Master's Theses


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies (MLS)


The problem explored in this mixed-method action research is that challenges to sustainable economic development and basic community services increase, as populations in cities and towns increase. A city is a human settlement with well-defined demarcation points. A city’s infrastructure consists of complex systems, such as sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants, police stations, fire departments, utility services, schools, libraries, business, houses, etc. A smart city, on the other hand, is an urban vision that fosters citizens’ engagement and technological integration of the city’s infrastructure. The purpose of this mixed-method action research was to identify the characteristics of a smart city and determine to what extent smart city initiatives impact economic development. Using a combative analysis methodology, the study examined five major smart cities. The research results revealed that cities apply smart solutions by focusing on 5 major areas: Economic Development, Public Safety, Energy & Environment, Infrastructure, and Transportation. The study concluded that Smart city initiatives contribute directly and indirectly to the economic growth of cities in the United States. The study indicated that smart cities are socially engaged, financially stable, business-oriented, data-driven, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient cities. The study also concluded that smart city initiatives can alleviate cities’ challenges, thus, enhancing economic development.

Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type



© 2017 WeSam Musa


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