Rapid population growth and urbanization have led to increasing demands for management, healthcare, safety, among many other concerns, resulting in the recent formation and worldwide investment in IoT and ICT-enabled smart cities. Citizen-centric approaches toward the development of research solutions within these smart city environments focus on the citizen, their attributes, values, roles, and responsibilities to improve applicability, accessibility, and public value of technologies. In this work, an integrated and interdisciplinary framework for the implementation of citizen-centric research toward smart cities is proposed. Two example case studies are described as initial proofs of concept for applying the framework in specific areas. The first is a solution for indoor localization and information discovery targeted at citizens who are blind or visually impaired, while the second is the implementation of Virtual Reality (VR) sports stadium attendance within a smart stadium testbed environment. Finally, a new graduate program which integrates multiple disciplines to train the next generation of smart city leaders is presented.