Smart Sustainable Cities: Citizen participation challenges, insights from “Amsterdam Smart City” and “Barcelona Digital City”

Producció científica: Capítol de llibreContribució a congrés/conferènciaAvaluat per experts


Several studies confirm that in recent years cities have experience constant
increase in the population. According to the study presented by the United
Nations “World Urbanization Prospects”, by 2050 the 68% of the population
would reside in urban areas. Cities are facing big global challenges: climate
change, social inequality, sustainability and the demand for citizen participation.
In this scenario, with an urgent need to rethink how we construct our cities, the
concept of “smart city” emerges as the key strategy to manage these challenges
and encompasses the capacity of cities to innovate (Conesa, 2017:6; Cocchia,
2014; Abino, Berardi, Dangelico, 2015; Höjer, Wangel, 2014). Sustainable and
liveable cities are essential for a prosperous future and their role will be decisive
in responding to 21st century challenges. In recent years, many cities have integrated
the smart city concept in their planning and future aspirations. Barcelona
and Amsterdam are two of Europe’s most successful smart cities recognized by
several awards and prestigious rankings.
This research explores if “Barcelona Digital City” and “Amsterdam Smart City” are
communicating the new smart city model to their citizens. Specifically, we zoom
in on how they talk to citizens and disclose this new city model through Twitter.
During the last years Twitter has become a widely used communication channel
across a wide range of different fields (Bruns & Burgess, 2011a; Christensen,
2011; Bruns et al., 2012; Mendoza et al., 2010). In this research we carried out
content analyses, tweets, retweets and replies-to generated by the accounts
of “Amsterdam Smart City” and “Barcelona Digital City” have been studied and
analysed during one trimester (April to June 2018). Additionally, the research
also presents an analysis of the followers’ profiles of these accounts.
The database consists of more than 1.300 tweets and 19.000 followers analysed.
All this information was collected using NodeXL Twitter data importer and
the content analysis was performed through Excel dynamic tables.
The results of this study allowed us to identify what kind of conversations take
place on Twitter and to map out the different ways that both cities use to disseminate
the model and interact with their citizens. Thus, we have been able to
assess if and how the two cities engage and empower their citizens to participate
in this new city model. Finally, having analysed the followers’ profiles has given
us an approach to understand which type of community patterns are behind
these two channels. The analysis determines if the social network Twitter works
as a tool that not only informs about the new city model but also manages to
engage citizens to show their interests about how to build the smart city.
Idioma originalAnglès
Títol de la publicacióAdvocating United Nations Sustainable Goals Through Strategic Diplomacy
Subtítol de la publicacióBook of Proceedings 5th Blanquerna-Emerson Global Summit
EditorsGregory Payne, Josep Rom, Enric Ordeix
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2019
Esdeveniment5th Blanquerna-Emerson Global Summit - Barcelona, Spain
Durada: 1 de gen. 2019 → …


Altres5th Blanquerna-Emerson Global Summit
Període1/01/19 → …

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