Promoting smart cities in developing countries: Policy insights from Vietnam

Khuong VU, Kris HARTLEY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Smart city initiatives have been researched primarily in the developed country context. In developing countries, however, emerging technologies are enabling progress on urban functionality, productivity, and livability. A deeper understanding of facilitative policy conditions unique to developing countries would be useful to both theory and practice. This study presents empirically grounded insights about the policy implications of smart city development in developing countries, based on surveys of experts from the public and private sectors in 10 Vietnam cities. The study makes three contributions. First, it provides new evidence that pursuing smart city development (SCD) is not a mere alternative but a crucial strategic imperative. While facing persistent problems, Vietnam's cities exhibit significant and rapidly improving readiness for SCD. Second, the study provides new insights into related policy issues and challenges, including the positive link between e-government development and control of corruption, the risk of bias toward operational management over institutional reform, and the lack of a clear development strategy. Finally, the study proposes a model for guiding smart city initiatives in developing countries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-859
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number10
Early online dateNov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


Vu, K., & Hartley, K. (2018). Promoting smart cities in developing countries: Policy insights from Vietnam. Telecommunications Policy, 42(10), 845-859. doi: 10.1016/j.telpol.2017.10.005


  • Smart city
  • Developing countries
  • Public policy
  • Local government
  • Vietnam


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