Smart urban regeneration is participatory and responsive with economic, social, environmental and governance dimensions and invokes measured interventions in collaborative institutional networks. Smart development, without resolving the conundrum, blends astute processual strategy with evolution in regulated markets. As well as the vertical political system with its administrative tiers, the network encompasses horizontal commercial, non-government institutions and bottom-up feedback from local bodies or citizens, empowered by digital technology and land information. Philosophy and political contention explains the spectrum of technical or ecological 'smart' Eldorados on offer but political consensus remains elusive. Operationally, the smart city administrative system devolves to a network of private and public institutions at different spatial hierarchies. National policies and regulatory measures set parameters but local ones distribute environmental risks fairly. Smart institutions encompass 'vertical', 'horizontal' and grounded local institutions.