Revisiting previous research in the course of the DevOps project DevOps Competences for Smart Cities’ (Kaufmann et al., 2020), the paper “Competences of smart city planners: the Alpha and Omega” aims to zoom in the interrelationship between Smart City domain priorities, collaboration and competences regarded to be a paramount fundament for urban management.
Smart cities (SC) can be considered as the holy grail of modern urban management. The body of knowledge on smart cities in relation to the domain of urban management is growing from different perspectives. Currently, planning, organization and administration of transformational value increasing processes of cities and towns led to the development of innovative paradigms entailing, for example, participatory, collaborative and decentralized decision making and activating the city stakeholders, specifically its citizens (Malek, Lim and Yigitcanlar, 2021; Gafoor and Al-Wehab, 2020) facilitated by modern digital data and ICT technologies (Semyachkov and Popov, 2020). A nexus for urban management unfolds embracing three factors regarded paramount for urban management: newly required smart city competencies, planning priorities (domains) and collaboration (e.g. Allam, 2019; Appio et al., 2019; Lytras and Serban, 2020; Raspotnik et.al. 2020; Kaufmann et al., 2020).
However, recent studies have pointed to still existing gaps for this triptych to unfold smoothly. Lytras and Serban (2020), for example, recently pointed to existing shortcomings on competences and capacities of public administration personnel to promote new e-governance services and systems in smart cities. Related to priorities, Agbali et al. (2017) and Charalabidis et al. (2020) recommend future research to improve on their proposed frameworks. With regard to competences, a comprehensive typology of competences has been created, piloted and trained in MOOCs courses by the DevOps project comprising transversal competences, general IT competences, IT specific competences and idiosyncratic Smart city related competences (Kaufmann et al., 2020). The paper proposes a synthesized conceptualization on the essential triptych of competencies, collaboration and domain priorities and hypothesizes that closing the competence gap should be prioritized in comparison to ‘collaboration and priorities’ and should be regarded conditional for urban management.
Specific Objectives of the study:
- Reviewing the literature on the interrelationship between SC competencies, priorities and collaboration.
- To derive at explanations of the nature of the relationship between the three factors by expanding on previous findings of the DevOps project (Kaufmann et al., 2020) by additional descriptive and explanatory analysis.
- To develop a hypothesized framework on the triptych to suggest avenues for future research.
The paper will be presented by Prof Dr R. Kaufmann (University of Applied Management Studies from Manheim) at the REAL CORP 2021, the 26th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development, Information Society and Urban, Transport, and Environmental Technologies which will take place between 7 and 10 September 2021 in Vienna. More information on how to follow the conference online is available at https://www.corp.at/.
Paper is also available in PDF form: Competences of smart city planners: the Alpha and Omega.