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Open AccessArticle

A Social Network Analysis of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities

Estudis de Dret i Ciència Política, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Castelldefels, E-08860 Barcelona, Spain
Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Castelldefels, E-08860 Barcelona, Spain
Estudis d’Economia i Empresa, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, E-08035 Barcelona, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5219;
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 22 June 2020 / Accepted: 23 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
This paper explores the relations of centrality and hierarchy between cities and firms implementing Smart City strategies in the context of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI). While the literature has usually focused on the global dimension of cities and firms networks, exploring a national case offers interesting insights about the presence of multinational firms in these contexts and the role played by medium-sized cities in their market expansion. The analysis is based on a two-mode network of cities and firms participating in Smart City projects with the usual measures of betweenness, in-degree and closeness, as well as computing the Gini index for each of them to assess the levels of inequality. We then explore whether the structural advantages of participating in these networks have a leveling effect or rather reinforce existing hierarchies of cities. Second, we explore how firms are intertwined in Smart City projects and whether medium-sized local firms have a relevant presence. Our findings suggest these networks become a regional gateway for multinational firms to expand their presence in Smart City national markets, rather than empowering medium-sized cities and small national firms. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart cities; Spain; networks; firms smart cities; Spain; networks; firms
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MDPI and ACS Style

Serrano, I.; Calvet-Mir, L.; Ribera-Fumaz, R.; Díaz, I.; March, H. A Social Network Analysis of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5219.

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