Urban sustainability and smartness understanding (USSU)-identifying influencing factors: A systematic review

Hasan Fehmi Topal*, Dexter V.L. Hunt, Christopher D.F. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


Urban Sustainability and Smartness Understanding (USSU) can be defined by a group of sociopsychological determinants (such as awareness, perception, attitude and behavior) which shapes the relationship between human beings and the environment in which they live. A variety of influencing factors must exist in relation to USSU, however, a comprehensive examination of these, looking at personal, social, environmental, economic, technical, and governance perspectives in an urban context, appear to be less well researched. As such this paper provides an exploratory and critical evaluation of the literature by focusing on the USSU determinants; with an aim toward identifying the key factors (and sub-factors) that are in relation with these determinants. Two big databases of Scopus and Web of Science-have been searched systematically for the relevant studies. Therein it is observed how these factors affect USSU according to the characteristics of the study. Sustainability focused studies were found to be more commonplace than smartness studies. Moreover, there is currently ambiguity in evaluating the impacts of the identified factors. This paper concludes that a holistic approach is needed for clarifying the relationship and causality between sociopsychological determinants on Urban Sustainability and Smartness context. A framework with six dimensions is presented to initiate future studies to develop a consistent; coherent and comprehensive methodology to assess an individuals' USSU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4682
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The first author would also like to thank his sponsor, The Ministry of National Education, Republic of Turkey, for funding his doctoral studies at University of Birmingham under scholarship of Higher Education. C.D.F.R and D.V.L.H received the financial support of the UK EPSRC under grant EP/J017698/1 (Liveable Cities).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • attitude
  • awareness
  • behavior
  • influencing factors
  • perception
  • smartness
  • sustainability understanding
  • sustainable behavior
  • urban sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Urban sustainability and smartness understanding (USSU)-identifying influencing factors: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this