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Realizing Smart City Infrastructure at Scale, in the Wild: A Case Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip James, Dr Jennine Jonczyk, Dr Luke Smith, Neil Harris, Tom Komar, Daniel Bell, Professor Raj Ranjan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Copyright © 2022 James, Jonczyk, Smith, Harris, Komar, Bell and Ranjan.The smart city term has been widely used for a number of years and many pilot projects and limited scale, sector independent initiatives have been progressed, but comprehensive, long-term, city wide, multi-sector systems are much less evident. This paper examines one such case study in Newcastle, UK highlighting the challenges and opportunities that realizing “smart city” concepts at scale present. The paper provides the background to the Newcastle Urban Observatory project and discusses the socio-technical and practical challenges of developing and maintaining smart city networks of sensors in the plurality that is a modern city. We discuss the organizational requirements, governance, data quality and volume issues, big data management and discuss the current and future needs of decision makers and other city stakeholders. Finally, we propose areas where smart cities can have a positive impact on public outcomes through the discussion of two case studies related to COVID-19 and pedestrianization initiatives.

Publication metadata

Author(s): James P, Jonczyk J, Smith L, Harris N, Komar T, Bell D, Ranjan R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Sustainable Cities

Year: 2022

Volume: 4

Online publication date: 09/05/2022

Acceptance date: 28/03/2022

Date deposited: 09/06/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2624-9634

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA


DOI: 10.3389/frsc.2022.767942


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Funder referenceFunder name
NE/P017134/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)