Public Perceptions About Smart Cities : Governance and Quality-of-Life in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731–753
Journal / PublicationSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Online published27 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


This study analyzes public perceptions about the impact of ‘smart cities’ programs on governance and quality-of-life. With smart city scholarship focusing primarily on technical and managerial issues, political legitimacy remains relatively underexplored—particularly in non-Western contexts. Drawing on a Hong Kong-based survey of over 800 residents conducted in 2019, this study analyzes the results of probit regressions on dependent variables for governance (participation, transparency, public services, communication, and fairness) and quality-of-life (buildings, energy-environment, mobility-transportation, education, and health). Findings show more optimism about the impact of smart cities on quality-of-life than on governance. Awareness about the smart city concept associates positively with expectations about smart city benefits, but the effect is sensitive to education level and income. This study deepens understandings about the political legitimacy of smart cities, at a time when urban governments are accelerating investments in related technologies. More broadly, it adds contextual nuance to research about state-society relations and, at a practical level, supports policy recommendations to strengthen information and awareness campaigns, better articulate smart city benefits, and openly acknowledge limitations. © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Governance, Hong Kong, Political legitimacy, Public policy, Quality-of-life, Smart cities