At present, urban life on Earth has been greatly improved, and advanced human modernization and diverse opportunities and cultures are prospering. Along with these progresses, over-exploitation of energy and resources, massive destruction of natural ecosystems, worsening pollution of various kinds, and a series of "urban diseases" have appeared. In order to change the imbalance between our natural resource base and environment and socioeconomic development, and facilitate their effective coordination so that modern cities can be healthy and sustainable in the future, with the help of new generation information technology, research and practice about a new type of city—smart low-carbon city—has been started. As one of the academic research hotspots and frontiers, research on smart low-carbon city would be an important field that needs urgent exploration. Therefore, by using bibliometric method and summarizing existing studies, this research conducted a literature review on smart low-carbon city research, including general progress, the concept, the assessment methods and index systems, application practice, basic patterns, and major policies. The results show that: (1) research on smart low-carbon cities is still in its infancy and there is no clear and universal accepted definition; (2) research on the key issues such as methodology, proper model, index system, and assessment criteria are inadequate, and there is no universal and authoritative index system for evaluation; (3) policy supports are gradually improving and the application practices are stepping into the planning, demonstration, and pilot stages; (4) research perspectives are limited, innovative studies from perspectives of other disciplines are far from adequate; and (5) there are still research gaps in the field of smart low-carbon city dynamic mechanism, interaction mechanism, development paths, and patterns. In the future, greater emphasis should be placed on a clear definition of the concept, more appropriate assessment methodology and index systems, the internal dynamic mechanism, formation and evolution mechanism, development paths and patterns, and their optimization and regulation, which can provide a scientific basis for a healthy and sustainable urban development in China.