Smart Urban Governance in practice: A case study of Dutch smart city developments.
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This research is focussed on how smart urban governance gets put into practice in Dutch smart city developments. Furthermore this research focusses on how these cases deal with citizen participation and how the governance networks have been set up. Many cities have set goals to become a smart city or engage in developments to implement smart solutions to daily live problems. Over the past years smart city approaches have gained momentum in city (and spatial) planning (Kummitha & Crutzen, 2017; Hashem et al. 2016; Jiang, Geertman & Witte, 2019; Lin, 2018). Therefore the time has come to actively study some of these developments. In this research the main case study is Brainport Smart District (BSD) which has the ambitious goal to become the smartest neighbourhood in the world (Rood, 2019). BSD also has a component that has as main focus to develop the data side of this smart city. This is aimed to help with all kinds of questions related to the data component in smart cities, in the line of data governance (Cheong & Chang, 2007). This raises the question how data governance and smart urban governance relate to each other. The main research question therefore is: “How does smart urban governance contribute to realizing smart city developments and improve the governance processes, resulting in better outcomes and more openness for citizens?” In this research three case studies are used to be able to formulate an answer to this question. The main case that is used is Brainport Smart District (BSD). This case is researched by analysing (policy) documents available on this development. Next to this there are also semi structured interviews with actors involved in the development and these interviews are analysed on their contents. Some questions posed to these actors are, what are the goals of smart district, who are the involved actors and what projects are carried out to realise the development. These contents are also used to do a social network analysis of a part of the governance network of BSD, to get a better understanding of the governance network. Two other case studies of smart city developments in the Netherlands are analysed also by utilizing the available (policy) documents of these developments. These cases are the Merwedekanaalzone (Utrecht), a redevelopment of an inner city industrial area into a smart city with a mix of living and working. The other case is Living Lab Scheveningen (The Hague), where a smart city infrastructure is implemented in the seaside part of the city of The Hague. In two of the three cases an organisational model is used, called the quadruple helix, in which four stakeholder groups have a seat at the table when it comes to the development of a smart city. These groups are: Governments, Private parties, Knowledge institutions and Civil society / local residents. This indicates that citizens get a more prominent role in smart city developments than before. Leading to a flatter, less top-down structure that fits to smart urban governance in the line of how Jiang et al. (2019) view smart urban governance. Furthermore this research showed that there is more focus on using smart technologies for achieving smart cities, rather than thinking about and using data that is facilitating these smart technologies. It became clear that data is a difficult topic and that every actor threats data differently. This means every actor can potentially have a different agenda towards dealing with data. Therefore it is needed to create some sort of data governance to give structure for managing data in urban developments. The topic of data governance is explored actively by BSD, but it appears to be a project that is developed parallel to the other ongoing developments. This means that smart urban governance and data governance are not being matched at the moment. Data governance can definitely have implications on the smart urban governance process of the development, but what these implications are and how it effectively works out could not be concluded from this research alone.