Cycling the Smart and Sustainable City: Analyzing EC Policy Documents on Internet of Things, Mobility and Transport, and Smart Cities

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This article asks how cycling, a sustainable form of urban mobility, is discussed in the context of smart cities and the Internet of Things in European Commission (EC) policy documents, and how this compares to discussions around cars. Sustainable forms of transport, such as cycling, are a key issue for cities across the globe, including smart cities, while transport is increasingly becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT). This article contributes to an understanding of how cars and bicycles are discussed in this context. To do so, 39 relevant EC policy documents (2014–2018) were identified and examined through keyword searches and rigorous document analysis. The results show how the vast majority of policy discussions in this area revolve around cars (including autonomous cars and smart vehicles), while cycling is hardly considered, with a strong affinity between IoT and cars. In addition, recent EC policy debates take place more around IoT than around Smart Cities, while sustainability is not considered much in the IoT context. The conclusion highlights the implications of sustainable urban modes of transport such as cycling being absent from IoT/smart debates, including lack of policy visibility and funding opportunities, underlining the significance of this research, and it also makes policy suggestions for addressing these issues and for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number763
Number of pages30
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019



  • mobility
  • transport
  • smart cities
  • intelligent transportation systems (ITS)
  • cycling
  • sustainable transport
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • policy
  • data

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