The first two decades of smart-city research: a bibliometric analysis
In this paper “The first two decades of smart-city research: a bibliometric analysis”, L. Mora, R. Bolici and M. Deakin (2017) use bibliometric analysis techniques to analyze, on the one hand, the literature on smart cities published between 1992 and 2012, and on the other hand, the community of researchers involved in its production. It was published by Taylor & Francis Group in the Journal of Urban Technology.
This paper reports on the first two decades of research on smart cities by conducting a bibliometric analysis of the literature published between 1992 and 2012. The analysis shows that smart-city research is fragmented and lacks cohesion, and its growth follows two main development paths. The first one is based on the peer-reviewed publications produced by European universities, which support a holistic perspective on smart cities. The second path, instead, stands on the gray literature produced by the American business community and relates to a techno-centric understanding of the subject. Divided along such paths, the future development of this new and promising field of research risks being undermined. For while the bibliometric analysis indicates that smart cities are emerging as a fast-growing topic of scientific enquiry, much of the knowledge that is generated about them is singularly technological in nature. In that sense, lacking the social intelligence, cultural artifacts, and environmental attributes, which are needed for the ICT-related urban innovation that such research champions.
The results show that smart city research starts in Australia and North America. Subsequently, interest in the subject grows and the production of literature on smart cities has developed in Europe, Asia, and Africa, between 1997 and 2000, and in South America, but not before 2010. Up to 2002, North America maintains the greatest number of authors and the highest number of publications, but this condition changes between 2002 and 2012, a period during which the number of European authors increases from 17 to 1, 327.
Europe is also the largest contributor to the growth of smart city research and the region that has influenced most the intellectual structure of this fast-expanding field of scientific enquiry. The majority of source documents are produced by organizations located in Europe (52%) and they have the greatest overall impact. The situation is also positive in North America, where researchers have published 16.6% of the source documents, accounting for 24.4% of the total citations. In the case of Asia, indeed, the relationship between production and influence is negative. Here the overall impact is much smaller (10.3%), despite a greater share of source documents (23.3%).
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Mora, L., Bolici, R., & Deakin, M. (2017). The First Two Decades of Smart-City Research: A Bibliometric Analysis. Journal Of Urban Technology, 24(1), 3-27.