Smart Cities and the Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems Conceptual Framework: The Case of Portugal

  • Catarina Selada
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Growth book series (DIG)


Smart cities are emerging as a new urban development model, responding to the economic importance of cities, to the process of urbanisation, and to the demand for a post-carbon model. Besides the diversity of the phenomenon, a smart city is a territory where the investments in human and social capital, and ICT infrastructures and networks promote economic development, environmental sustainability and a high quality of life, through participatory governance.

A city is not smart when it does not include all its stakeholders in the urban innovation process. Smart city is based on knowledge sharing and collaboration across all levels of society.

In this context, this chapter analyses the collaborative dynamics within the smart city arena in Portugal, stressing the role played by the helices of the Quadruple-helix innovation model: government, universities, industry and the civil society. The innovation process is analysed at urban level, being oriented to the co-creation of creative solutions to solve urban problems and to answer to city’s future challenges.

Crossing the theoretical framework with the analysis of international case studies, we find that the smart city context in Portugal is characterised by an embryonic Triple-helix innovation model. To increase the collaboration between smart city actors and to include the civil society in the urban innovation process are needed to build an attractive, sustainable and inclusive innovation ecosystem.


Smart city Quadruple-helix Urban development Innovation Co-creation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catarina Selada
    • 1
  1. 1.INTELI—Inteligência em Inovação, Centro de Inovação, Cities UnitLisbonPortugal

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