International Practices of Smart Development

by Robertas Jucevicius (Volume editor) Jurgita Bruneckiene (Volume editor) Gerd-Bodo von Carlsburg (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 273 Pages


Smart people make a smart city. This volume presents a collection of papers on the concept of smartness, smart development and the international practices in the field. There are five key topic areas: the conceptual, smart economy, smart specialisation, smart city and public governance. The concept of a smart social system is grounded on comparative analysis of competing concepts such as intelligence, knowledge driven, digital, learning, networked, innovative, agile and sustainable.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Robertas Jucevicius, Jurgita Bruneckiene & Gerd-Bodo von Carlsburg - Introduction
  • Giedrius Jucevicius & Shlomo Maital - National Strategies of Smart Development: Turning Constraints into Growth Opportunities
  • Robertas Jucevicius & Palmira Juceviciene - Smart Social System
  • Jaime del Castillo, Jonatan Paton & Belen Barroeta - Clusters and Territorial Development: The Great Basque Transformation Towards Smart Specialisation
  • Jurgita Bruneckiene & Julia Lopez Ventura - Building Smart Economy: Barcelona Case
  • Pekka Lindroos - Evolution and Concurrent Thinking on Industrial Strategy: Case of Finland
  • Inmaculada Periáñez Forte, Manuel Palazuelos Martínez & Dimitris Kyriakou - Strengthening Decision-Making Capacity Through Stakeholder’s Engagement in Smart Specialisation
  • Jaime del Castillo, Jonatan Paton & Belen Barroeta - A Governance Model for Smart Specialisation
  • Thomas A. Bryer & Pamela Medina - Smart Virtual City: Applying Smart Design to a City’s Online Structure and Identity
  • Billy Fields - Evaluating the Challenge of Conceptualising the Smart City in Urban Planning: Greenway Planning in Texas
  • Palmira Juceviciene & Justina Suchankaite - Smart Decisions as a Critical Indicator of a Smart City: The Case of Druskininkai Town
  • Michiel S de Vries & Iwona Sobis - From Evidence-Based Policies to Evidence-Based Public Sector Reforms
  • Paul Joyce - Case Studies in Public Governance, Strategic Management and Economic Performance
  • Rita Juceviciene & Giedrius Jucevicius - Emergence of Trust in Inter-Organisational Relations: Overcoming Dilemmas in Trust Development

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The term smart development has been transferred from technological to social sciences several years ago. Researchers were analysing the fragmented aspects of the problem, however, systemic research in the field is hard to find. A theoretically sound concept of smart development is yet to be created.

In social sciences, the substance of smart is quite different and more complex, compared to technological sciences. This is due to the nature of social systems, because it is widely acknowledged that biological and social systems are among the most complex ones. This is why the scientific analysis of smartness in social systems and the substance of smart development of social systems is an important and challenging scientific endeavour per se. Another aspect of the theoretical problem is the positioning of the smartness category in social sciences among other related categories, such as knowledge, knowing, innovativeness, and intelligence. The idea of smart specialisation, which has been proposed by a group of researchers back in 2008 has been spreading fast in practice and has successfully become a platform for economic and social development. However, we still see a lack of a more detailed scientific interpretation and conceptualisation of this phenomenon. Without having a clear understanding of what those categories really mean and what criteria should be used in assessing the smartness in strategic documents, many mistakes are likely to be made in costs.

The aim of the monograph is to discuss different approaches related to the concept of smartness and smart development. 17 researchers from 6 countries – USA, UK, Spain, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden and Lithuania discuss different aspects of smart social systems such as the country, city, region or economy and provide examples of best practices from their countries.

All 13 chapters of the monograph fall into six general thematic topics: smartness and smart social system, approaches to national development, smartness in economy, city development, smart public governance and dilemmas in trust development.

One of the chapters is devoted to present the conceptual understanding of what smartness and smart development mean. Most of the remaining chapters are constructed around the same or similar approach. The term smart has been widely used in the scholarly literature creating the basis of such concepts as smart system, smart human being, smart citizens, smart city, smart region, smart country, etc. It is quite often that the same term used in different sources carries a different meaning. In our understanding of smartness, the main focus is on the human being: technical/digital systems are products of human activities, so smartness always ← 7 | 8 → contains a distinctive human element. Consequently, the analysis of the term smart should start out with human dimension, because the quality “smart” is first of all attributed to a human being. Such understanding becomes a platform for discussing the smart development of social systems. No social system such as city, country, region or community could be developed without smart people. A smart human being is a person who, while interacting with the environment, is able to envisage critical indications or system thereof in it, who quickly and innovatively reacts in adjusting to this environment by adequate decisions as well as using it to pursue his/her goals. Accordingly, smart social systems are dynamically adaptive to new circumstances, innovative and knowledge-driven, strategically minded, internetworked, learning and effectively exploiting the opportunities offered by the new trends in order to achieve the preferred development objectives.

Smartness is a social construct, which means that it has no objective presence, but is “defined into existence”. In other words, it is part of our shared understanding and consensus, but it is not an objectively identifiable phenomenon. It cannot be touched or measured on the basis of uniform criteria, but rather on the ones that are collectively agreed upon and stem from the nature of definition. The model of smart social system is presented in the monograph.

The chapter written by G. Jucevicius (Lithuania) and S. Maital (Israel) discusses examples and principles of national strategies of Smart Development. One of the key ideas where the Smartness could be applied is in finding the ways of turning constraints into the growth opportunities. The complexity theory is a grounding theory in explaining the mindsets and modes of the developmental strategies applied in different countries and contexts. There is a big difference between so-called latecomer and developed countries, prospering and disadvantaged regions or cities. Examples of different countries and contexts are given in that chapter of the monograph.

It is clearly stated that there is no one-way of how to make smart strategic decisions. However, Smart Development is usually based on embracing and adopting the complexity approach and its concepts of self-organisation, non-linearity of causal relationships, distributed cognition, power laws, cascade effects, co-evolution, feedback loops and others. It is impossible to apply the classical mechanistic-type of governance in fluid, organic industrial ecosystems that are emerging in today’s interdependent global economy. The policy makers need to understand that planting a well-ordered symmetric French park is a very different task from creating an eco-system of the tropical rainforest. The parks may be the sign of our civilisation, but they need our constant care, and they are gone together with their caretaker. Rain forest ecosystems, on the other hand, are characterized by micro-diversity, are self-sustaining and continuously evolving. Traditionally, governments dominated ← 8 | 9 → by short-termism, linear thinking and hierarchical chain of accountability, were in a way more successful at building parks than rainforests. This is not to say that “parks” are not needed (i.e. not all systems have to be self-sustainable), but that they are not integrated into a wider picture of development. In an ideal world, the “parks” and “ecosystems” should be a part of duality discussed in that chapter.

Three chapters are devoted to discussing the issues of smart economy. Cases of Barcelona city, transformation of the Basque country and concurrent thinking on Finish industrial policy are discussed.

Barcelona is seeking to become a city of productive neighbourhoods, at human speed, interconnected, eco-efficient, re-naturalized, energetically self-sufficient and regenerated at zero emissions, inside a high-speed interconnected Metropolitan Area. Barcelona is steering its city-development strategy to ensure its citizens enjoy quality of life, social and urban improvements and added value in their neighbourhoods, by focusing all its urban potential on sustainable development and the green economy, in favour of a city that is self-sufficient in energy and where nature plays a notable role in the city’s equilibrium. A city connected with a high-speed and hyper-connected Metropolitan Area, which ensures the development of the region and the improvement of the cities that form it. The main objectives of the model in Barcelona are Smart services of different nature and city management in a better way. The idea of infrastructure is to enable the subjects of the city to interact effortlessly with each other and to receive effective main elements and efficient functions of the city. The idea of information is to supply the subjects of the city with information on city’s activities activity. The idea of human capital is to ensure people’s more active participation in city’s daily activities and to make the city smarter. The development of Smart City Barcelona involves all subjects of the city – it is not only public administration’s responsibility, but it also involves the population, innovation centres, companies, entrepreneurs and visitors to the city. On the basis of the conceptual model of Barcelona, academic, science, research institutions and society are knowledge producers, companies and entrepreneurs are the generators of new business opportunities, and public administration is the generator of growing. According to this model, cooperation among all subjects of the city is the key for the development of a Smart City and a suitable environment for economic development, competitiveness and the increase of the quality of life.

Finland is considered as a benchmark country in a number of fields like innovations, industrial policy, education, etc. The author of the chapter is a practitioner, who recently took part in developing key strategic documents for the government and shares his observations and learning experience.

Finland has caught up with the world leaders in competitiveness and innovation in the period after war restorations ceased to burden the economy. There were ← 9 | 10 → model countries for Finland to follow, in particular Sweden and other European countries and since 1995 the European Single Market framework. The policy discussions in the OECD have also played a role. Conceptually, it was relatively easy to adopt a modernising policy path. Investment in education, technology and later in innovation has paid off. Currently, the Ministry and the agencies are developing and testing several new approaches in order to analyse and develop a business environment for enterprises. The policy framework needs continuous development as well. Equally, policy needs stability and perseverance when promoting structural development and every new concept or fashion cannot be a policy driver. A leading policy analyst lists emerging ecosystem issues and competences as follows: strategic intelligence activities (foresight, benchmarking, evaluation analysis), platforms and processes for collective learning, cooperation and strategy processes, direction and coordination, infrastructure and institutional rules, skills and capabilities, venture capital, sophisticated demand, experimenting environments and pilot projects, knowledge-intensive business services (marketing, design, engineering, law, etc.) as well as timely and well-coordinated policy interventions.

Basque Country’s (Spain) economic transformation can be analysed from a number of stages: a reindustrialisation policy stage, a modernisation stage and an innovation driven stage. After these three phases, more sophisticated policy measures are to be defined mainly deepening into the specialisation patterns chosen during those first stages. In the case of the Basque Country, the current specialisation priorities are rooted in the industrial sectors supported during the reindustrialisation in the 80s (1st stage), the specialisation pattern promoted in the 90s through clusters (2nd stage) and the new technology domains were encouraged during the 2000s (3rd stage). Creation of industrial clusters is considered as one of key strategic preconditions for the country’s development. However, it should be noted that in the Basque country case there was one big difference from most other countries. Usually clusters are seen as an effective tool for cooperation between different stakeholders in order to achieve higher efficiency. However, much higher results could be achieved, if clusters are considered not just as a tool, but also as an approach. It was exactly this case in Basque developmental strategies.

Four chapters are related to the importance of governance in achieving smart specialisation and other developmental objectives. Authors from the USA, Netherlands, UK, Spain and Sweden present their approaches and experience. It is mainly about finding right governance models, strengthening decision-making capacity, introducing evidence-based public sector reforms. A number of cases in public governance, strategic management and economic performance are given.

Three very different cases of how Smart City could be developed are presented in the monograph. One of them represents a classical approach to Smart City that ← 10 | 11 → is based mainly on extensive use of IT. Texas (USA) is taken as an example of how to apply smart design to a city’s online structure and identity. However it is presented in a very creative manner – using classical music as an analogy. Cities with a virtual presence today, according to the authors of the chapter, may tend to act more like a classical musician, who enters a stage, plays compositions with great skill, and expects the audience to sit quietly to hear and appreciate the sound. City officials maintain a static website on which information is shared asynchronously; there is no dialogic communication between website visitors and government officials. This static presence is perhaps complemented by the use of social media tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, et cetera), but these tools as well are used in limited form. Face-to-face engagements are similarly constrained in traditional formats that tightly script interactions and thus the innovations that can emerge. An audience member coughing during a classical music concert is seen as a distraction, not as part of the performance.

B. Fields presents a different aspect of how Smart City could be developed. The author is discussing the challenges of conceptualising the Smart City. Greenway planning in Texas is given as an example. The question of whether and how Smart Cities urban planning can be distinguished from earlier cybernetic planning is the focus of this paper. The paper first provides a more detailed overview of planning technologies and seeks to distinguish previous cybernetic systems from evolving Smart Cities approaches. To provide context, a short speculative case study on urban greenway planning in the fast growing area of Austin, Texas in the United States is analysed. The case study shows how real world application of a purely technological view of smart cities cannot “solve” complex wicked planning problems. Instead, a conception of smart cities based on refined use of technology and public participation is proposed as a more fruitful avenue for understanding and planning for the Smart City.

An entirely different approach to Smart City is used when discussing the case of small resort-town Druskininkai in Lithuania. The main emphasis is given on smart decisions as a critical indicator of Smart City. Although smartness is attributable to humans, a Smart City first of all should be seen as an intelligent social system. Such a system normally is not a ‘static given’ (‘calm prosperity’), but a system that is vigorous and dynamic, characterised by smart development. In the most general case, however, smart decisions remain a critical indicator of any smart social system present in any kind of movement.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (February)
smartness smart economy public governance smart specialisation
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 273 pp., 19 fig. b/w, 12 tables

Biographical notes

Robertas Jucevicius (Volume editor) Jurgita Bruneckiene (Volume editor) Gerd-Bodo von Carlsburg (Volume editor)

Robertas Jucevičius is Professor of Strategic Management at Kaunas University of Technology in Kaunas, Lithuania. He is also member of the Council for National Progress of Lithuania. Jurgita Bruneckienė is Associate Professor at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. Gerd-Bodo von Carlsburg is Professor at the Heidelberg University of Education.


Title: International Practices of Smart Development
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276 pages