A holistic evaluation of smart city performance in the context of China

Liyin Shen, Zhenhua Huang, Siu Wai Wong, Shiju Liao, Yingli Lou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Development of smart city has been increasingly accepted as a new technology-based solution to mitigate urban diseases. The Chinese government has been devoting good efforts to the promotion of smart city through introducing a series of policies. However, policies may have limited effectiveness in application if they do not respond to the practice. There is little study examining what results have been achieved in practice by applying policy measures. This study presents a holistic evaluation of smart city performance in the context of China. The evaluation indicators in this study are selected by applying a hybrid research methodology including literature review and semi-structured interviews. Indicator data are collected from 44 sample smart cities. The evaluation was conducted by applying Entropy method and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) technique collectively. This study highlights that the overall smart city performance in China is at a relatively low level. There is also a significant unbalance in performance between five smart city dimensions including smart infrastructure, governance, people, economy and environment. The smart performance between cities varies significantly since cities implement smart city programs in different ways. These differences impede experience sharing between cities. Actions have been recommended in this study for promoting further development of smart city in the context of China, such as increasing the investment on smart infrastructure, providing training programs, and establishing evaluation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-679
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • China
  • Evaluation indicators
  • Holistic view
  • Smart city

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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