This wide range of objectives, themes and sectors included in the definitions of smart city leads to a fragmentation of the concept when applying it in the activity of planning, monitoring and evaluating urban development policies. Accordingly, there is a growing need for specific assessments that provide an adequate picture of each city through appropriate sets of indicators in order to distinguish between different types of urban areas. Within this framework, a preliminary step in order to put European cities at the centre of the policy effort to promote a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is the elaboration of appropriate indicators that take into account the different characteristics of the smart city concept as it has been applied in the European Union.1 In this way, researchers and local administrators could identify the appropriate measures for each specific situation and, at the same time, take full advantage from the exchange of information throughout the European Union. This would help local authorities to conceive their city as a unique, sustainable urban system already from the outset of the smart city initiatives and to acknowledge the close inter-relation among competitiveness, division of labour, inequality, environment and attractiveness.