Well-being of Citizens in Smart Cities in Malaysia and China

Main Article Content

Kim Mee Chong
Geetha Subramaniam
Bingran Zhou
Lenis Aislinn C. Separa


Smart cities present a potential remedy as crowded and complex metropolitan regions increase in the digital era. A measurement of whether establishing a smart city would be compatible with Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 11 is undertaken to enhance its inhabitants' well-being. A total of 105 and 134 citizens of the smart cities in China and Malaysia, respectively, received online surveys. The data was analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results offer empirical evidence that reinforces the theoretical underpinnings of smart city development. Additionally, the findings emphasize citizen satisfaction in improving residents' well-being, acting as a mediator.

Article Details

How to Cite
Chong, K.M., Subramaniam, G., Zhou, B. and Separa, L.A.C. 2023. Well-being of Citizens in Smart Cities in Malaysia and China. Asian Journal of Environment-Behaviour Studies. 8, 26 (Dec. 2023), 69–88. DOI:https://doi.org/10.21834/aje-bs.v8i26.435.


Abdullah, J., Mustaza, I. Z. A., & Ahmad, C. B. (2018). Public Acceptance and Participation in Melaka Green Technology City State in Melaka Tengah District. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 3(9), 137-147.

Berglund, E. Z., Monroe, J. G., Ahmed, I., Noghabaei, M., Do, J., Pesantez, J. E., Khaksar Fasaee, M. A., Bardaka, E., Han, K., Proestos, G. T., & Levis, J. (2020). Smart infrastructure: A vision for the role of the civil engineering profession in smart cities. Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)is.1943-555x.0000549

Bibri, S. E. (2020). Data-driven environmental solutions for smart sustainable cities: Strategies and pathways for energy efficiency and pollution reduction. Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration, 5(3), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41207-020-00211-w

Brohi, S. N., Pillai, T. R., Asirvatham, D., Ludlow, D., & Bushell, J. (2018, June). Towards smart cities development: A study of public transport system and traffic-related air pollutants in Malaysia. In IOP conference series: earth and environmental science (Vol. 167, No. 1, p. 012015). IOP Publishing.

Buttazzoni, A., Veenhof, M., & Minaker, L. (2020). Smart city and high-tech urban interventions targeting human health: An equity-focused systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072325

Chan, F. K., Thong, J. Y., Brown, S. A., & Venkatesh, V. (2021). Service design and citizen satisfaction with e‐ government services: a multidimensional perspective. Public Administration Review, 81(5), 874-894.

Chong, K. M., Subramaniam, G., Ating, R., Separa, L. A. C., & Tan, T. H. (2022). Sustainability of Smart Cities in Malaysia and the Philippines using ESG Model. Environment- Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 7(22), 145 - 155. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21834/ebpj.v7i22.4157

Eusuf, M. A., Saadman, M., Mehbub, M., & Ibrahim, M. (2018). A review of the parametric characteristics of urban environment and its influence to the urban quality of life. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 3(7), 341-349.

Gao, X., Pishdad-Bozorgi, P., Shelden, D. R., & Tang, S. (2021). Internet of things enabled data acquisition framework for smart building applications. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 147(2). https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)co.1943-7862.0001983

Guo, W., Chen, L., Fan, Y., Liu, M., & Jiang, F. (2021). Effect of ambient air quality on subjective well-being among Chinese working adults. Journal of Cleaner Production, 296, 126509. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126509

Harith, N. H. M., & Noon, H. M. (2016). Economic well-being of selected administrative staff of an urban public University: A qualitative study. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 1(1), 362-367.

Huang, K., Luo, W., Zhang, W., & Li, J. (2021). Characteristics and problems of smart city development in China. Smart Cities, 4(4), 1403–1419. https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities4040074

Hudson, L., Wolff, A., Gooch, D., van der Linden, J., Kortuem, G., Petre, M., ten Veen, R., & O’Connor-Gotra, S. (2019). Supporting urban change: Using a MOOC to facilitate attitudinal learning and participation in smart cities. Computers and Education, 129, 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.10.012

Hu, R. (2019). The state of smart cities in China: The case of Shenzhen. Energies, 12(22). https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224375

Jayasena, N. S., Chan, D. W. M., Kumaraswamy, M. M., & Saka, A. B. (2022). Applicability of public-private partnerships in smart infrastructure development: The case of Hong Kong. International Journal of Construction Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/15623599.2022.2027076

Kerstetter, D., Shen, X., Yi, X., Pan, B., Zhang, G., Li, R., Gao, J., & Li, G. (2022). Sources of happiness: A mixed methods phenomenological study of factors affecting residents’ subjective wellbeing in Shenzhen, China. Psychological Reports, 125(1), 167–199. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294120971742

Khalil, U., Malik, O. A., Uddin, M., & Chen, C. L. (2022). A comparative analysis on blockchain versus centralized authentication architectures for IoT-Enabled smart devices in smart cities: A comprehensive review, recent advances, and future research directions. Sensors, 22(14). https://doi.org/10.3390/s22145168

Lazaroiu, G. C., & Roscia, M. (2012). Definition methodology for the smart cities model. Energy, 47(1), 326 - 332. https://doi:10.1016/j.energy.2012.09.028

Lin, C., Zhao, G., Yu, C., & Wu, Y. J. (2019). Smart city development and residents’ well-being. Sustainability, 11(3), 676. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030676

MyGovernment (2023). Malaysia Smart City Framework (MSCF). Capacities for Digital Transformation. https://www.malaysia.gov.my/portal/content/30947

Martela, F., & Sheldon, K. M. (2019). Clarifying the concept of well-being: Psychological need satisfaction as the common core connecting eudaimonic and subjective well-being. Review of General Psychology, 23(4), 458–474. https://doi.org/10.1177/1089268019880886

McPherson, D. (2020). Virtue and meaning: A neo-Aristotelian perspective. Cambridge University Press.

Nasir, S. R. M., Ibrahim, A., Hassan, R., Haron, H., Hassan, S. H., Garieb, S. L. S., & Busrah, A. (2020). Awareness and acceptance in using smart meter by energy customers in Malaysia. Environment Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 5(SI2), 35-41.

Navarro, M., D’Agostino, A., & Neri, L. (2020). The effect of urbanization on subjective well-being: Explaining cross-regional differences. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 71, 100824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2020.100824

National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2022). China Statistical Yearbook 2022. China Statistics Press.

Odendaal, N. (2021). Everyday urbanisms and the importance of place: Exploring the elements of the emancipatory smart city. Urban Studies, 58(3), 639–654. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098020970970

O’Keefe, T. (2014). Epicureanism. Routledge.

Omar, D., Ramlee, M., Yunus, R. M., & Samadi, Z. (2018). Urban public space revitalisation strategies for George Town world heritage site. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 3(7), 285-291.

Onoda, H. (2020). Smart approaches to waste management for post-COVID-19 smart cities in Japan. IET Smart Cities, 2(2), 89–94. https://doi.org/10.1049/iet-smc.2020.0051

Park, J., & Yoo, S. (2023). Evolution of the smart city: three extensions to governance, sustainability, and decent urbanisation from an ICT-based urban solution. International Journal of Urban Sciences, 27(S1), 10–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/12265934.2022.2110143

Pontin, E., Schwannauer, M., Tai, S., & Kinderman, P. (2013). A UK validation of a general measure of subjective well-being: the modified BBC subjective well-being scale (BBC-SWB). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 11(1), 1-9.

Rohana, S., Abdamia, N., & Mohd, M. (2019). Developing a pollution free environment framework through technology integration (e-hailing app). Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 4(10), 161-167.

Rosnan, H., & Abdullah, N. C. (2018). Public perceptions and behaviours towards bicycle sharing offered by SMEs as a mode of transportation and the way forward. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 3(8), 180-185.

Samsudin, N. A., Rosley, M. S. F., Lai, L. Y., Omar, S. R., Rashid, M. F., Hanifi, N. S. N. M., & Bakhtiar, I. S. (2022). A comparative study of smart city initiatives in Malaysia: Putrajaya and Iskandar Puteri. Planning Malaysia, 20(5). 14-28.

Savastano, M., Suciu, M. C., Gorelova, I., & Stativă, G. A. (2023). How smart is mobility in smart cities? An analysis of citizens’ value perceptions through ICT applications. Cities, 132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2022.104071

State Council of the People’s Republic of China. (2021). Outline of the People’s Republic of China 14th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Range Objectives for 2035. http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2021-03/13/content_5592681.htm

State Council of the People’s Republic of China. (2022). The report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Tan, T. H., Assim, M. I. S. B. A., Chong, K. M., & Lai, H. K. (2021). Identifying the determinants for the development of smart city initiatives in delivering convenience and safety to the local community. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Special Issues Title: Empowering Community and Beyond, 2021, 229-236.

Visvizi, A., Lytras, M. D., & Daniela, L. (2018). (Re) defining smart education: Towards dynamic education and information systems for innovation networks. In M. D. Lytras, L. Daniela, & A. Visvizi (Eds.), Enhancing knowledge discovery and innovation in the digital era (pp. 1–12). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-4191-2

Wang, J., Wang, W., Ran, Q., Irfan, M., Ren, S., Yang, & X., Wu, H., Ahmad, & M., Yang, X., & Ahmad, M. (2022). Analysis of the mechanism of the impact of internet development on green economic growth: Evidence from 269 prefecture cities in China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16381-1/Published

World Population Review. (2023). https://worldpopulationreview.com/

Xie, J., Tang, H., Huang, T., Yu, F. R., Xie, R., Liu, J., & Liu, Y. (2019). A survey of blockchain technology applied to smart cities: Research issues and challenges. IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 21(3), 2794–2830. https://doi.org/10.1109/COMST.2019.2899617

Yu, C., Ye, B., Lin, C., & Wu, Y. J. (2020). Can smart city development promote residents’ emotional well being? Evidence from China. IEEE Access, 8, 116024–116040. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3004367

Zainol, H., Isa, H. M., Sakip, S. R. M., & Azmi, A. (2018). Social sustainable accessibility for people with disabilities at public transport stations through sustainable development goals in Malaysia. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 3(9), 89-94.

Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhang, H., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Evaluation on new first-tier smart cities in China based on entropy method and TOPSIS. Ecological Indicators, 145, 109616. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2022.109616

Zhu, W., Yan, R., & Song, Y. (2022). Analysing the impact of smart city service quality on citizen engagement in a public emergency. Cities, 120, 103439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2021.103439