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Smart Cities Service Integration
The city, as a government unit, is growing increasingly larger, more complex and more important as the population ranks of urban areas swell with ever increasing speed. According to the UN Population Fund, 2008 marked the year when more than 50% of all people, 3.3 billion, lived in urban areas. By 2030 this number is expected to increase to 5 billion. The unprecedented rate of growth as well as the fact that majority of this growth will happen in the developing world, creates an urgency to finding smarter ways to manage the accompanying challenges and opportunities. The concept of a smart city is not new, but in the recent years it has taken on a new dimension of using information technologies to build and integrate critical infrastructures and services of a city.
Project Summary
The Smart Cities Service Integration project is funded 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. The aim of the project is to create a framework for service integration for Smart Cities. The international research team includes researchers and graduate students from the US, Canada, Mexico, and China. The project will produce a series of comparative case studies of Quebec City, Canada, New York City, Seattle and Philadelphia, U.S., Mexico City, Mexico, and Shanghai and Macao, China.

The Smart Cities and Smart Governments Research-Practice Consortium is a robust global Smart Cities research community that focuses on innovations in technology, management and policy that change the fabric of the world’s cities. Click here to learn more about the Smart Cities and Smart Governments Research-Practice Consortium.
Case Studies
Mexico City, Mexico
Photo of Mexico City


Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico, as well as the largest city in the Americas. With a metropolitan population of 21.2 million people and a land area of 573 square miles, it is considered the world's third largest metropolitan area after Tokyo and Seoul. The city is a federal entity within Mexico and not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states; it serves as the most important political, cultural, educational, and financial center in the country.
New York City, United States
Photo of New York City
New York City is the most populous city in the United States and is considered one of world’s financial, cultural, and educational centers. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. The New York metropolitan area's population is estimated at 19.1 million people distributed over 6,720 square miles.
Macao, China
Photo of Macao
Macao is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Under the policy of "one country, two systems," the PRC's Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defense and foreign affairs, while Macao maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy. Macao is the most densely populated region in the world, with a population density of 18,428 persons per square kilometer. 95% of Macao's population is Chinese; another 2% is of Portuguese and/or mixed Chinese/Portuguese descent, an ethnic group often referred to as Macanese.
Seattle, United States
Photo of Seattle
The city of Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and in the state of Washington. The 2010 census found that Seattle is home to 630,320 residents within a metropolitan area of some 3.4 million inhabitants. Seattle has particularly strong information technology, aviation, architecture and recreational industries. It is particularly known for its "green" technologies, stemming in part from the strong and relatively non-controversial stances its public leaders have taken on policies regarding urban design, building standards, clean energy, and climate change.
Philadelphia, United States
Photo of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, with population of 1.5 million, is the fifth most populous city in the United States and the largest city in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is also the commercial, cultural, and educational center of the Delaware Valley, home to 6 million people and the country's fifth-largest metropolitan area. In the last 30 years, Philadelphia has transitioned from being a manufacturing powerhouse to an information and service-based economy. With a gross domestic product of $388 billion, Philadelphia ranks ninth among world cities and fourth in the nation.
Quebec City, Canada
Photo of Quebec City
Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about 145 miles to the southwest. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, the city has a population of 491,142, and the metropolitan area has a population of 715,515. While Montreal is considered by many to have a bilingual population, in which many of its residents have a working knowledge of both French and English, Quebec City and its surrounding region are largely Francophone.
Shanghai, China
Photo of Shanghai
Shanghai is located on the eastern coast of China. Because of its favorable position on the Yangtze River and its designation as the first city open to foreign trade in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, Shanghai became the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930's. With a population today of more than 23 million (with over 9 million migrants), it has remained the largest and most developed city on mainland China.