Analysis of Smart City Models and the Four-Foci Taxonomy for Smart City Design

  • Joongsub Kim Lawrence Technological University
  • Annette Lerine Steenkamp Lawrence Technological University


Driven by increasingly complex social, political, economic, and environmental challenges, in the hope of promoting the health, safety, and welfare of citizens in urban environments, the demand for more effective management of immense data resources and easy public access to information is increasing. The notion of a smart city has evolved in recent years to mean a city that is well-endowed by information and communication technologies (ICT) that complement the physical infrastructure, and thereby enhancing the quality of the social and environmental assets. A city may be defined as “smart” or “intelligent” when investments in human capital, social capital, traditional transportation, and modern communication infrastructure drive growth and sustainable physical and economic development. Through participatory governance, managed growth of the smart city is intended to result in a high quality of life and wise management of natural resources. Currently several theories and models for designing a smart city, including hybrid models and new ideas, are emerging. Following an analysis of various research studies, it was possible to group these models in terms of their foci: (1) technological, (2) business, (3) political, and (4) environmental. While the proposed models have made considerable contributions to the field of smart cities, each of these models shares four key limitations: (1) a lack of integration of the local system and globalsystem, (2) a lack of attention to holistic sustainability, (3) a lack of consideration of human factors and human-environment interaction, and (4) an inability to address significant urban changes. The research approach of Takeda et. al. (1990) was adopted for this research project, and has four phases namely: Phase I (Awareness), Phase II (Suggestion), Phase III (Development) and Phase IV (Evaluation). The research will be conducted in several studies. This paper reports on Study 1 which followed an exploratory and conceptual approach in two phases namely Phase I and Phase II, in which an in-depth analysis of several smart city case studies reported in the literature was performed. The purpose was to examine promising smart city models, and to critique their effectiveness, strengths, and weaknesses. The literature review enabled the authors to solidify their understanding of smart city design. A taxonomy of key categories of concern when designing a smart city, called the Four-Foci Taxonomy, is proposed in the paper.
How to Cite
Kim, J., & Steenkamp, A. (2014). Analysis of Smart City Models and the Four-Foci Taxonomy for Smart City Design. ARCC Conference Repository.
Peer-reviewed Papers