Around 68% of the global population might live in urban areas by 2050. Smart cities will likely be a part of this future, promising to make our lives more convenient, more secure and more sustainable.

 

Mostly, the stakeholders of smart city projects are politicians, consultants, academics and tech companies. However, the most important group of stakeholders is often missing: the ordinary citizens that will have to live in these transformed cities.

 

In consequence, strategies and projects focus too much on technology and not enough on cities’ inhabitants. This issue has been raised before in academia and has been answered with frameworks and standards such as the Boston Smart City Playbook or the BSI Smart City Standards.

 

Yet research has shown that there are still shortcomings and contradictionsregarding true inhabitant-centricity. In light of the fact that inhabitant-centricity and citizen engagement are deciding success factors for any smart city transformation, it becomes vital to put inhabitants first.

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