Keywords: Smart City Research; Urban Studies; Bibliometric Analysis; Intellectual Structure.
This paper analyses the «big picture» of the smart city research field by means of a bibliometric analysis of the literature on smart cities produced between 1992 and 2012. The findings show that this new field of scientific inquiry has started to grow significantly only in recent years, mainly thanks to European universities and US companies. Its intellectual structure is complex and lacks cohesion due to the infinite possible combinations among the building blocks and components characterising the smart city concept. However, despite this complexity, the bibliometric analysis made it possible to identify three structural axes that traverse the literature, capture the main research perspectives, and reveal some key aspects of this new city planning and development paradigm.