The Case of Smart City Istanbul: How to Evaluate the City Region and its Benchmarks with Participatory and Negotiation Processes?

Baypinar, Mete Basar and Seker, Murat and Bektas, Hakan and Saldanli, Arif (2020) The Case of Smart City Istanbul: How to Evaluate the City Region and its Benchmarks with Participatory and Negotiation Processes? SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 835-845. ISSN 2521-3938

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Since the 1990s, the Greater Municipality of Istanbul has been investing in intelligent, digital services and supporting infrastructures, while at the same time Istanbul has started to become an important centre for ICT technologies. Recently, the efforts of the municipality and the private stakeholders are significantly up-scaled as the city has become an important international business, transportation and digital hub. One of the most recent efforts to tackle the city’s management challenges is the “Smart City Istanbul Program” which covers a range of activities from developing a Smart City benchmark model to the assessment of the metropolitan city with a specific Maturity Model. The Greater Municipality has recently developed an assessment and monitoring model for Istanbul’s development as an international financial sector. The development of other models focusing on particular issues is also on the agenda. In a way, the municipality is trying to establish an information-rich intelligence base that focuses on strategic priority areas. These efforts may contribute to the adaptation of the global and national metropolitan agenda that pushes metropolitan governments to establish evidence-based policies and integrated management supported by indicator systems that allow benchmarking city-regions. The development of such intelligence capabilities poses significant challenges. Meticulous encouragement of participatory processes by the Greater Municipality of Istanbul itself within its own activities should facilitate the diffusion of its emerging knowledge assets to other stakeholders, thereby creating a dynamic and complex environment of urban intelligence building. Enhancing the quality of participatory processes is thus very important. The paper provides information on the participatory methodological approach used in the establishment of the Smart City Assessment and Monitoring Model, developed by the authors in collaboration with the Greater Municipality of Istanbul and its affiliate ISBAK. It also discusses the benefits and challenges associated with the Smart City Assessment Models based on a rich literature survey. The approach employed is particularly aimed at avoiding empty signifier problems, feeding participatory processes with rich information, establishing trust among stakeholders, avoiding fuzziness and indecisiveness, and enabling the production of a small set of mutually agreed and selected benchmark indicators which can later successfully inform maturity models. Lessons learned are: the involvement of specialised practitioners in the Smart City domain in disseminating local information into the process; the use of a layered participatory process to enable evaluation and agreement on a large set of indicators in a relatively short time; and the co-presence of these two processes to help avoid empty signifier problems. The paper suggests that it is possible to tackle the unique challenges associated with Smart City development activities. Enabling repetitive benchmarking processes makes itpossible to challenge rapid technological change and achieve convergence. Layered participatory processes work better when practitioner teams also see potentials in collaboration. Also third, feedback mechanisms should be provided at different layers of participatory processes as they enhance decision-making processes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: grey relational analysis, participatory process, smart city, benchmark, Istanbul
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 09:13
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 09:13

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