Making Cities Smarter
What is a Smart City?
The rapid transition to a highly urbanized condition creates many challenges for the planning, development, and operation of cities. These challenges call for new thinking by the professionals such as – architects, urban planners and designers, decisions makers, developers, transportation engineers, utilities providers, social scientists, environmental scientists, economists and most recently ICT companies.
ICT is seen as having the potential to bring solutions to many of the challenges cities face today. These range from hard technological solutions in the field of urban energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport, safety, etc., to soft solutions for social interaction, citizens’ participation or global management systems for city administrations.
‘Smart Cities’ use ICT to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint – all supporting innovation and a low-carbon economy.
Digital technologies are already transforming the way cities are developed and the way they are experienced by users and citizens. ICT companies are emerging as important players in urban planning and development by working in partnership with city governments all over the world. These partnerships are reshaping planning and urban development processes and are leading to the development of innovative business models.
Questions that will be raised within this program include:
- Can technology solve our urban problems?
- What are the current best practices for smart city initiatives, and what can be learned?
- What governance approach is needed for smart city initiatives to succeed?
- What are current experiences concerning partnerships between ICT companies and cities?
- How can digital technologies enable citizens to act on collectively shared issues?
- How can citizens be engaged in smart city initiatives at the local level?
- How can principles from online culture help to form new collective initiatives around communal resources in an urban context?
- How can new ICT technologies bring about a sense of place and connection among urbanites?
- Will smart cities outsmart us?