Digital Innovation and Transformation for Smart Cities

A special issue of Smart Cities (ISSN 2624-6511).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 3429

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
1. Department of Public Administration, Inha University, Incheon 22188, Republic of Korea
2. President, Korea Global Association for Smart Governance & Policy (GASGP), Republic of Korea
Interests: smart cities; smart governance; digital divide; smart city building in developing countries; international cooperation for smart cities, government innovation and project management; information technology and communication policy; research methodology
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Guest Editor
School of Public Affairs, Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, Middletown, PA 17057, USA
Interests: citizen participation; data-driven government; digital inclusion; e-governance; information technology policy; performance managment; public entrepreneurship; public management; research methodology; smart cities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
Interests: electronic government; smart cities; AI in the public sector; technology innovations; social media; public management; public administration education; quantitative and qualitative research methodology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid evolution of digital technologies has revealed significant opportunities for advancing smart cities. The smart cities movement strategically employs cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions to enhance the quality of life, cultivate interconnected environments, and create data-driven analytical platforms. In the digital age, the success and impact of smart city initiatives and frameworks rely on the pillars of innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity, seamlessly transforming societies.

This Special Issue aims to bring together critical research and practical insights on various aspects of digital innovation and transformation in smart cities, with a focus on improving smart city environments in terms of infrastructure and technological aspects, sustaining inclusive smart city cultures and evidence-based platforms while addressing challenges and fostering citizen participation. We invite papers that discuss these dynamic aspects, exploring novel perspectives and insights that enrich the ongoing discourse on the evolution of smart cities. Various types of research such as analytical, descriptive, explanatory, case studies, and best practices are encouraged to explore the opportunities and challenges of transforming societies to make them smarter. Topics of interest include:

  • Emerging technologies shaping smart cities;
  • Innovative and resilient solutions to security-related challenges;
  • Sustainable smart city environments;
  • Digital inclusion and accessibility to digital opportunities;
  • Citizen engagement;
  • Data analytics and AI;
  • Public and private partnerships.

Prof. Dr. Seunghwan Myeong
Dr. Younhee Kim
Dr. Michael J. Ahn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Smart Cities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • innovative transformation
  • technological advancements
  • collaboration
  • data-driven analytical platforms
  • digital inclusion
  • accessibility to digital technologies and infrastructure
  • resilience

Published Papers (1 paper)

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22 pages, 381 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Review on Key Innovation Challenges for Smart City Initiatives
by Rui José and Helena Rodrigues
Smart Cities 2024, 7(1), 141-162; - 2 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2997
Smart city initiatives are being promoted across the world to address major urban challenges, and they all share a common belief in the transformative power of digital technologies. However, the pace of innovation in smart cities seems to be much slower than the [...] Read more.
Smart city initiatives are being promoted across the world to address major urban challenges, and they all share a common belief in the transformative power of digital technologies. However, the pace of innovation in smart cities seems to be much slower than the rapid and profoundly disruptive transformations brought about by digital innovation in many other domains. To develop new insights about the main causes behind this relatively modest success, this study provides a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) on the connection between major smart city challenges and the essential properties of digital innovation. The review involved the qualitative analysis of 44 research papers reporting on smart city innovation practices and outcomes. The results characterize five major challenge categories for smart city innovation: Strategic vision; Organizational Capabilities and Agility; Technology Domestication; Ecosystem Development; and Transboundary Innovation. This study also explores the connections between these challenges and concrete digital innovation practices in smart city initiatives. The main conclusion is that current innovation practices in smart cities are not properly aligned with what the research literature commonly describes as core properties of digital innovation and that this might be a major cause behind the limited progress in smart city initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Innovation and Transformation for Smart Cities)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Networked Resistance to Smart City Development: Digital Mediation and Politicization of Social Datafication in a Low-Trust Society
Author: Ting
Highlights: This article investigates how digital mediation and politicization undermined smart city development; It explicates how ordinary citizens curated oppositional narratives and action repertoires; It also illustrates the (re)production of alternative socio-technical imaginaries and counter-public responses to social datafication in the digital realm; It sheds new light on an underexplored (dis)juncture between citizen engagement and smart city development.

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