The Impact of Citizens’ Participation Level on Smart Sustainable Cities Outcomes: Evidence from Saudi Arabia

Abood Khaled Alamoudi*, Rotimi Boluwatife Abidoye, Terence Y. M. Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


It is imperative to expand the concept of smart cities beyond merely focusing on technology to include human, social, and environmental capital investing to develop smart sustainable cities (SSC). In recognition of smart cities’ advantages, several cities have adopted smart city labels. Although citizens’ engagement in public urban development and decision-making has been acknowledged globally in many countries, evaluating the outcomes that allow citizens to contribute does not measure and compare with other factors. This study examines the impact between the citizens’ participation level (CPL) and the smart sustainable cities outcome (SSCO). Four factors were extracted from the literature review and interviews were conducted with 12 decision and policymakers to establish the importance of these factors and to suggest any other additional factors. In addition, a questionnaire survey was utilised to assess and validate the result by experts in the field of the built environment. The mean score (MS) ranking was used to confirm the importance of these predicted correlations with SSCO. Endogeneity tests and multivariate regression analysis were adopted to validate the causality between CLP and SSCO. The results suggest that a positive significant correlation exists between the CPL and SSCO. A higher CPL leads to a higher level of SSCO, but this does not apply the other way around. The four significant factors of CPL to engage and empower citizens are accountability and responsibility, transparency, participation, and inclusion. This paper contributes to knowledge by identifying the measures of CPL and SSCO that can support the implementation of SSC by understanding what can be expected from the government and decision-makers and what can be expected from the citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Article number343
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023


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