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The Performance of the Smart Cities in China—A Comparative Study by Means of Self-Organizing Maps and Social Networks Analysis

School of Business, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu 610101, China
School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau
Department of Mathematics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7604-7621;
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
PDF [734 KB, uploaded 12 June 2015]


Smart cities link the city services, citizens, resource and infrastructures together and form the heart of the modern society. As a “smart” ecosystem, smart cities focus on sustainable growth, efficiency, productivity and environmentally friendly development. By comparing with the European Union, North America and other countries, smart cities in China are still in the preliminary stage. This study offers a comparative analysis of ten smart cities in China on the basis of an extensive database covering two time periods: 2005–2007 and 2008–2010. The unsupervised computational neural network self-organizing map (SOM) analysis is adopted to map out the various cities based on their performance. The demonstration effect and mutual influences between these ten smart cities are also discussed by using social network analysis. Based on the smart city performance and cluster network, current problems for smart city development in China were pointed out. Future research directions for smart city research are discussed at the end this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart cities; social network analysis; self-organizing map smart cities; social network analysis; self-organizing map

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lu, D.; Tian, Y.; Liu, V.Y.; Zhang, Y. The Performance of the Smart Cities in China—A Comparative Study by Means of Self-Organizing Maps and Social Networks Analysis. Sustainability 2015, 7, 7604-7621.

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