We argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities: (i) `urban technocrats'; (ii) a smart cities `epistemic community'; (iii) a wider `advocacy coalition'. We examine their roles and the multiscale formation, and why despite their influence they encounter a `last mile problem'; that is, smart city initiatives are yet to become fully mainstreamed. We illustrate this last mile problem through a discussion of plans to introduce smart lighting in Dublin.
The research for this paper was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, `The Programmable City' (ERC-2012-AdG-323636).
©2017 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston