dissertation concludes with recommending governments to overcome those barriers by the implementation of so-called “living-labs” and “toolkits”.
Date of Award3 Nov 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCláudia Isabel de Costa (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão: Programa Internacional

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