Implementation of the Smart City Concept in the EU: Importance of Cluster Initiatives and Best Practice Cases

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The Smart City concept is a challenge for all levels of public administration. With a growing degree of urbanization socio-economic problems accumulate in urban agglomeration. The Smart City concept has the potential to effectively address those issues by implementing relevant projects. Our main objective is to analyze Smart City concept in EU with emphasize to Smart Governance. Specifically, we investigate four areas related to Smart City concept, such as: the importance of Smart City Governance including Smart City manager role, the position of Smart City concept in EU policies, tools for it's promotion among EU countries and good practices of municipalities in implementing Smart City concept. The article was processed using analysis of relevant information sources. Regarding our results, the paper brings in an useful insight into Smart City manager role, concerned EU policies (especially 5G, Big data, ICT innovation and Internet of Things), tools as Smart City Clusters, Smart City living labs and examples including comparison of municipalities representing good practices (Amsterdam, Helsinki, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Vienna). In addition, we claim that the current concept of the Smart City within the EU institutions as well as within identified Smart City clusters and cities as examples of best practice is predominantly technological. However, professional discourse has shifted in recent years to the dimension of municipalities as an organizational and management component which lead to the idea of Smart Governance. Gathered findings could provide an inspiration to municipalities and their management in order to face new challenges related to the Smart City area.

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