The purpose of this study is to analyse whether it is the Spanish urban environments that can be considered smart cities that are making the greatest efforts to ensure that citizens have better access to city information and, thus, participate to a greater degree in its governance.
This analysis of the use made of social networks, as an integral part of democratisation, is divided into two phases: first, a descriptive study was made of the cities’ use of their social networks; we then examined, by multiple linear regression analysis, whether the urban areas classed as smart cities are those that make more or less use or application of social networks.
Although, in general terms, the “smartest” smart cities are those which obtain the best overall results in terms of social networks, further improvements are needed, especially in the field of activity and interaction with citizens via these networks.
The impact made by social media is one of the emerging research themes in the domain of smart cities, e-government and their information policies. Nevertheless, few studies have examined whether the smart cities are also those whose governments have achieved a greater degree of citizen participation through social networks. Therefore, this study contributes to our understanding of the importance of social media in the local government context, by establishing a relationship between democratic participation, through Facebook and Twitter, and the development of smart cities.
This research was carried out with financial support from the Regional Government of Andalusia (Spain), Department of Innovation, Science and Enterprise (Research Projects P10-SEJ-06628 and P11-SEJ-7700).
Sáez-Martín, A., Haro-de-Rosario, A. and Caba-Perez, C. (2014), "A vision of social media in the Spanish smartest cities", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 521-544. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-03-2014-0010
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