Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg November 27, 2017

Smart cities, epistemic communities, advocacy coalitions and the `last mile' problem

Rob Kitchin, Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans, Liam Heaphy and Darach MacDonncha


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).

Received: 2017-5-24
Revised: 2017-10-20
Accepted: 2017-10-29
Published Online: 2017-11-27
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

©2017 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston