Cities around the world face pressing sustainability challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, and unsustainable growth. Smart cities have emerged as a response to these challenges, leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) to create more efficient and liveable urban environments. However, the concept of smart cities is often defined in vague and ideologically driven terms that lack clear guidelines for promoting sustainability. In this study, we use qualitative methods to examine how the use of ICTs can support the goals of sustainability in smart city development, resulting in what we call a ‘smart sustainable city’. Drawing on a case study involving stakeholder analysis, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis, we investigate the key roles of local government, ICT firms, and citizens in shaping sustainable urban development through smart city initiatives. Our findings shed light on the potential of ICTs to promote sustainability in smart cities and provide insights for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars working towards creating more sustainable urban environments. The findings of this research showed that ICT’s role in supporting sustainability in smart cities relies on understanding the interests and priorities of civic, ICT firms, and citizens, promoting effective collaboration and avoiding self-serving outcomes.

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