Impact of Governance Structure Characteristics of Public-private Partnerships on Smart City Project Success: Evidence from a Multi-case Study in China

AbstractDue to the technological and financial complexity and difficulties of smart city initiatives, the local governments usually adopt a public-private partnership model to govern such projects. This study explores the opportunities and challenges of building smart cities through the public-private partnership (PPP) model. Using an exploratory case study methodology, we interviewed participants in building smart city initiatives across China to develop a theoretical model that captures the essence of such a partnership. Case interview data from three major cities in China were utilized. We analyzed the data of 28 interviews with officials and personnel from public, private, and hybrid organizations involved in smart city projects. Finally, we identified and theoretically validated the following research findings: (1) two key components of the success of smart city initiatives; (2) four key governance structure characteristics of the PPP model that enables the smart city success; (3) two key considerations for establishing the governance structure of a PPP model. The theoretical framework we propose herein can be used to understand the current status and provide guidance for future smart city initiatives.

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