Smart Cities

There is a lot of hype around the potential for smart cities and, undoubtedly, the adoption of such initiatives is gaining pace. But much of the discussion within the industry is essentially supply-side, rather than demand-side, focussed. Vendors will often have a slightly utopian vision of what a smart city might look like, whilst currently ‘dumb city’ residents and stakeholders often remain unconvinced. With this Research Stream we seek to begin to redress that balance, by focussing on the city manager perspective.

The aim for city managers should be to stitch the plethora of existing potential smart-cities initiatives into some kind of cohesive implementation plan. In undertaking this task, the city manager must consider four broad categories of influencing factors, including available benchmarks, intrinsic city variables, the local city context and the wider context within which the putative smart city exists.

The aim of the Smart Cities Research Stream is to provide city managers with the key information that they need to turn their city into a smart city. It provides analysis of the smart cities space overall, recommendations over thresholds and context for deployment of different smart city applications, best practice for implementation and case studies of deployments.

Smart Cities IoT Project Prioritisation [Source: Machina Research 2014]

Key themes

The topics covered by this Research Stream include the following:

  • Horizontal smart cities analysis – Looking at cross-city smart city implementations, technologies, or companies, e.g. smart city strategies for Cisco or IBM strategy.
  • Smart cities case studies – Case studies of a few cities and their smart city implementations.
  • Application implementation guides – These will examine the cost, timetables, and in-depth case studies of deployments.
  • Smart cities project framework – Qualitative and quantitative guide to the smartest cities. Includes a ranking of the smartest cities and analysis of the different thresholds, criteria and interdependencies that drive the business case for the adoption of smart cities solutions.


The deliverables for this Research Stream include the following:

  • Application implementation guides focusing, as noted above, on the specifics of how to deploy a particular application.
  • Research Notes including horizontal smart cities analysis and smart cities case studies.
  • Implementation guidebook – Pulling together all of the smart city research to give an overall set of guidance on how a city might implement a smart city.
  • Smart cities benchmarking index – Database of global smart cities.
  • Access to the existing library of previous publications.
  • Direct access to Machina Research’s team of industry analysts.

Lead Analyst

The lead analyst for this Research Stream is Matt Hatton.

Latest reports in this Research Stream

09 November 2016
Report type: Announcement
As of the 9th November 2016 Machina Research Limited was acquired by Gartner Inc. This document is intended for Machina Research’s clients and service users to provide relevant information on the acquisition and the impact that it will have on the services that you currently enjoy from Machina Research.
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18 October 2016
Report type: Implementation Guide
Public Transport represents one of the most complex set of systems related to monitoring and management of remote assets. In other Implementation Guides we have looked at the IoT/smart cities implementations relating to the buses, trains, trams and other vehicles involved in providing connected public transport. On the other side ...
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07 October 2016
Report type: Research Note
Our Smart Cities Implementation Guide on smart traffic lights highlighted the qualitative and quantitative benefits of intelligent traffic management for a city. Moreover, our recent White Paper on open systems in smart cities touted the many benefits accrued those who took the open approach. There have been companies, such as ...
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Smart Cities reports

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