Smart City pp 13-43 | Cite as

Smart and Digital City: A Systematic Literature Review

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


The concept of Smart City embraces several definitions depending on the meanings of the word “smart”: intelligent city , knowledge city , ubiquitous city , sustainable city , digital city , etc. Many definitions of Smart City exist, but no one has been universally acknowledged yet. From literature analysis it emerges that Smart City and Digital City are the most used terminologies in literature to indicate the smartness of a city. This Chapter explores the literature about Smart City and Digital City from 1993 to the end of 2012 in order to investigate how these two concepts were born, how they have developed, which are the shared features and differences between them. To accomplish with these goals, three steps were followed: (1) to set up a search strategy for systematic literature review to collect a representative subset of papers about Smart City and Digital City using Google Scholar; (2) to store the selected subset in an ad-doc database to synthesize the literature review; (3) to organize the literature review subset to extract quantitative and qualitative data and information about Smart City and Digital City evolution. The author proposes a literature review taxonomy through five specific analysis: (1) time analysis, to explore the causes of the trend of Smart City and Digital City literature in the latest twenty years; (2) terminology analysis, to examine how and where these two ideas were born and what have been the main events influenced their development; (3) definitions analysis, to select and compare the most cited and validated definitions of Smart City and Digital City trying to identify similarities, differences or overlaps between these two concepts; (4) typology analysis, to investigate if Smart City and Digital City are included into a specific urban strategy pursued by government or if they face specific urban problems without a comprehensive framework; (5) geographic analysis, to understand where are the largest concentrations of Smart Cities and Digital Cities in the world and which are their main characteristics and best practices.


Smart city Digital city Literature review ICT Urban strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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