Together with the unprecedented rate of urbanisation, new practices and trends have sought to manage the complex challenges of urban systems. A prominent example is the ‘smart city’ concept, which is present and widely discussed in literature and international policies. Although there is a lack of definitional accuracy, interpretation, and application, in addition to its underlying self-promotional inclinations; in recent decades the smart city concept has been one of the most influential trends and has tried to shape projects and cities relative to their efficiency and sustainability.
Worldwide, the implementation of the smart city concept seems to have a fragmented record, using atomistic approaches. Nonetheless, some cities have managed to successfully operate in a smarter way to solve some of the urban challenges of the 21st century. In this issue of IGLUS Quarterly, we take a more critical view of smart cities by exploring the multi-scale applications of the concept in different contexts around the world through six articles that together, highlight potential successes and misconceptions of the smart city approach.