Public Value Creation in a Smart City Context: An Analysis Framework

  • Alessia C. NeuroniEmail author
  • Stephan Haller
  • Willem van Winden
  • Vicente Carabias-Hütter
  • Onur Yildirim
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 35)


Launching smart city activities and projects requires political support. For sustainable approaches, a concrete strategy, and leadership endorsement from the municipal government is crucial. In accordance with the most prevalent definitions of a smart city, postulating that a city must enhance quality of life and provide benefits to the people living and working there, this book chapter focuses on one specific aspect of public value, the value it can bring to citizens. Through discussion of earlier theoretical approaches and empirical evidence, we provide a framework to better capture, analyze and model value creation in a given municipal ecosystem. By analyzing two different cases—Amsterdam and Winterthur—it becomes clear that “smartness” is not just a state to be achieved, but rather the enablement of processes that continuously and dynamically change the city, improving quality of life by providing different benefits and amenities. The key enablers to develop an ecosystem for a smarter city strategy involve Private-Public-Partnership models, the direct involvement of citizens, the availability of data infrastructures, and social interaction platforms.


Public value creation Smart cities Public value framework Ecosystem approach Citizen involvement City strategy 


  1. Ajuntament de Barcelona. (2016). Mesura de govern: Transició cap a la Sobirania Tecnològica. Pla “Bercelona Ciutat Digital”. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from
  2. Alawadhi, S., Aldama-Nalda, A., Chourabi, H., Gil-Garcia, J. R., Leung, S., Mellouli, S., … Walker, S. (2012). Building understanding of smart city initiatives. In H. J. Scholl et al. (Eds.), Electronic government (Vol. 7443, pp. 40–53). Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Angelidou, M. (2016). Four European smart city strategies. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 4(4), 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anthopoulos, L., Janssen, M., & Weerakkody, V. (2016). A unified smart city model (USCM) for smart city conceptualization and benchmarking. International Journal of Electronic Government Research (IJEGR), 12(2), 77–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bicar. (2017). Bicar. Retrieved July 11, 2018, from
  6. Carabias, V., Eschenauer, U., Kuehn, T., Lobsiger-Kägi, E., & Mildenberger, T. (2016). Regulating energy demand: Recommendations for the use of smart meter data and demand side management. Gaia, 25(3), 217–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castri, R., Wemyss, D., Cellina, F., De Luca, V., Frick, V., Lobsiger-Kägi, E., … Carabias, V. (2016, July). Triggering electricity-saving through smart meters: Play, learn and interact using gamification and social comparison. Proceedings of Feedback in energy demand reduction: Examining evidence and exploring opportunities (pp. 248–256). Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  8. Chourabi, H., Nam, T., Walker, S., Gil-Garcia, J. R., Mellouli, S., Nahon, K., … Scholl, H. J. (2012, January) Understanding smart cities: An integrative framework. Proceedings of the 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) (pp. 2289–2297).Google Scholar
  9. Cook, M. E., & Harrison, T. M. (2014). Using public value thinking for government IT planning and decision-making. Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, June 2014.Google Scholar
  10. Cordella, A., & Bonina, C. (2012). A public value perspective for ICT enabled public sector reforms: A theoretical reflection. Government Information Quarterly, 29, 512–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dameri, R. P. (2017). Smart city definition, goals and performance. In Smart city implementation. Creating economic and public value in innovative urban systems (pp. 1–22). Berlin, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Effing, R., & Groot, B. P. (2016). Social smart city: Introducing digital and social strategies for participatory governance in smart cities. 15th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference (EGOV 2016), September 2016 (pp. 241–252).Google Scholar
  13. Fietkiewicz, K. J., Mainka, A., & Stock, W. G. (2017). eGovernment in cities of the knowledge society. An empirical investigation of smart cities’ governmental websites. Government Information Quarterly, 34(1), 75–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fraefel, M., Haller, S., Gschwend, A. (2017). Big data in the public sector. Linking cities to sensors. 16th IFIP Electronic Government (EGOV) and 9th Electronic Participation (ePart) Conference, September 2017.Google Scholar
  15. Gil-Garcia, J. R., Pardo, T. A., & Nam, T. (2015). What makes a city smart? Identifying core components and proposing an integrative and comprehensive conceptualization. Information Polity, 20(1), 61–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Griffinger, R., Fertner, C., Kramar, H., Kalasek, R., Pichler-Milanović, N., & Meijers, E. (2007). Smart cities: Ranking of European medium-sized cities, final report. Vienna TU: Centre of Regional Science.Google Scholar
  17. Haller, S., Neuroni, A., Fraefel, M., & Sakamura, K. (2018). Perspectives on smart cities strategies: Sketching a framework and testing first uses. In A. Anneke Zuiderwijk & C. Hinnant (Eds.), Proceedings of 19th annual international conference on digital government research (dg.o’18). New York: ACM. Article 4, 9 pages.Google Scholar
  18. Harrison, T. M., Guerrero, S., Burke, G. B., Cook, M., Cresswell, A., Helbig, N., … Pardo, T. (2011). Open government and e-government: Democratic challenges from a public value perspective. Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times, June 2011.Google Scholar
  19. Harrison, T. M., Guerrero, S., Burke, G. B., Cook, M., Cresswell, A., Helbig, N., … Pardo, T. (2012). Open government and e-government: Democratic challenges from a public value perspective. Information Polity, 17, 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jackson, D. J. (2011). What is an innovation ecosystem. National Science Foundation, 1.Google Scholar
  21. Jaekel, M. (2015). Smart City wird Realität: Wegweiser für neue Urbanitäten in der Digitalmoderne. Berlin, Germany: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Karunasena, K., & Deng, H. (2012). Critical factors for evaluating the public value of e-government in Sri Lanka. Government Information Quarterly, 29, 76–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klievink, B., Neuroni, A., Fraefel, M., & Zuiderwijk, A. (2017). Digital strategies in action: A comparative analysis of national data infrastructure development. Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - dg.o’17, June 2017 (pp. 129–138).Google Scholar
  24. Lobsiger-Kägi, E., Frick, V., Musiolik, J., Moser, C., Carabias-Hütter, V., Bernegger, H., … Günther, C. (2016). Leitfaden Smarte Quartiere: Ideenentwicklung und Prozessgestaltung für Genossenschaften und andere Akteure der Quartierentwicklung. Winterthur, Switzerland: ZHAW.Google Scholar
  25. Macadar, M. A., Porto, J. B., & Luciano, E. (2016). Smart city: A rigorous literature review of the concept from 2000 to 2015. In Electronic government and electronic participation: Joint proceedings of Ongoing research, PhD papers, posters and workshops of IFIP Egov and EPart 2016 (pp. 203–210). Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  26. Meynhardt, T. (2009). Public value inside: What is public value creation? International Journal of Public Administration, 33(3–4), 192–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic Management in Government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Nam, T., & Pardo, T. A. (2011). Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions. In Proceedings of the 12th annual international digital government research conference: Digital government innovation in challenging times (pp. 282–291). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  29. Novatlantis. (2011). Smarter living. Moving forward to a sustainable energy future with the 2000 watt society. Bern, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics.Google Scholar
  30. OECD. (2010). Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Higher education in regional and city development series. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  31. Osella, M., Ferro, E., & Pautasso, E. (2017). Towards a methodological approach to assess public value in smart cities. In J. R. Gil-Garcia, T. Pardo, & T. Nam (Eds.), Smarter as the new urban agenda. Public administration and information technology (Vol. 11, pp. 129–148). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Porto, J., & Macadar, M. (2017). Assessment methodology in smart cities based on public value. In Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - dg.o’17, June 2017.Google Scholar
  33. Puron-Cid, G. (2017). From technology to social development: Applying a public value perspective to digital government in local governments in Mexico. Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - dg.o’17, June 2017.Google Scholar
  34. Rowe, G., & Frewer, L. J. (2000). Public participation methods: A framework for evaluation. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 25(1), 3–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. SECO. (2015). eID-Ökosystem Modell, Projektabschlussbericht, Bern. Retrieved July 1, 2017, from
  36. Smart City Winterthur. (2018). Smart City Winterthur. Retrieved March 9, 2018, from
  37. van Lente, H., Hekkert, M., Smits, R., & van Waveren, B. (2003). Roles of systemic intermediaries in transition processes. International Journal of Innovation Management, 7, 247–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. van Winden, W., Oskam, I., van den Buuse, D., Schrama, W., & van Dijck, E. (2016). Organising smart city projects: Lessons from Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Retrieved July 1, 2017, from
  39. Walser, K., & Haller, S. (2016). Smart governance in smart cities. In A. Meier & E. Portmann (Eds.), Smart city: Strategie, governance und Projekte (pp. 19–46). Berlin, Germany: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zwahlen, M., Yildirim, O., Eschenauer, U., & Carabias, V. (2016). Konzepte für die Zukunft: Eine Delphi-Umfrage zu Smart Cities liefert konkrete Ansätze. VSE Bulletin, 12, 16–19.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessia C. Neuroni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephan Haller
    • 1
  • Willem van Winden
    • 2
  • Vicente Carabias-Hütter
    • 3
  • Onur Yildirim
    • 3
  1. 1.E-Government Institute, Bern University of Applied SciencesBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Amsterdam University of Applied SciencesAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Zurich University of Applied SciencesWinterthurSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations