Understanding the Stakeholders of Smart City Governance

Yue Zhai & Ping Gao


The establishment of effective governance is crucial for the development of Smart Cities, as the presence of outdated governance practices is seen as a hindrance to fully realising the immense potential of Smart City initiatives. The complete analysis of stakeholders is a critical factor in determining the effectiveness of Smart City Governance (SCG). The primary topic of this literature study is the examination of stakeholders within the context of Smart City Governance.

The key stakeholders of Smart City Governance can be categorised into four main groups: public, private, academic, and civic stakeholders. The public stakeholders assume the roles of enablers and coordinators, as well as funders and regulators, within the context of SCG. The roles of private stakeholders include acting as providers, financial suppliers and investors, as well as diffusers and influencers. The academic stakeholders play a crucial role as both knowledge brokers and innovators. Civic stakeholders play a crucial role as both users and contributors within the context of SCG.

Moreover, when considering the viewpoints of stakeholders, three widely recognised models of Smart City Governance are the self-governance model, the bureaucratic model, and the integrated model. Based on the literature review, the authors find there is a knowledge gap when it comes to an understanding of the relationships and interactions between stakeholders (1) in the specific urban context, (2) from a dynamic perspective, and (3) from a socio-technical perspective.

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