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This editorial frames the contents of this special issue within the broad context of the smart city literature. In particular, the editorial first argues for the novelty of the smart city concept with respect to previous planning notions. The smart city literature has provided much insight into present-day urban management issues. In this sense, this special issues presents new insights into the following topics: (i) The smart city literature is characterized by remarkable heterogeneity in terms of geographical and disciplinary approaches; (ii) Relevant attention is being paid to the impact of smart city policies; (iii) New findings are presented for the relevance of benchmarking exercises and a first quantitative impact measurement is discussed; (iv) Beyond the new results presented in the Special Issue, ample space is dedicated to the discussion of future challenges for this literature, for both academics and policymakers.