UX PROJECT: Best Practices for Community Engagement in Smart Cities

yinka ajibola
2 min readSep 30, 2022


Project Overview:

Smart cities are modern innovations intended to improve the quality of life through advanced technologies. However, most of these smart city decisions are made at the top level — often excluding the participatory input of the community. In this project, we wanted to learn how community engagement and inclusiveness are addressed in contemporary smart city initiatives.


  1. Gauge insights on how city planners engage the community
  2. Understand the level of citizen engagement in different cities.

Research Question:

How are smart city planners facilitating community engagement in various cities in the United States?


Qualitative Interviews (Remote) — Due to the restricted nature of Covid-19, we conducted a remote interview using Zoom.


We conducted qualitative interviews with smart city planners across the U.S. and analyzed the interview data manually to identify themes.

Criteria for selecting participants: Smart City Planners must be pursuing mega smart city projects, and must reside within the US.

Our process:

Observation — — Understanding — — Analysis


I conducted the literature review of this project. In addition, I helped partially with the interviewing process and analyzing relevant themes from the interview.


  1. A successful model of smart city community engagement is community-centric and addresses problems.
  2. Effective data management policies and incentivized programming for community stakeholders have proven to be the best practices.
  3. Without community practices, there is a lack of key smart city initiatives that impact the ability to meet needs of the community.


  1. We developed recommendations for smart city planners to help with deploying effective solutions.
  2. Our project was published in the IEEE journal — https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9778151



yinka ajibola

Doctoral Student | Political Scientist | Digital Technology | ICTD