Smart city cases – reading lists

I have been creating reading lists for case material on individual smart cities, or for countries/global regions, for one of my modules. I’m sharing as I thought they might be useful for others. If you have any suggestions to add to any section, or a set of readings relating to a city or region not included, please do add them in the comments or email them to me.

Dublin, Ireland

  • Cardullo, P. and Kitchin, R. (2019) Being a ‘citizen’ in the smart city: Up and down the scaffold of smart citizen participation in Dublin, Ireland. GeoJournal 84(1): 1-13.
  • Carvalho, L. and Otgaar, A. (2017) Dublinked (Dublin). In Carvalho, L., van der Berg, L., Galal, H. and Teunisse, P. (eds) Delivering Sustainable Competitiveness: Revisiting the Organising Capacity of Cities. Routledge, London.  pp. 41-60.
  • Coletta, C., Heaphy, L. and Kitchin, R. (2019) From the accidental to articulated smart city: The creation and work of ‘Smart Dublin’. European Urban and Regional Studies 26(4): 349–364
  • Coletta, C., Heaphy, L. and Kitchin, R. (2018) Actually-existing Smart Dublin: Exploring smart city development in history and context. In Karvonen, A., Cugurullo, F. and Caprotti, F. (eds) Inside Smart Cities: Place, Politics and Urban Innovation. Routledge. pp. 85-101.
  • Coletta, C. and Kitchin, R. (2017) Algorhythmic governance: Regulating the ‘heartbeat’ of a city using the Internet of Things. Big Data and Society 4: 1-16.
  • Heaphy, L. J. (2018, January 12). Interfaces and divisions in the Dublin Docklands ‘Smart District’. Programmable City Working Paper 37
  • Heaphy, L. and Pétercsák, R. (2018) Building smart city partnerships in the “Silicon Docks”
    In Coletta, C., Evans, L., Heaphy, L., and Kitchin, R. (eds) Creating Smart Cities. Oxon and New York: Routledge. pp. 76-89.
  • Kayanan, C. M., Eichenmüller, C. and Chambers, J. (2018). Silicon slipways and slippery slopes: techno-rationality and the reinvigoration of neoliberal logics in the Dublin Docklands. Space and Polity 22(1), 50–66.

Barcelona, Spain

  • Bria, F (2017) Barcelona digital government: Open, agile and participatory. Barcelona Digital City Blog. Available at:
  • Capdevila, I. and Zarlenga, M.I. (2015) Smart city or smart citizens? The Barcelona case. Journal of Strategy and Management 8(3): 266-282.
  • Calzada I. (2018) (Smart) Citizens from Data Providers to Decision-Makers? The Case Study of Barcelona. Sustainability 10(9): 32-52.
  • Charnock, G. March, H. and Ribera-Fumaz, R. (2021) From smart to rebel city? Worlding, provincialising and the Barcelona Model. Urban Studies 58(3): 581-600.
  • Lynch, CR (2020) Contesting digital futures: Urban politics, alternative economies, and the movement for technological sovereignty in Barcelona. Antipode 52(3): 660-680
  • March, H. and Ribera-Fumaz, R. (2016). Barcelona: From corporate smart city to technological sovereignty. In Karvonen, A., Cugurullo, F. and Caprotti, F. (eds) Inside Smart Cities: Place, Politics and Urban Innovation. Routledge. pp.
  • March, H. and Ribera-Fumaz, R. (2016). Smart contradictions: The politics of making Barcelona a self-sufficient city. European Urban and Regional Studies, 23(4): 816-830.
  • Smith, A. & Martín, P.P. (2021) Going Beyond the Smart City? Implementing Technopolitical Platforms for Urban Democracy in Madrid and Barcelona, Journal of Urban Technology 28(1-2): 311-330

Songdo, South Korea

  • Carvalho, L. (2012) Urban competiveness, U-city strategies and the development of technological niches in Songdo, South Korea. In Bulu, M. (ed) City competitiveness and improving urban subsystems. Information Science Reference, Hershey, PA. pp. 197-216.
  • Eireiner, A.V. (2021) Promises of Urbanism: New Songdo City and the Power of Infrastructure. Space and Culture. doi: 10.1177/12063312211038716
  • Halpern, O., LeCavalier, J., Calvillo, N. and Pietsch, W. (2013) Test-Bed Urbanism. Popular Culture 25(2): 272-306.
  • Kim, J.I. (2014) Making cities global: the new city development of Songdo, Yujiapu and Lingang. Planning Perspectives 29(3): 329-356
  • Kim, C. (2010) Place promotion and symbolic characterization of New Songdo City, South Korea. Cities 27(1): 13-19.
  • Shin, H., Park, S.H. and Sonn, J.W. (2015) The emergence of a multiscalar growth regime and scalar tension: the politics of urban development in Songdo New City, South Korea.  Environment and Planning C 33(6): 1618-1638.
  • Shin, H.B. (2017) Envisioned by the state: entrepreneurial urbanism and the making of Songdo City, South Korea. In Datta, A. and Shaban, A. (eds) Mega-urbanization in the Global South: Fast cities and new urban utopias of the postcolonial state. London: Routledge. pp. 83-100.
  • Shin, H.B., Zhao, Y. and Koh, S.Y. (2020): Whither progressive urban futures? City, doi: 10.1080/13604813.2020.1739925
  • Shwayri, S.T. (2013) A model Korean ubiquitous eco-city? The politics of making Songdo. Journal of Urban Technology 20(1): 39-55.

Toronto, Canada

  • Artyushina, A. (2020) Is civic data governance the key to democratic smart cities? The role of the urban data trust in Sidewalk Toronto. Telematics and Informatics 55
  • Carr, C. and Hesse, M. (2020). When Alphabet Inc. Plans Toronto’s Waterfront: New Post-Political Modes of Urban Governance. Urban Planning, 5(1), 69–83.
  • Flynn, A. and Valverde, M. (eds) (2020) Smart Cities in Canada: Digital Dreams, Corporate Designs. Lorimer, Toronto.
  • Goodman, E.P. and Powles, J. (2019) Urbanism under Google: Lessons from Sidewalk Toronto. Fordham Law Review 88(2): 457–498
  • Hodson, M. and McMeekin, A. (2021) Global technology companies and the politics of urban socio-technical imaginaries in the digital age: Processual proxies, Trojan horses and global beachheads. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. doi: 10.1177/0308518X211002194.
  • Leszczynski, A. and Kong, V. (2022, online first), Gentrification and the an/aesthetics of digital spatial capital in Canadian “platform cities”. The Canadian Geographer
  • Mann, M, Mitchell, P, Foth, M, Anastasiu, I. (2020) #BlockSidewalk to Barcelona: Technological sovereignty and the social license to operate smart cities. Journal of the Association of Information, Science & Technology 71(9): 1103– 1115.
  • Robinson, P. and Coutts, S. (2019) The case of Quayside, Toronto, Canada. In Anthopoulos, L. (ed.) Smart City Emergence: Cases From Around the World. Elsevier, Amsterdam. pp. 333-350.
  • Tenney, M., Garnett, R. and Wylie, B. (2020), A theatre of machines: Automata circuses and digital bread in the smart city of Toronto. The Canadian Geographer 64(3): 388-401.
  • Zwick, A. and Spicer, A. (eds) (2021) The Platform Economy and the Smart City: Technology and the Transformation of Urban Policy. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal and Kingston.The Platform Economy and the Smart City: Technology and the Transformation of Urban Policy. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal and Kingston.


  • Allam, Z. (2020) Urban Governance and Smart City Planning: Lessons from Singapore. Emerald, Bingley.
  • Calder, K.E. (2016) Singapore: Smart City, Smart State. Brookings Institute, Washington DC.
  • Chang F., Das D. (2020) Smart Nation Singapore: Developing Policies for a Citizen-Oriented Smart City Initiative. In: Kundu D., Sietchiping R., Kinyanjui M. (eds) Developing National Urban Policies. Springer, Singapore. 425-440
  • Elm, J. and Carvalho, L.C. (2020) Best Practices to Become a Sustainable Smart City: The Case of Singapore.” In Sousa, P.I. and Carvalho, L.C. (eds) Conceptual and Theoretical Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurial Orientation, and Financial Performance. IGI Global: Hershey, PA., pp. 247-265.
  • Ho, E. (2017) ‘Smart subjects for a Smart Nation? Governing (smart)mentalities in Singapore’, Urban Studies, 54(13), pp. 3101–3118.
  • Hoe, S.L. (2016) Defining a smart nation: the case of Singapore. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 14(4): 323-333.
  • Kong, L, Woods, O (2018) The ideological alignment of smart urbanism in Singapore: Critical reflections on a political paradox. Urban Studies 55(4): 679–701.
  • Yeo, S.J.I. (2022, online first) Smart urban living in Singapore? Thinking through everyday geographies. Urban Geography
  • Yu-Min Joo (2021, online first) Developmentalist smart cities? The cases of Singapore and Seoul, International Journal of Urban Sciences

Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Ampatzidou, C., Bouw, M., van de Klundert, F., de Lange, M. and de Waal, M. (2015) The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit. Amsterdam Creative Industries Publishing, Amsterdam.
  • Capra, C. F. (2016). The Smart City and its Citizens: Governance and Citizen Participation in Amsterdam Smart City. International Journal of E-Planning Research 5(1): 20-38
  • Fitzgerald, M. (2016) Data-Driven City Management: A Close Look at Amsterdam’s Smart City Initiative. MIT Sloan Management Review 57(4)
  • Shazade, J., Richter, C. and Taylor, L. (2019) People’s strategies for perceived surveillance in Amsterdam Smart City. Urban Geography 40(10): 1467-1484
  • van Winden, W., Oskam, I., van der Buuse, D., Schrama, W. and van Dijck, E-J. (2016) Organising smart city projects: Lessons from Amsterdam. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
  • Veenkamp, J., Kresin, F. and Kortlander, M. (2020) Smart citizens in Amsterdam. In Willis, K.S. and Aurigi, A. (eds) The Routledge Companion to Smart Cities. Routledge, London. pp.
  • Zandbergen, D. (2020) The Unfinished Lampposts: The (anti-)politics of the Amsterdam smart lighting project. City & Society 32(1): 135-156.

Boston, USA

  • Bevilacqua, C., Ou, Y., Pizzimenti, P. and Minervino, G. (2020) New Public Institutional Forms and Social Innovation in Urban Governance: Insights from the “Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics” (MONUM) in Boston. Sustainability 12(1): 23.
  • Brown, D. (2018) The Urban Commons: How Data ad Technology Can Rebuild Our Communities. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
  • Goldsmith, S. and Crawford, S. (2014) The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
  • Kitchin, R. and Moore-Cherry, N. (2020, online first) Fragmented governance, the urban data ecosystem and smart cities: the case of Metropolitan Boston. Regional Studies doi: 10.1080/00343404.2020.1735627
  • Peacock S., Harlow J., Gordon E. (2020) Beta Blocks: Inviting Playful Community Exploration of Smart City Technologies in Boston, USA. In: Nijholt A. (eds) Making Smart Cities More Playable. Gaming Media and Social Effects. Springer, Singapore.

India smart cities

  • Basu, I. (2019). Elite discourse coalitions and the governance of ‘smart spaces’: Politics, power and privilege in India’s Smart Cities Mission. Political Geography 68: 77-85.
  • Chakrabarty, A (2019) Smart mischief: An attempt to demystify the Smart Cities craze in India. Environment and Urbanization 31(1): 193–208.
  • Das D.K., Sonar S.G. (2020) Exploring Dimensions and Elements for Smart City Development in India. In: Bandyopadhyay S., Pathak C., Dentinho T. (eds) Urbanization and Regional Sustainability in South Asia. Contemporary South Asian Studies. Springer, Cham. pp. 245-259
  • Datta, A. (2015) ‘New urban utopias of postcolonial India: ‘Entrepreneurial urbanization’ in Dholera smart city, Gujarat’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 5(1), pp. 3–22.
  • Datta, A. (2019) Postcolonial urban futures: Imagining and governing India’s smart urban age. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 37(3): 393-410.
  • Datta, A. (2020) The “Smart Safe City”: Gendered Time, Speed, and Violence in the Margins of India’s Urban Age, Annals of the American Association of Geographers
  • Hoelscher, K. (2016) ‘The evolution of the smart cities agenda in India’, International Area Studies Review, 19(1), pp. 28–44.
  • Parida, D. (2021, online first) Fantasy visions, informal urbanization, and local conflict: an evolutionary perspective on smart city governance in India. GeoJournal
  • Praharaj, S. and Han, H. (2019) Building a typology of the 100 smart cities in India. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment 8(5): 400-414.
  • Prasad, D., Alizadeh, T. and Dowling, R. (2021) Multiscalar Smart City Governance in India, Geoforum, 121: 173-180.
  • Prasad, D., Alizadeh, T. and Dowling, R. (2021, online first) Smart city place-based outcomes in India: bubble urbanism and socio-spatial fragmentation. Journal of Urban Design
  • Prasad, D., Alizadeh, T. (2020) What Makes Indian Cities Smart? A Policy Analysis of Smart Cities Mission. Telematics and Informatics 55
  • Willis, K.S. (2019), “Whose Right to the Smart City?”, Cardullo, P., Di Feliciantonio, C. and Kitchin, R. (Ed.) The Right to the Smart City, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 27-41.

Latin American smart cities

  • Amar Flórez, D. (2016) International Case Studies of Smart Cities: Medellin, Colombia. Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Gaffney, C. and Robertson, C. (2018) Smarter than Smart: Rio de Janeiro’s Flawed Emergence as a Smart City. Journal of Urban Technology 25(3): 47-64.
  • Irazábal, C. and Jirón, P. (2021) Latin American smart cities: Between worlding infatuation and crawling provincializing. Urban Studies, 58(3), pp. 507–534.
  • Jirón, P., Imilan, W.A., Lange, C. and Mansilla, P. (2021) Placebo urban interventions: Observing Smart City narratives in Santiago de Chile. Urban Studies 58(3): 601–620.
  • Marchetti, D., Oliveira, R. and Figueira, A.R. (2019) Are global north smart city models capable to assess Latin American cities? A model and indicators for a new context. Cities 92: 197-207.
  • Przeybilovicz, E., Cunha, M.A., Macaya, J.F.M. and Porto De Albuquerque, J. (2018) A Tale of two ‘Smart Cities’: Investigating the Echoes of New Public Management and Governance Discourses in Smart City Projects in Brazil. 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
  • Schreiner, C. (2016) International Case Studies of Smart Cities: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Smith, H., Medero, G., Crane De Narváez, S. and Castro Mera, W. (2022, online first) Exploring the relevance of ‘smart city’ approaches to low-income communities in Medellín, Colombia. GeoJournal
  • Talvard, F. (2019) Can urban “miracles” be engineered in laboratories? Turning Medellín into a model city for the Global South. In Coletta, C., Evans, L., Heaphy, L., and Kitchin, R. (eds) Creating Smart Cities. Oxon and New York: Routledge. pp. 62-75.
  • Tironi, M. and Valderrama, M. (2022, online first) Worth-making in a datafied world: Urban cycling, smart urbanism, and technologies of justification in Santiago de Chile. The Information Society

Chinese smart cities

  • Atha, K., Callahan, J., Chen, J., Drun, J., Green, K., Lafferty, B., McReynolds, J., Mulvenon, J., Rosen, B., Walz, E. (2020) China’s Smart Cities Development. SOSi.
  • Caprotti, F., Liu, D. Platform urbanism and the Chinese smart city: the co-production and territorialisation of Hangzhou City Brain. GeoJournal (2020).
  • Cowley, R., Caprotti, F., Ferretti, M. and Zhong, C. (2018) Ordinary Chinese smart cities. In Karvonen, A., Cugurullo, F. and Caprotti, F. (eds) Inside Smart Cities: Place, Politics and Urban Innovation. Routledge, London. pp.
  • Curran, D. and Smart, A. (2021) Data-driven governance, smart urbanism and risk-class inequalities: Security and social credit in China. Urban Studies 58(3): 487-506.
  • Große-Bley, J. and Kostka, G. (2021) Big Data Dreams and Reality in Shenzhen: An Investigation of Smart City Implementation in China. Big Data & Society 8(2): 1-14.
  • Guo, M., Liu, Y., Yu, H., Hu, B. and Sang, Z. (2016) An overview of smart city in China. China Communications 13(5): 203-211.
  • Hu, R. (2019) The State of Smart Cities in China: The Case of Shenzhen. Energies 12(22): 4375.
  • Qin, B. and Qi, S. (2021) Digital transformation of urban governance in China: The emergence and evolution of smart cities. Digital Law Journal 2(1).
  • Shepard, W. (2015) Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World’s Most Populated Country. Zed Books, London.
  • Wang, B., Loo, B.P.Y. and Huang, G. (2021, online first) Becoming Smarter through Smart City Pilot Projects: Experiences and Lessons from China since 2013. Journal of Urban Technology
  • Wang, Y., Ren, H., Dong, L., Park, H-P., Zhang, Y. and Xu, Y. (2019) Smart solutions shape for sustainable low-carbon future: A review on smart cities and industrial parks in China, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 144 (July): 103-117.Technological Forecasting and Social Change 144 (July): 103-117.

African smart cities

  • Guma, P. (2021) Rethinking Smart Urbanism: City-Making and the Spread of Digital Infrastructures in Nairobi. Eburon Academic Publishers.
  • Herbert, C. W. and Murray, M. J. (2015) Building from scratch: new cities, privatized urbanism and the spatial restructuring of Johannesburg after Apartheid. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39(3): 471-494.
  • Murray, M.H. (2017) Frictionless utopias for the contemporary urban age: large-scale, master-planned redevelopment projects in urbanizing Africa. In Datta, A. and Shaban, A. (eds) Mega-urbanization in the Global South: Fast cities and new urban utopias of the postcolonial state. London: Routledge. pp. 31–53.
  • Odendaal, N. (2016) Getting Smart about Smart Cities in Cape Town: Beyond the Rhetoric. In Marvin, S., Luque-Ayala, A. and McFarlane, C. (eds.) Smart Urbanism: Utopian Vision or False dawn? London: Routledge.
  • Watson, V. (2014) African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares? Environment and Urbanization 26: 215–231.
  • Watson, V. (2017) New African city plans: local urban form and the escalation of urban inequalities. In Datta, A. and Shaban, A. (eds) Mega-urbanization in the Global South: Fast cities and new urban utopias of the postcolonial state. London: Routledge. pp. 54–65.

Rob Kitchin


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