Many smart cities (SC) research suggest solutions neglecting stakeholders' needs. This theoretical essay proposes a discussion about the possibilities of using Action Research and its variations in SC studies as an alternative for promoting participation thinking in defining urban strategies and solutions. The ability of citizens to communicate with each other, agencies, and groups that represent them provides a new sense of urgency and enables SCs to be based on smart communities. Some actions are needed to convert participation into citizens' ability to influence public decisions. Civic Hacking, Participatory Action Research, Action Research with Proposed Models and Frameworks are some examples of application in SCs. Working collaboratively with others can generate community, organizational, and individual change. Action research should be seen as a long-term cooperative commitment, where research will not produce solutions, but provide tools for collective action.