To achieve the real promise of smart cities—that is to create the conditions of continuous learning and innovation that has led cities like Seattle, Barcelona, Ahmedabad and Curitiba to keep pace with economic change—we need to understand what is below the surface of smart and connected places. Yet, city learning is a blind spot in policy on urban development and city innovation. Few cities and even fewer national institutions give much attention to the civil mechanisms behind innovation. Collective learning is one of them, but it is not only what is learned; a key factor is how learning takes place in cities. 

Tim Campbell discussed the findings of his latest work. Beyond Smart Cities raises as many questions as it answers. Some of the most important for future work involve a deeper analysis of networks of learning elites, the elements in efficiency of learning, how a market of exchange might be organized and regulated, and longitudinal and cross-city experience of learning outcomes.