This paper introduces an indicator system to measure and assess smart city readiness. Analyzing smart city initiatives in Iran as case studies, the theoretical framework we present reflects on how cities explore the possibility of becoming smart, and prepare themselves to begin implementing the transition towards becoming a smart city. This theoretical framework is then applied to four Iranian cities aspiring to become smart and that already possess credible smart city brands. The findings reveal that the most significant difficulty in Iran is associated with the political context. The changing urban governance model is the most important factor in Iranian smart cities’ readiness. Utilization of open data policies and data sharing, as well as making reforms in government structures are all considered a sine qua non to gain momentum. Based on the results of our empirical analysis a Theory of Change is developed to address the cities’ technological, socio-economic, and political readiness vis-à-vis the desired transition. The framework for measuring smart city readiness and the Theory of Change provide practical guidelines to developing systematic roadmaps for developing and implementing smart city policies.
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