Although the smart city literature is continuously increasing these last decades, there is still a need to better understand what make their essence and smartness. The aim of the study is to deepen the understanding of the business model logic of the metropolitan city’s smartization process. More specifically, the research investigates how the building blocks of business model drive the smartization of metropolitan cities. The study explores the case of Paris, the capital of France, which has undergone a deep process of smartization over the last 15 years.
The Parisian model of a smart city is insightful in several ways. The building blocks were reconfigured based on the three waves of smartization – search for legitimacy, from ‘urban intelligent’ to ‘ingenious city’, and ‘creative & living city’. Paris revised the drivers of the business model building blocks to remain smart and keep on creating value. Paris relies on new technologies as tools to involve all citizens, to go beyond sustainability; and to combine urban intelligence, social inclusion, resilience and technological innovation.