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EMAC 2022 Annual

How Can We Create Safe Smart Cities? A Qualitative Analysis from a Multiple Stakeholders' Perspective

Published: May 24, 2022


Emanuela Stagno, University of Sussex; Matilda Dorotic, BI Norwegian Business School


A ‘smart city’ refers to various information technology solutions to make city a better place to live and work. Nevertheless, such technological advances are also rapidly changing public decision-making and functioning of societies, bringing both benefits and threats. The paradox of increasing efficiency and, at the same time, increasing potential harm to citizens occurs particularly in the domain of smart city safety solutions. This paper explores the tensions of decision-makers and implementers of smart city safety technologies (e.g., government and municipality officials, law enforcement, businesses, and academics) and investigate the main success factors, benefits, and risks that these actors see in creating a safe smart city. We conducted seven focus groups with diverse stakeholders to investigate the present and future of smart cities. Our findings contribute to better understand what a safe smart city means and how policy makers and companies can work together to make it happen.