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Twenty first century cities encounter many problems regarding transportation, governance, information technology, environment, resources. Smart cities are needed and already booming all over the world. The concept of Smart Cities needs to be defined. The Smart City model by Giffinger et al (2007) is useful in this respect. It discerns six topics: smart living, smart governance, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment and smart people.
This article focuses on the consequences of smart cities for universities. They can teach their students specific competences in e.g. Information Technology, Urbanisation, Smart Cities and Sustainability. They can do research in such areas. But: "The centrality of "žsmart citizens"Ÿ, rather than "žsmart cities"Ÿ, can be easily overlooked." (Slovava and Okwechime, 2016). Smart Cities can only function, if their citizen become smart. For universities that means teaching general competences to all students like problem solving, creativity, flexibility and critical thinking. Crucial is knowledge and skills regarding sustainability. For that matter, the university will need to be an example to be credible.
Actually, universities need a paradigm shift: from control and continuous improvement to commitment, a preliminary stage to real breakthrough. The stage the university is in can be measured with the Emergency Model (c) (Van Kemenade, 2017). The instrument can also point out what still needs to be done to achieve the breakthrough that is needed for universities in times of Smart Cities.
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