Smart City Governance


Smart City Governance (SCiGov) is an interdisciplinary research unit based at the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies (University of Padova).
Our aim is to investigate smart cities and the way they are run, and to propose tools to improve urban governance and local policy-making.

What is a smart city all about?
We define a ‘smart’ city (small, medium or large-sized), or a metropolitan area, as one that adopts an innovative governance approach to design integrated policies, to improve citizens’ quality of life and to promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

We choose the well-known definition of smart city based on the six policy axes but tailor it to our idea of what a smart city should be- We also conceive it as a flexible framework that needs to be adapted to the specific context.
For us smart policy areas, therefore, are:

  1. Environment: promotion of energy saving, the use of renewable energy, and reduction of environmental pollution, in particular CO2 emissions.
  2. Mobility: accessible and safe transport; creation of an integrated mobility system with low environmental impact.
  3. Citizenship: promotion of life-long learning and education; nurturing of cultural diversity; promotion of civic engagement and citizens’ creativity.
  4. Living: safeguarding individual and public health; implementation of welfare, cultural, and tourist policies; promotion of social cohesion.
  5. Government and political participation: adoption of transparent decision-making; creation of accessible online services; promotion of political participation;
  6. Economy: creation of a flexible labour market; support for entrepreneurship and innovation, targeting women and young people in particular.

What will you find on the SCiGov website?
The Focus section illustrates some topics that we believe are important to managing a city in a smart way. They are Gender Approach, Public and Private Partnerships, Modes of Governance, Urban Innovation and the Place-based approach. Each topic is briefly described and is linked to some tools (organisational models and evaluations systems) illustrated by examples drawn from foreign and/or Italian best practices.


Gender Approach


Public and Private Partnership


Modes of Governance


Place-based Approach


Urban Innovation


Work in progress…