Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: Recent data from several studies and surveys confirm that our society has entered the digital transformation era. The crucial role of this digital trend is becoming increasingly more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, a bunch of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, have the potential to change the present enhancing people’s power to act, to live and to promote equal citizen participation. In this scenario, Smart Cities with its smart technology innovative components are challenging for excluded people.

Method: The general objective of this article is to identify and understand the dimensions that must be taken into account to promote the digital participation/inclusion of people with ID. The model is based on a qualitative analysis of people’s perceptions related to how Smart Cities can promote social Inclusion.

Results: The challenges associated with social inclusion were identified in the social, economic and political as well as cultural dimensions of the countries investigated: Italy and Malaysia. The results constitute a first step to shape and understand how smart cities can promote social inclusion in different contexts.

Conclusion: The outcomes of our research suggest that, starting from standard technologies, smart cities in different countries need tailored solutions. The results reveal that the Smart City strategy is, in general, and in terms of social Inclusion, in particular, a local phenomenon changing in each country. This outcome has important implications for practitioners and future scholarly research alike. The current study contributes to both social inclusion and smart city literature in many ways.