Journal Article

Problematizing and Politicizing Smart City-Regions: Is Devolution Smart?

Published 7 March 2017 / By COMPAS Communications

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This paper problematizes the meanings, governance implications, and techno-political shortcomings of ‘smart cities’ through pervasive transitions taking place in Europe by presenting a conceptual framework to politicize ‘smart city-regions’ as complex, transcalar, datadriven, multi-stakeholder-focused, experimental, and, supposedly, democratic techno-territorial assemblages. The momentum is particularly relevant given an increasing number of ongoing reforms of administrative borders and competences of local governments fuelled by devolution, as the four cases of Bristol and Glasgow (uk), and Barcelona and Bilbao (Spain), demonstrate. Hence, by blending governance with technological and territorial issues, this paper elucidates that devolution should be addressed in the implementation of smart strategies stemming from (i) transcalar overlaps and contradictions; (ii) data literacy, ownership, and management; (iii) multi-stakeholder complex urbanity; and (iv) democratic and digital citizenship.


Calzada, I. (2017), Problematizing and Politicizing Smart City-Regions: Is Devolution Smart?, Territorio 83: 37-47. In the Special Issue ‘From Smart City to Smart Region. Meanings, Governance, Policies and Projects’(ISSN: 1825-8689). DOI: 10.3280/TR2017-083005.