This work an overview of the main strategic and managerial challenges faced by public and private actors involved in the deployment of green and sustainable innovations that characterise smart city (SC) projects. Although a general definition and a clear framework is still lacking (Wolfram, 2012), the concept of SC appears as a new paradigm of intelligent urban development and sustainable socio-economic growth (Neirotti et al., 2014). However, as SC initiatives are conducted in countries with different needs and contextual conditions, identifying shared definitions and common current trends at a global scale is still difficult. Different academic works from different fields have investigated the subject in a variety of ways. The first one defines, or more accurately confuses SC with that of a digital city (Mahizhnan, 1999; Cocchia, 2014; Dameri, 2014). In fact, there is a wide agreement that a SC is characterized by a pervasive use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in various urban domains in order to help cities make better use of their resources. ICT systems are viewed as the digital nervous systems that obtain data from heterogeneous sources (i.e. traffic lights, parking spaces, security cameras, etc.). A SC is then viewed as a complex system in which a great volume of real-time information is processed and integrated across multiple processes, systems, organizations and value chains to optimize operations and inform authorities on incipient problems (Neirotti et al., 2014). A SC is then a city where ICT contributes substantially to solving the emerging problems of urban living. De facto, one additional characteristic of SC is the role of human capital. ICT is unable to transform cities without human capital, and without fostering a city’s capacity for learning and innovation (Caragliu et al., 2009; Giffenger et al., 2007; Hollands, 2008). David and Terstriep argue in this special issue in support of an empirical study undertaken on the specific case of transport and mobility, the deployment of smart innovations needs highly skilled workforces.