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Youth Expectations of Smart City Living

An Importance-Performance Analysis of Young Residents’ Perspectives of City Government

Article image

Jason Cohen, Judy Backhouse, Omar Ally

01 January 2016

University of South Africa


Lucille Tetley-Brown

Journal article


South Africa

Young people are important to cities, bringing skills and energy and contributing to economic activity. New technologies have led to the idea of a smart city as a framework for city management. Smart cities are developed from the top-down through government programmes, but also from the bottom-up by residents as technologies facilitate participation in developing new forms of city services. Young people are uniquely positioned to contribute to bottom-up smart city projects. Few diagnostic tools exist to guide city authorities on how to prioritise city service provision. A starting point is to understand how the youth value city services.


This study surveys young people in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, and conducts an importance-performance analysis to identify which city services are well regarded and where the city should focus efforts and resources.


The results show that smart city initiatives that would most increase the satisfaction of youths in Braamfontein include wireless connectivity, tools to track public transport, and information on city events. These results identify city services that are valued by young people, highlighting services that young people could participate in providing. The importance-performance analysis can assist the city to direct efforts and scarce resources effectively.


Abstract based directly on original source. Back to the SmartCity.ZA collection.


Website References

Built environment

Cities and towns


Good governance


Performance assessment

Service delivery

Smart Cities

Social facilities

Solid waste

South Africa


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