Smart City Projects and Citizen Participation: The Case of London

  • Jurgen WillemsEmail author
  • Joachim Van den Bergh
  • Stijn Viaene
Part of the NPO-Management book series (NPOM)


We apply Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation to a smart city context, focusing in particular on the ‘Smart London’ case. With this exploratory case study we contribute by setting out a replicable step-by-step approach to assess a smart city plan vis-à-vis citizen participation. Furthermore, this study investigates the link between the smart city ambitions of London and the concrete citizen participation levels of several projects within their smart city strategy. From the qualitative coding and classification we formulate a first proposition for further scientific elaboration on the relationship between the potential levels of citizen participation in a smart city project and the way stakeholders are represented in the project.


smart cities citizen participation Ladder of Participation case research London 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allwinkle, Sam and Peter Cruickshank (2011), Creating smarter cities: An overview, in: Journal of Urban Technology, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 1-16.Google Scholar
  2. Anthopoulos, Leonidas and Panos Fitsilis (2014), Exploring architectural and organizational features in smart cities. 16th International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT), IEEE, pp. 190-195.Google Scholar
  3. Arnstein, Sherry R. (1969), A ladder of citizen participation, in: Journal of the American Institute of planners, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 216-224.Google Scholar
  4. AT Kearney (2014), Global Cities, Present and Future. AT Kearney, (accessed: 18.02.2015).
  5. Bloomberg Philantropies (2014), Innovation in Europe’s cities, (accessed: 25.02.2015).
  6. Caragliu, Andrea, Chiara Del Bo and Peter Nijkamp (2011), Smart cities in Europe, in: Journal of Urban Technology, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 65-82.Google Scholar
  7. Chourabi, Hafedh, Taewoo Nam, Shawn Walker, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Sehl Mellouli, Karine Nahon, Theresa A. Pardo and Hans Jochen Scholl (2012), Understanding smart cities: An integrative framework. 45th Hawaii International Conference on Computer System Science (HICSS), IEEE.Google Scholar
  8. Cornwall, Andrea (2008), Unpacking ‘Participation’: models, meanings and practices, in: Community Development Journal, vol. 43 no. 3, pp. 269-283.Google Scholar
  9. Creighton, James L. (2005), The Public Participation Handbook: Making Better Decisions through Citizen Involvement. San Francisco.Google Scholar
  10. Cupps, D. Stephen (1977), Emerging problems of citizen participation, in: Public Administration Review, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 478-487.Google Scholar
  11. Flick, Uwe (2002), An introduction to qualitative research. London.Google Scholar
  12. Fox-Wolfgramm, Susan J. (1997), Towards developing a methodology for doing qualitative research: The dynamic-comparative case study method, in: Sandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 439-455.Google Scholar
  13. Hollands, Robert G. (2008), Will the real smart city please stand up? Intelligent, progressive or entrepreneurial?, in: City, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 303-320.Google Scholar
  14. Komninos, Nicos, Marc Pallot and Hans Schaffers (2013), Special issue on smart cities and the future internet in Europe, in: Journal of the Knowledge Economy, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 119-134.Google Scholar
  15. Lazaroiu, George Cristian and Mariacristina Roscia (2012), Definition methodology for the smart cities model, in: Energy, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 326-332.Google Scholar
  16. Nam, Taewoo and Theresa A. Pardo (2011), Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions, in: Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference: Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times. ACM.Google Scholar
  17. Paskaleva, Krassimira Antonova (2009), Enabling the smart city: The progress of city e-governance in Europe, in: International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 405-422.Google Scholar
  18. Smart London Board (2013), Smart London Plan: Using the creative power of new technologies to serve London and improve Londoners’ lives, (accessed: 18.02.2015).
  19. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014), World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/352).Google Scholar
  20. Van den Bergh, Joachim and Stijn Viaene (2015), Key Challenges for the Smart City: Turning Ambition into Reality. 48th Hawaii International Conference on Computer System Science. IEEE, pp. 2385-2394.Google Scholar
  21. Wang, Xiaohu (2001), Assessing Public Participation in U.S. Cities, in: Public Performance & Management Review, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 322-336.Google Scholar
  22. Zimmerman, Marc A., and Julian Rappaport (1988), Citizen participation, perceived control, and psychological empowerment, in: American Journal of community psychology, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 725-750.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurgen Willems
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joachim Van den Bergh
    • 2
  • Stijn Viaene
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.LinzAustria

Personalised recommendations