Many have theorized that tools like broadband networks and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors — technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications — can improve the lives of residents. However, few have gone directly to residents to understand how these tools, commonly referred to in academic literature as smart city information and communication technologies (ICTs), truly affect city dwellers. The authors of “The effects of successful ICT-based smart city services: From citizens' perspectives” attempt to do just that, surveying residents to make an empirical case that smart city ICT applications do indeed improve quality of life. However, the article concludes that integrating residents’ needs and preferences into application development processes is critical to creating an effective smart city infrastructure.
In order to test their hypotheses about the effects of smart city initiatives, the authors randomly distributed a questionnaire to Taiwanese citizens over the age of 18. Many cities in Taiwan have pursued smart city initiatives, making it a particularly fruitful subject for insights on the effects of such projects. To ensure that participants had prior exposure to ICTs, the study focused on residents in cities that had previously applied for the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) global competition, which awards communities that have used information and communications technology (ICT) to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life.
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