Image courtesy Buro Happold.

Smart City Links

Smart City Links

A collection of smart city links that we have found useful and can recommend.

“Smart cities” is defined in PAS 180: 2014 Smart Cities. Vocabulary as ‘…the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens.’

Smart cities optimise the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure and buildings in a way which meets the current and future needs of their citizens. Truly smart cities should be about more than just harnessing technology; they require consideration of governance and growth, urban development and infrastructure, the environment and natural resources, society and community. (Ref Buro Happold:Defining and benchmarking SMART cities)

Some experts believe that the notion of smart cities has been overly driven by hi-tech companies. There are a number of reasons for this:

The enthusiasm of high-tech companies to identify solutions that their own hardware and software can offer inefficient cities.
Practitioners (architects, planners and especially engineers) failing to engage properly in the debate. Engineers are singled out here as the profession that historically has held the role of harnessing emergent science and technology to improve the environment.
A lack of understanding at the municipal leadership level.

Given this situation and the belief by some that the planning, design and construction of future cities requires an integrated approach to achieve successful outcomes, alternative terminology has been suggested. The term ‘The Living City’ refers to an approach in which technology plays an important but nevertheless supporting role (Ref Buro Happold: The Living City).