UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Receives Grant to Build Capability of Graduate Students as International Researchers

Feb. 8, 2011
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

Students to Study Smart Cities and Service Integration

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany – SUNY is part of an international research team that has received a $69,800 grant to build the capacity of graduate students as international researchers and to develop a framework for smart cities service integration. The project will involve a set of comparative case studies in four countries: Canada, U.S., Mexico, and China.

“Many cities around the world already consider themselves smart cities, while many others are just beginning to consider the idea. The early stage of adoption is an important time to learn more about how local conditions are influencing how cities use technology to become smarter,” said Theresa Pardo, director of CTG. “Integrating city government services is the foundation of many smart city initiatives.”

Smart Cities Mexico

Members from three of the Smart Cities research teams met in Mexico City in February to begin developing a conceptual research framework for the project.

Through this grant, the graduate students will have a unique opportunity to work as part of an international team of researchers looking at these timely questions and working together to develop a framework to guide future investments in smart cities. 

Pardo will be working with Taewoo Nam, a third-year doctoral candidate in Public Administration at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany. In addition to CTG, the project involves international researchers and students from four other higher education institutions: Laval University, Canada, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, Mexico, University of Washington, USA, and International Institute for Software Technology, United Nations University, Macao, China. 

The students will focus on specific policy domains such as environmental issues, health care, or transportation to better understand how technologies in use by different city governments are being integrated to deliver better services to citizens. The cities selected for the comparative case studies are Quebec City, Canada, New York City and Seattle, U.S., Mexico City, Mexico, and Macao, China. 

The grant will partially assist graduate assistants in their individual case study work with their professors, with the rest going to support travel to bring the research teams together several times during the grant period to work on research design, data analysis, framework development, and writing. In addition to the face-to-face meetings, the multi-national research team will collaborate virtually using a variety of Web-based collaboration tools. The first research team meeting will take place in February, 2011, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Smart Cities Mexico

Pictured (left to right) are Theresa Pardo, director, CTG, Taewoo Nam, graduate student at CTG and third-year doctoral candidate in public administration at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, Sehl Mellouli, professor, Department of Information Systems at Université de Laval, J. Ramon-Gil Garcia, assistant professor, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, Hafedh Chourabi, graduate student at Université de Laval, and Francisco Armando Aldama, graduate student at Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas.

The grant was given by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a Canadian federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, the Council enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit