Towards Sustainable Smart Cities: A Contextual Study on Digital Participatory Planning Policies and Readiness Assessment in Oman

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Department of Computer Science


Many cities are undergoing a transition toward sustainable smart cities (SSC) that are built on advanced IT infrastructure and support social justice. In order to achieve a smooth and effective transition to SSC, policies and delivery mechanisms should be put in place, and the readiness of both the government and the society should be assessed. This study focuses on Digital Participatory Planning (DPP) as a precondition for social sustainability in SSC and aims to summarize and assess the current relevant local policies and endeavors in Oman; and to develop a generic framework to evaluate the readiness for DPP. In doing so, selective key literature, policies and initiatives were critically reviewed covering the SSC concept, establishing the link between the SSC and DPP, and eliciting a list of comprehensive DPP readiness factors. The results indicated that the Omani government has a clear will to move toward SSC and the country has already witnessed few initiatives supporting this direction. However, there is a lack of a clear action plan regarding DPP. Therefore, more work is required to systemize efforts. The study provides a generic framework to assess the readiness of the government and society for DPP and concludes with recommendations for policymakers.

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Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning