Smart sustainable city assessment framework

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


There has been an exponential growth of cities in the last decade. Rural to urban migration are occurring at an unprecedented level. This is partly because cities serve as hubs of innovation offering numerous economic opportunities. However, this growth comes with its unique challenges some of which include strained mobility, pollution, growth of slums etc. The “smart cities” concept aims to address this with increased efficiency using a unique combination of data and technology in every aspect of the city. Even though it is believed that the smart cities concept inherently incorporates sustainability or ultimately leads to a more sustainable city, not all smart city concepts are aligned with sustainability targets. In this research, we provide a more holistic view studying the relationship between a “smart city” and a “sustainable city”. We conceptualised a framework to measure the connection between technology and environmental sustainability and categorised European cities based on this relationship. We provide a concise and clearer understanding of the drivers of the use of technology through the sharing economy to foster sustainability in cities by citizens. Using a weighting and meta-analysis of adoption theories, we laid the foundation for additional hypothesises which researchers can evaluate in future smart sustainable cities assessment studies and provided interesting insights for city councils and governments pushing for a citizen adoption of sustainable practices within their administrative boundaries. Lastly, we rank European capital cities based on how smart and sustainable they are using a composite index based on publicly available data. We also carried out a sensitivity analysis and validation study of our results.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS)
  • Universidad Jaume I
  • University of Münster
  • Cabral, Pedro, Supervisor
  • Casteleyn, Sven, Supervisor, External person
  • Pebesma, Edzer, Supervisor, External person
Award date13 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


  • Smart Cities
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Clustering
  • Sharing economy
  • Environmental sustainability


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