The Puzzling Concept of Smart City in Central and Eastern Europe: A Literature Review Designed for Policy Development

Bogdan Constantin Ibănescu, Alexandru Bănică, Mihail Eva, Alexandra Cehan


The modern concept of smart city rose from a relatively ambiguous term dealing with the future of urban areas to one of the most popular contemporary fields of research. Tackling a considerable range of topics from digitalization, citizen involvement, sustainability or governance, it managed to rapidly attract both academics and policy-makers. This study reviews the research papers published on the smart city concept with application to the European Union, and especially to the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe. The results indicate many common features of smart cities in the EU, but also some peculiarities of CEE in this regard, many deriving from their socialist inheritance. Meanwhile, it can be noticed the rather incipient status of smart cities approaches, the insufficient resources allocated by local authorities, which rely extensively on EU funding, the lack of awareness from citizens and the lack of a comprehensive and structured strategic approach. In order to tackle the abovementioned issues, our paper suggests a series of measures and directions for policy-makers, local administrations and business environment.


smart city; CEE; digitalization; governance; sustainable development.

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