A novel maturity-based assessment model for smart cities

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University of New Brunswick
As a response to the challenges of population and urban growth, the concept of smart city/community (SC) is introduced as a strategic solution to the traditional city-related problems to achieve better services/life quality. However, the SC as an ecosystem is an evolving concept; hence, there is no universally-shared definition or assessment tool. SC assessment models broadly fall into two categories: performance-based and maturity-based models. Most of the available assessment models are based on performance indicators. However, unlike maturity-based models, performance indicators face challenges due to the complexity and evolving nature of SCs. Therefore, this research addresses the problems of a universally-accepted definition of SCs and assessment framework by (1) identifying the key smartness dimensions of a city, (2) building a corresponding novel smartness concept, and (3) developing a full maturity-based assessment model that overcomes the limitations of the performance-based models. The research contribution includes the identification of three key dimensions for SCs, which are Connectivity (C), Sustainability (S), and Resiliency (R); and a corresponding maturity-based assessment model (MM) for SCs referred to as CSR-MM. The applicability of CSR-MM was demonstrated through (1) examining its conformance to the MM design principles, and (2) demonstrating its practically via (a) a sub-domain case study (Fredericton Public Transit, NB) and (b) an outcome comparison against an international assessment tool (ISO37120:2018). The outcome of this study is an SC assessment model that is intended to help municipalities to identify maturity gaps, set prioritized goals, and focus on continuously improving citizens’ well-being.