Cities form the heart of a dynamic society. In an open space-economy cities have to mobilize all of their resources to remain attractive and competitive. Smart cities depend on creative and knowledge resources to maximize their innovation potential. This study offers a comparative analysis of nine European smart cities on the basis of an extensive database covering two time periods. After conducting a principal component analysis, a new approach, based on a self-organizing map analysis, is adopted to position the various cities under consideration according to their selected "smartness" performance indicators. © 2012 Copyright ICCR Foundation.