Towards a Smart and Sustainable City with the Involvement of Public Participation?The Case of Wroclaw

Bednarska-Olejniczak, D.; Olejniczak, J.; Svobodová, L. Towards a Smart and Sustainable City with the Involvement of Public Participation—The Case of Wroclaw. Sustainability 2019, 11, 332.


The purpose of this article is to identify the directions and scope of inclusion of the residents’ participation into the concept of city’s sustainable development and the smart city concept, taking into account national and international conditions, on the basis of Wroclaw’s practices in 1998–2018. Many researchers have emphasized the necessity of including residents’ participation in both the smart city concept and the sustainable city development concept, but they do not focus on a coherent linking of these activities during evolution toward a sustainable smart city (SSC). The in-depth case study analysis considered, i.e., three subsequent Wroclaw development strategies (1998–2018) and implementation of the smart city concept in Wroclaw (2015–2018) with particular emphasis on the issue of public participation and sustainable development of the city. The results of study show that in the case of the developments in the activities of smart city and sustainable city development carried out by Wroclaw, it is possible to identify two different approaches to residents’ participation in city activities. In Wroclaw, ‘residents’ participation’ in the framework of the sustainable city development activities currently covers all theoretical levels of participation, while within the smart city activities it focuses mainly on the participatory budget and the limited use of ICT. The conducted research indicates that for the implementation of the SSC concept it would be important to integrate these approaches in order to ensure the full range of residents’ participation in accordance with theoretical postulates. The conducted analysis therefore covers mostly unexplored area of research, which is important from the point of view of a city’s evolution toward becoming a sustainable smart city. The conclusions from the research are also an empirical contribution to the analysis of the changes of cities towards SSC and indicate the need for further, extended research on the undertaken problem.

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