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Impacts of low citizen awareness and usage in smart city services: the case of London’s smart parking system


Smart city applications and services are increasingly considered as strategic means to cope with emerging global challenges such as climate change, pollution, the ageing population, and energy shortage. In particular, smart parking is a type of smart services used to improve traffic congestion and pollution within cities. Nevertheless, although smart city services are driven by advanced information technologies, their success is highly dependent on user engagement, which is historically problematic. This paper presents and discusses the results of a case study on the smart parking service in London. A questionnaire (involved a total of 212 local drivers) was adopted as the main data collection method. This was complemented by the collection and analysis of 470 online user comments left for the service. The results showed that London’s smart parking service may potentially help each driver to save an average of £68 (62.2 l) on petrol annually and reduce CO2 emissions by 238.14 kg per car per year. At city level, a smart parking system could help London save £183.6 million worth of petrol per year and reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 642,978 tons. However, public awareness, actual usage, and user satisfaction of this smart service are currently very low. These present substantial barriers to realise the potential economic and environmental benefits of the service. This paper concluded that further to the very technological efforts, local authorities and service providers need to make a stronger endeavour to enhance public engagement and user satisfaction towards smart services, in order to realise the promises of such solutions.

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The authors would like to deeply thank the Guest Editors of this Special Issue and the reviewers for their very constructive and useful feedback that led to significant improvements of this paper.

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Correspondence to Miguel Baptista Nunes.

Appendix: Questionnaire

Appendix: Questionnaire

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Peng, G.C.A., Nunes, M.B. & Zheng, L. Impacts of low citizen awareness and usage in smart city services: the case of London’s smart parking system. Inf Syst E-Bus Manage 15, 845–876 (2017).

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