Achieving Decarbonisation Through Sustainable Smart City Technologies

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The concept of Sustainable Smart City (SSC) has been promoted as an ideal model that promises to enhance the efficiency of city governance and improve sustainability by taking advantage of technological innovations. Despite the rise of SSC initiatives and research worldwide, it is difficult to establish whether SSC really delivers Decarbonisation solutions or is a techno-centric fantasy to control the effects of the environment with modern technology. The main problem of carbon emissions relates to excessive consumption behaviour, which hinges on the social lifestyle and wellbeing needs of urban citizens. In this research, we have considered Decarbonisation as a movement ingrained in the social fabric of society to address these behavioural issues. This study aims to assess the extent of SSC models' approach to Decarbonisation which stems from social behaviour problems that cause high carbon emissions. Based on selected keywords, a systematic literature review was carried out to understand the main themes within four publication databases. Upon screening, 115 papers were used for thematic analysis to evaluate the extent of social and behavioural considerations to reduce carbon emissions. The results revealed three overarching themes that mainly sought to define SSC, describe the pathway to achieve SSC, and understand the impact of SSC. Majority of the studies focussed on the conceptual definition and descriptive indicators to mark the way forward towards SSC. Only a small proportion (11%) of papers discussed about social engagement and participation to affect the necessary changes for SSC and had limited relevance to carbon reduction. The findings show a disconnection between the political ambitions of SSC models and the social demands of urban citizens that drive carbon emissions. This paper contributes new insight on the lack of focus on social behaviour in SSC models, specifically in achieving Decarbonisation solutions at a local level.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2020
EventARCOM 2020 36th Annual Conference: Building a common good in construction - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sept 20208 Sept 2020


ConferenceARCOM 2020 36th Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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