This paper examines the attempt to develop smart, sustainable cities (SSC) in the Arab region. The paper identifies four
barriers: 1) infrastructural need for technological advances and availing information and transparency regarding the
functioning of the administration; 2) high rates of adult illiteracy and lack of political participation; 3) methods of data
collection, validity, reliability, and analysis, which are of utmost importance for decision-making are not always precise
and rigorous; and 4) bound rationality that affects the planning process, thus hampering proper planning. Attempting
to develop an SSC is not possible in a country where the majority are illiterate and poor. These attempts could lead to
the loss of public space, social segregation, and dysfunctional democracy.
Keywords: Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, Urban Planning, Planning Models, Arab Cities.
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