Discussion and Conclusion
This research paper explains the influence of smart cities on governance by conducting an in-depth review of the literature on topics such as ICT-enabled urban planning, policy-making, and the government's role in sustainable city development (Syvaj arvi et al., 2015). Currently, many countries are in the early stages of e-governance. Europe, the United States, and other Westernized countries, such as Australia and Singapore, have begun to reap the benefits of e-governance. In the next couple of years, developing countries and their citizens could also benefit from e-governance (Backus, 2001; Sivarajah et al., 2014).
This research paper is an attempt to explore the benefits and challenges that can be faced in governing a smart city, an evolving concept. The comprehensive descriptive literature review provided detailed classification of benefits and challenges. Through this research, we found four major categories of benefits and challenges. The four major categories of benefits were further divided into 8 subcategories and 10 sub-sub-categories. Similarly, categories related to challenges were further divided into nine subcategories and eight sub-sub-categories.
We proposed four major benefits of smart cities on governance: sustainability, urban development, entertainment, and public participation. The literature has largely stated that the emergence of smart cities would lead to sustainability and urban development. Existing papers in the "sustainability" category mostly focused on how smart cities would enable the government to improve the quality of life of citizens and the environment in which they live. The category of "urban development" included papers primarily focusing on how the emergence of smart cities would result in robust infrastructure that is crucial for the development of any city. Further, it has been claimed that the availability of real-time information and a high-Internet-penetration rate would make citizens more informed. In a smart city, citizens would be able to participate extensively in public activities via social media and crowdsourcing. In other words, the smart city would provide a safe dwelling place equipped with digital infrastructure and creative industries. At the same time, very few research papers mentioned how smart cities would affect the tourism, leisure, and recreational activities of any country. Though the existing research papers are informative, they lack substantial discussion on existing cases of smart cities and e-governance together. Therefore, it can be difficult to visualize the situation. This limitation is attributed to the newness of the smart city concept.
In addition to benefits, we discovered four major challenges posed by smart cities on governance: political issues, human issues, security issues, and technological issues. Human and technological issues have been the primary area of focus in the existing literature. Under the "human issues" category, the subcategories of cultural and communication issues are the fundamental issues discussed in the research papers. Researchers have extensively mentioned that the emergence of smart cities would result in the creation of an isolated environment for citizens. They would have high access to information, which may sometimes lead to conflicts of interest. The establishment of smart cities would bring a large change, which citizens may resist. The category of "technological issues" mostly discussed authenticity issues and issues arising from a lack of technical know-how, and hardware and software incompatibility.
The capabilities offered by smart cities can save citizens time, make them more informative, and enable them to raise their voice through various channels of public participation. Additionally, the skills and capabilities of the crowd can also be leveraged through crowdsourcing. Various existing and upcoming technologies, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) and the Internet of things are contributing to making cities smarter (Su et al., 2011; Roscia et al., 2013). Technologies have reshaped the existing systems and resulted in a paradigmatic change. Similarly, smart cities are bringing various sophisticated technologies together in an innovative way, and we are yet to see the actual results.