Institutionalising smart city research and innovation: from fuzzy definitions to real-life experiments

Ralf Martin Soe*, Luiza Schuch de Azambuja, Kalle Toiskallio, Marko Nieminen, Michael Batty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


By exploring and defining characteristics of a smart city research and innovation centre, we contribute to the discussion on smart city development capacity. To do so, using a qualitative method, we review definitions of the concept and map international groups and institutes affiliated with this domain. Our main result is an overview of global research centres dealing with smart cities. One of the key implications of this paper is that instead of a strict definition, the important aspect appears in the framing provided by the complex real-life challenges that require and enable cross-disciplinary research, even though the concept keeps evolving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-154
Number of pages43
Issue number11
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • centres of excellence
  • experiments
  • multidisciplinary
  • smart city
  • urban research and innovation


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  • FinEst Twins: FinEst Twins

    Nieminen, M.


    Project: EU: Framework programmes funding

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