action research, Bristol, city-to-city-learning, COVID-19, Donostia, Essen, Europe, Florence, GDPR, Lausanne, Nilüfer, policy, replication, San Sebastian, smart cities, smart citizens, smart city, social innovation, solutionism, strategy, University of Oxford
About This Project

The article entitled ‘Replicating Smart Cities: The City-to-City Learning Programme in the Replicate EC-H2020-SCC Project‘ related to the H2020-SCC-Replicate project has been accepted and published in the journal Smart Cities in Open Access as a result of the coordinated programme called City-to-City Learning Programme developed in coordination of six European smart cities: San Sebastian (Spain), Florence (Italy), and Bristol (UK), Essen (Germany), Lausanne (Switzerland), and Nilüfer (Turkey). The summary of this programme was published by the EU Smart Cities Information System (SCIS).

To cite this article:

Calzada, I. (2020), Replicating Smart Cities: The City-to-City Learning Programme in the Replicate EC-H2020-SCC Project, Smart Cities 3(3): 978-1003. DOI: 10.3390/smartcities3030049.


This article addresses the problem of replication among smart cities in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020: Smart Cities and Communities (EC-H2020-SCC) framework programme. This article initially sets the general policy context by conducting a benchmarking about the explicit replication strategies followed by each of the 17 ongoing EC-H2020-SCC lighthouse projects. This article aims to shed light on the following research question: Why might replication not be happening among smart cities as a unidirectional, hierarchical, mechanistic, solutionist, and technocratic process? Particularly, in asking so, it focuses on the EC-H2020-SCC Replicate project by examining in depth the fieldwork action research process implemented during 2019 through a knowledge exchange webinar series with participant stakeholders from six European cities—three lighthouse cities (St. Sebastian, Florence, and Bristol) and three follower-fellow cities (Essen, Lausanne, and Nilüfer). This process resulted in a City-to-City Learning Programme that reformulated the issue of replication by experimenting an alternative and an enhanced policy approach. Thus, stemming from the evidence-based policy outcomes of the City-to-City Learning Programme, this article reveals that a replication policy approach from the social innovation lenses might be enabled as a multidirectional, radial, dynamic, iterative, and democratic learning process, overcoming the given unidirectional, hierarchical, mechanistic, solutionist, and technocratic approach.