Impact Analysis of Smart City Networks in Cities’ Local Government
Área/s de conocimientoArquitectura
Ciencias de la Comunicación
Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
Ciencias Sociales, Políticas y del Comportamiento
Since its establishment in 2012, the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI) has worked towards the ultimate objective of making Spanish cities an international reference within the global ‘smart’ panorama. This network, originally empowered by the individual experience of many Spanish cities with presence in international smart city projects for over 10 years, has adopted a form of governance based on complex networks, including its own particular network coordination and management mechanisms. From this point of view, in first place this work tries to answer the question ‘can these coordination mechanisms contribute to the success of the governance network?’ To provide an answer network performance in the framework of cities is studied focusing on the existing network coordination mechanisms and the abilities of the network manager. From its original 25 funding members, RECI has progressively increased its number of members to 65 by the beginning of 2016. On the management and coordination side, RECI is formed by a president, three vice-presidents, one secretary, and one representative from each founding member. From the work point of view, RECI’S ecosystem is divided into five working groups addressing local concerns. This structure has favoured a sharing environment where all cities can learn from others’ experiences and adopt the best practices that better adapt to their local needs and strategic plans. The sharing-based environment is empowered by a Content Management System (CMS) which acts as a common document repository. Overall, this environment can be considered a fast track to learning in matters of smart cities governance and projects implementation. Ultimately, as a consequence of this environment, an important positive impact is produced in the smart governance of these cities. The final objective of this work focuses on providing a full picture of the overall impact of RECI on the Spanish smart cities based on a Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) analysis. Apart from the information gathered in related literature, this analysis is supported by the answers provided by a sample group of RECI’s members to a consultation where a series of questions in relation to their opinion about RECI’s impact on their local governments were made. Lastly, the conclusions of the study show the important role that RECI has played in the recent development of Spain as an international reference in the field of smart cities, both at a network level, with RECI’s mentoring activities to other networks; and individually for Spanish cities.