The objective of this study is to critically review the smart city research paradigm and to find possible pitfalls, conflicting results and topics for further study and improvement. A qualitative comparison of the smart city initiatives in selected target countries and cities were done. The research strategy in this study approximates the grounded theory, utilising inductive reasoning to generate arguments and conclusions about the form, validity and future of the smart city. Various actors responsible to convert a traditional city to a smart city are defined and analysed within the context of this study. The main conclusion of this study was that the current research on smart city does not fully address the complex nature, conflicts and interdependencies of the smart city objectives. Moreover, the study found that the smart city initiatives form complex and multidisciplinary platforms that require holistic evaluation as the current evaluation methods and rankings of the smart cities vary considerably, making the evaluation of the success of the smart cities difficult.
ASJC Scopus subject areas