Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel


What do people think of smart cities? — Results from imec.smartcitymeter 2020

What do citizens think about smart cities? Do people think that a smart city is a positive or a negative development? What are the problems that a smart city needs to tackle, according to the people who live there? What are the dangers that citizens see in smart cities? And what is the role of government within the smart city? These are the kind of questions for which imec, in collaboration with SMIT, organizes the annual imec.smartcitymeter, a large-scale survey among citizens in Flanders and Brussels.

The results from the 2020 edition of the imec.smartcitymeter indicate that many citizens are not yet familiar with the concept of smart cities. Nevertheless, many people are familiar with different forms of technologies associated with smart cities. Not surprisingly, many people think that the evolution to smart cities is a positive evolution because it may make life easier and better. Nonetheless, people also raise concerns about privacy and safety when technology is improvidently implemented throughout the city.

Source: imec.smartcitymeter 2020


The results of the 2020 edition also revealed that there is a general consensus about smart cities. In general, people have the same thoughts and fears about smart cities, whether they are man or woman, young or old, low- or high-educated or live in big cities or small villages.

The results of the imec.smartcitymeter give policymakers, businesses, researchers and local residents more insight into what people think about various solutions and new technologies in smart city.  Our aim is not to rank the ‘smartest cities’, but to try and gauge what citizens expect from just such a smart city. This means that the imec.smartcitymeter not only provides guidance for the development of new solutions or services, but it can also highlight which of the existing services can be improved and what problems need to be dealt with as a priority.


Want to read more? You can read this blogpost article of Imec experts Jan Adriaenssens (Director of City of Things) and Pieter Ballon (Director of imec-SMIT-VUB and Professor at VUB) on the results of imec.smartcitymeter 2020. Click here to download the imec.smartcitymeter 2020.


(Photo by imec city of things)