Assessing the Gap between Technology and the Environmental Sustainability of European Cities

Adeoluwa Akande, Pedro Cabral, Sven Casteleyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


The growth of cities’ population increased the interest in the opportunities and challenges that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have on carbon footprint reduction, which fosters their environmental sustainability. Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), six ICT-related variables from European Union (EU) cities were combined into a single two-dimensional ICT index. Then, through cluster analysis, cities were clustered into four groups based on the ICT index and Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions. Using ICT as an indicator of smartness and CO 2 emissions as an indicator of sustainability, we show that it is possible for a city to be smart but not sustainable and vice versa. Results also indicate that there is a gap between cities in northern Europe, which are the top performers in both categories, and cities in south-eastern Europe, which do not perform as well. The need for a common strategy for achieving integrated smart, sustainable and inclusive growth at a European level is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-604
Number of pages24
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Cluster analysis
  • European cities
  • PCA
  • Smart cities
  • Sustainable cities
  • Urban analytics


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