Hearing the Voice of Citizens in Smart City Design: The CitiVoice Framework

Anthony Simonofski, Estefanía Serral Asensio, Johannes De Smedt, Monique Snoeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last few years, smart cities have attracted considerable attention because they are considered a response to the complex challenges that modern cities face. However, smart cities often do not optimally reach their objectives if the citizens, the end-users, are not involved in their design. The aim of this paper is to provide a framework to structure and evaluate citizen participation in smart cities.
By means of a literature review from different research areas, the relevant enablers of citizen participation are summarized and bundled in the proposed CitiVoice framework. Then, following the design science methodology, the content and the utility of CitiVoice are validated through the application to different smart cities and through in-depth interviews with key Belgian smart city stakeholders. CitiVoice is used as an evaluation tool for several Belgian smart cities allowing drawbacks and flaws in citizens’ participation to be discovered and analyzed. It is also demonstrated how CitiVoice can act as a governance tool for the ongoing smart city design of Namur (Belgium) to help define the citizen participation strategy. Finally, it is used as a comparison and creativity tool to compare several cities and design new means of participation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalBusiness & Information Systems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • smart cities
  • citizen
  • Participation
  • framework
  • Evaluation

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