New smart city clusters’ construction level evaluation under economic circles: the case of Shandong, China

    Xuhui Cong Affiliation
    ; Sai Wang Affiliation
    ; Liang Wang Affiliation
    ; Zhipeng Qi Affiliation
    ; Miroslaw J. Skibniewski Affiliation


China’s Shandong Province plans to create a new smart city cluster that is developmentfocused, demand-led, people-oriented, and data-driven. This entails the scientific assessment of construction levels, analysis of potential hurdles, and formulation of upgraded strategies. However, existing research has mainly focused on measuring single or multiple traditional smart cities, therein overlooking the construction level of new smart city clusters. Thus, this study takes the new smart city clusters in Shandong Province and uses both entropy method and the Moran index to analyze the construction level and spatial differences in the four dimensions of social livelihood, economic production, innovation-driven development, and safeguard measures. Results show that the construction level of the provincial capital economic circle is uneven and has polarization issues. Meanwhile, the construction level of Jiaodong economic circle is relatively good, although the economic driving capacity needs further improvement. The low urbanization rate of the Lunan economic circle occupies a gathering zone with low construction levels, making the construction of digital villages necessary. Targeted suggestions in improving the radiationdriven capacity of core cities, improving digital infrastructure, and developing smart industries are then forwarded to promote the establishment of new smart city clusters and achieve top-notch economic growth.

Keyword : new smart city cluster, construction level, economic circle, high-quality economic development

How to Cite
Cong, X., Wang, S., Wang, L., Qi, Z., & Skibniewski, M. J. (2023). New smart city clusters’ construction level evaluation under economic circles: the case of Shandong, China. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 29(3), 949–980.
Published in Issue
Apr 21, 2023
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Agumbayeva, A. Y., Chmyshenko, E. G., Pulyaev, N. N., Bunkovsky, D. V., Kolesov, K. I., & Amirova, E. F. (2019). Industrial transformation of Kazakhstan in digitalization’s era. Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics, 10(44), 1861–1867.

Attard, J., Orlandi, F., Scerri, S., & Auer, S. (2015). A systematic review of open government data initiatives. Government Information Quarterly, 32(4), 399–418.

Audretsch, D. B., & Belitski, M. (2020). The role of R&D and knowledge spillovers in innovation and productivity. European Economic Review, 123, 103391.

Baden-Fuller, C., & Haefliger, S. (2013). Business models and technological innovation. Long Range Planning, 46(6), 419–426.

Bao, H., Teng, T., Cao, X., Wang, S., & Hu, S. (2022). The threshold effect of knowledge diversity on urban green innovation efficiency using the Yangtze River Delta Region as an example. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(17), 10600.

Cheng, Z., Li, L., & Liu, J. (2018). Industrial structure, technical progress and carbon intensity in China’s provinces. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81, 2935–2946.

Fan, M., Sun, J., Zhou, B., & Chen, M. (2016). The smart health initiative in China: The case of Wuhan, Hubei Province. Journal of Medical Systems, 40(3), 1–17.

Fotheringham, A. S. (2009). “The problem of spatial autocorrelation” and local spatial statistics. Geographical Analysis, 41(4), 398–403.

Gerhart, B., & Feng, J. (2021). The resource-based view of the firm, human resources, and human capital: Progress and prospects. Journal of Management, 47(7), 1796–1819.

Guo, F., Wang, J., Wang, F., Kong, T., Zhang, X., & Cheng, Z. (2020). Measuring the development of digital inclusive finance in China: Indicators compilation and spatial characteristics. Economics (Quarterly), 19(04), 1401–1418.

Haji, K. (2021). E-commerce development in rural and remote areas of BRICS countries. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(4), 979–997.

Han, Z., & Liu, P. (2011). A fuzzy multi-attribute decision-making method under risk with unknown attribute weights. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 17(2), 246–258.

Heij, C. V., Volberda, H. W., Van den Bosch, F. A., & Hollen, R. M. (2020). How to leverage the impact of R&D on product innovation? The moderating effect of management innovation. R&D Management, 50(2), 277–294.

Hu, C., & Ma, D. (2021). Research on the development and strategy of smart city clusters in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area. Frontiers in Sustainable Development, 1(2), 8–18.

Huang, J., & Chen, X. (2020). Domestic R&D activities, technology absorption ability, and energy intensity in China. Energy Policy, 138, 111184.

Jakaitis, J., Paliulis, N., & Jakaitis, K. (2009). Aspects of the national urban policy management under conditions of integrated planning. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 15(1), 26–38.

Janssen, M. J., & Abbasiharofteh, M. (2022). Boundary spanning R&D collaboration: Key enabling technologies and missions as alleviators of proximity effects? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 180, 121689.

Johnson, B. (2008). Cities, systems of innovation and economic development. Innovation, 10(2–3), 146–155.

Karbalaei Saleh, S., Amoushahi, S., & Gholipour, M. (2021). Spatiotemporal ecological quality assessment of metropolitan cities: A case study of central Iran. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193(5), 1–20.

Kogan, L., Papanikolaou, D., Seru, A., & Stoffman, N. (2017). Technological innovation, resource allocation, and growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 132(2), 665–712.

Li, C., Dai, Z., Liu, X., & Sun, W. (2020). Measurement system: Measurement of smart city shareable framework and its applications in China. Sustainability, 12(7), 2957.

Li, G., Wang, Y., Luo, J., & Li, Y. (2018). Measurement on construction level of smart city: An empirical study from twenty Chinese cities. Sustainability, 10(9), 3348.

Li, Q., Zhao, Y., Li, S., & Zhang, L. (2021). Spatial-temporal characteristics of the coupling coordination of social security and economic development in China during 2002–2018. Regional Sustainability, 2(2), 116–129.

Liu, L. Q., Liu, K. L., Zhang, T., Mao, K., Lin, C. Q., Gao, Y. F., & Xie, B. C. (2021). Spatial characteristics and factors that influence the environmental efficiency of public buildings in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 322, 128842.

Liu, Y. (2016, November). “The study on smart city construction assessment based on TOPSIS” “the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan City Clusters” as the case. In 2016 International Conference on Smart City and Systems Engineering (pp. 321–325). IEEE.

Liu, Y., Wang, H., & Tzeng, G. H. (2018). From measure to guidance: Galactic model and sustainable development planning toward the best smart city. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 144(4), 04018035.

Lounsbury, M., Cornelissen, J., Granqvist, N., & Grodal, S. (2019). Culture, innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation, 21(1), 1–12.

Nam, T., & Pardo, T. A. (2011, June). Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions. In Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference: Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times (pp. 282–291).

Nambisan, S., Wright, M., & Feldman, M. (2019). The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes. Research Policy, 48(8), 103773.

Ojo, A. O., Raman, M., & Downe, A. G. (2019). Toward green computing practices: A Malaysian study of green belief and attitude among Information Technology professionals. Journal of Cleaner Production, 224, 246–255.

Oloja, S. V., Sanmi, O., Obolo, O. A., & Ayinuola, M. F. (2019). Broadband penetration and economic growth: Evidence from Nigeria. Journal of Economics and Management Trade, 26(3), 1–6.

Peng, C., Ma, B., & Zhang, C. (2021). Poverty alleviation through e-commerce: Village involvement and demonstration policies in rural China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(4), 998–1011.

Persai, P., & Katiyar, S. K. (2018). Development of information measurement system for smart city planning using geoinformatics techniques. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 46(11), 1881–1891.

Pravitasari, A. E., Saizen, I., Tsutsumida, N., & Rustiadi, E. (2014). Detection of spatial clusters of flood- and landslide-prone areas using Local Moran Index in Jabodetabek metropolitan area, Indonesia. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 40(4), 233–243.

Qi, J., & Ba, Y. (2016, November). Smart city construction measurement system study based on the specialists method and analytic hierarchy process method. In 2016 International Conference on Smart City and Systems Engineering (pp. 149–152). IEEE.

Qu, Y. (2016, August). Measurement of smart city development potential in major cities of China based on the KPCA method. In 2016 International Conference on Management Science and Engineering (pp. 855–862). IEEE.

Rajabiun, R., & Middleton, C. A. (2013). Multilevel governance and broadband infrastructure development: Evidence from Canada. Telecommunications Policy, 37(9), 702–714.

Sahut, J. M., & Peris-Ortiz, M. (2014). Small business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 42(4), 663–668.

Sarma, M., & Pais, J. (2011). Financial inclusion and development. Journal of International Development, 23(5), 613–628.

Shen, L., Huang, Z., Wong, S. W., Liao, S., & Lou, Y. (2018). A holistic measurement of smart city performance in the context of China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 200, 667–679.

Shi, T., Qiao, Y., Zhou, Q., & Zhang, J. (2022). The regional differences and random convergence of urban resilience in China. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 28(4), 1–24.

Sima, V., Gheorghe, I. G., Subić, J., & Nancu, D. (2020). Influences of the industry 4.0 revolution on the human capital development and consumer behavior: A systematic review. Sustainability, 12(10), 4035.

Sun, M., & Zhang, J. (2020). Research on the application of block chain big data platform in the construction of the new smart city for low carbon emission and green environment. Computer Communications, 149, 332–342.

Vishnivetskaya, A., & Alexandrova, E. (2019, March). “Smart city” concept. Implementation practice. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 497, 012019.

Wang, K. H., Umar, M., Akram, R., & Caglar, E. (2021). Is technological innovation making world “Greener”? An evidence from changing growth story of China. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 165, 120516.

Yan, J., Liu, J., & Tseng, F. M. (2020). An measurement system based on the self-organizing system framework of smart cities: A case study of smart transportation systems in China. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 153, 119371.

Ye, C., Zhao, Z., & Cai, J. (2021). The impact of smart city construction on the quality of foreign direct investment in China. Complexity, 2021, 5619950.

Yu, Z. F., Wang, W. Q., Yan, Y., Wang, H. Y., & Wu, W. L. (2022). Evaluating energy-efficiency improvement of variable-speed operation with the help of entropy: A case study of low-head Francis turbine. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 53, 102468.

Zeng, R., Zeng, S., Xie, X., Tam, C., & Wan, T. (2012). What motivates firms from emerging economies to go internationalization? Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 18(2), 280–298.

Zeng, S., Xie, X., & Tam, C. (2010). Evaluating innovation capabilities for science parks: A system model. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 16(3), 397–413.

Zhang, J., Zhang, K., & Zhao, F. (2020). Research on the regional spatial effects of green development and environmental governance in China based on a spatial autocorrelation model. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 55, 1–11.

Zhang, M., Yan, Q., Li, W., Tang, G., & Lin, H. (2022a). Sustainability performance assessment of photovoltaic coupling storage charging stations with novel multi-criteria decision-making technique. International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, 142, 108301.

Zhang, S., Gao, Y., & Ma, X. (2022b). Research on maturity of data system based on BP neural network test. International Journal of Social Sciences in Universities, 5(3), 4–8.

Zhu, X. A., & Wei, G. D. (2015). Discussion on the good standard of dimensionless method in entropy method. Statistics and Decision, 31(2), 12–15.