Becoming a smart city: A textual analysis of the US smart city finalists

DeHart, Jasmine and Ajisegiri, Oluwasijibomi and Erhardt, Greg and Cleveland, Jamie and Baker, Corey E and Grant, Christan
International Journal on Advances in Intelligent Systems, 14(1): 2, 2021

The term “smart city” is widely used, but there is no consensus on the definition. Many citizens and stakeholders are unsure about what a smart city means in their community and how it affects cost and privacy. This paper describes how city planners and companies envision a smart city using data from the 2015 Smart City Challenge. We use text analysis techniques to investigate the technology and themes necessary for creating a smart city using surveys, document similarity, cluster analysis, and topic modeling from the seven finalists from the 2015 Smart City Challenge Applicants. With this investigation, we find that smart city requests include various technologies, and the goal of smart cities is to enhance and connect the communities to improve the lives of its’ citizens. On average, aspiring smart cities requested 12 new or improved technologies. We also find that two of the seven studied smart city applications center privacy in their proposals. The analysis within gives governments and citizens a common interpretation of a smart city.