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The implementation of smart cities globally has been the subject of literature review since the twentieth century. However, the smart city concept has only become topical in the twenty first century, particularly in more recent times. While a lot of cities in
developed countries have forged ahead with the implementation of smart cities, the same cannot be said about developing countries. Following the 2015 launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among the goals the development of smart cities across the globe, many countries have stalled on the achievement of this specific goal. The 2019 covid pandemic halted the development of smart cities while for those cities that have survived the epidemic, starting the smart city programmes that may have been started before the epidemic has proved a daunting task. This study looks at the challenges and opportunities developing countries have been faced prior to and after the covid pandemic. A systematic literature review was undertaken to consider the said challenges and opportunities, particularly in developing countries. The review has revealed that other problems like climate change have changed the development focus to the extent that smart city development agenda has been hurt and pushed aside. It is evident that the enthusiasm demonstrated in mid-1915s up to 2019 has waned. Any take-up of this programme will require concerted global effort to succeed.