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The Nexus of Smart Cities and Energy: A Scoping Survey of Urban Strategies

“Smart cities” is a concept that already shapes conceptual and normative approaches in global urbanism.

The key rationale is the need to immerse cities into the world of digital innovations, to make urban living more efficient and cost-effective and to better support environmental sustainability. There is also a parallel trend of making energy systems “smart” too, particularly in the context of transition to low-carbon and distributed/decentralised energy systems, with the requirement of such systems being cross-linked into “smart grids” or even “energy internet”. Cities are thought to represent some of the most suitable environments for smart energy technology rollouts.

The key objective of this project is to explore the nexus of smart energy and smart cities by providing a scoping survey of actually existing urban-level strategies for smart cities and collecting data which would assist in further research towards a better understanding of how smart cities ideas are operationalised in urban strategies - particularly how these make use of the smart cities/energy nexus, and how such ideas are legitimised and interplay with urban politics, democracy and urban sustainability innovation.

The project team

Principal investigator


Dr Oleg Golubchikov

Reader in Human Geography, Director of Postgraduate Research


This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: