Unleashing Urban Technology Dynamics: The Interplay of AI Patents, Metropolitan Area Population, and R&D Expenditures in Sustainable Urban Development

Volkan Göçoğlu*, Serkan Göksu, Richard Kotter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In light of escalating population growth in many metropolitan areas, there is an increasing need for sensibly managed technological innovations pertaining to the urban environment. To facilitate the development of such innovations in the realm of urban technology, it is imperative to explore the migration of patented artificial intelligence (AI) applications into the urban environment as well as to discuss the degrees of, prevalence of, and types of AI. However, scholarly research on urban technology tends to neglect the research and development (R&D) expenditures linked to this expansion. This present study focuses on AI patents as a fundamental driver for the proliferation of AI applications within cities, taking factors into account, such as the concentration of the population in urban centers and the levels/volume of allocation of R&D expenditure. By conducting a panel data analysis on 18 countries that have demonstrated internationally noted practices in smart city development, the study reveals compelling findings that underscore the positive impact of augmented R&D expenditures on the generation of AI patents, surpassing the effects of corresponding expenditure increases. These findings suggest that policymakers can reasonably view R&D investment as a favorable policy approach to foster advancements and applications in commercially underpinned but societally beneficial AI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Early online date22 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2024

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