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The importance of the “smartivist” - how smart citizens accelerate smart city development

By Lily Maxwell on Mar 11, 2018 11:23:18 PM

"Nothing in the world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people" - Jan Gehl, founding partner of Gehl Architects, in an interview in 2013.

When we talk about smart cities, the technological terms dominate. We refer to how big data, the Internet of Things, sensors, and automation, among other things, will change and innovate our cities, making life better for urban citizens. As Ignasi Capdevila and Matías I. Zarlenga highlight, however, in their study 'Smart City or smart citizens? The Barcelona case', when we think of smart cities from the perspective of new technologies alone, ‘citizens are often considered as users, testers, or consumers rather than producers and sources of creativity and innovation’. 

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Smart City Evolution: A Review of Becoming a Smart City

By Bart Gorynski on Aug 31, 2017 4:12:36 PM

Over the past years, the smart city concept has reached a state of mainstream acknowledgment throughout the world. However, several important aspects are subject to constant debate:

  • What is the best or a suitable definition?
  • Does the concept apply to cities only or does it include rural or smaller communities?
  • Is the concept technology- or human-centric?
  • What are the key success factors?
  • What are the strategic governance approaches?
  • What can be derived from best practice?

In our review on becoming a smart city, we will cover all of these topics that relate to the smart city evolution from a practical perspective.

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Towards a New Paradigm of the Smart City

By Thomas Mueller on Aug 31, 2017 3:33:12 PM


Over the past seven years, the smart city concept has changed fundamentally in terms of the approaches that cities or communities have chosen for urban transformation. Driven by technology providers in the early years, governments as leaders of the smart city movement have later understood that technology is “only” the enabler for reaching governmental, economic and societal goals. Today, smart city strategies still consider technology as an enabler, but governments have learned that top-down initiatives or a “master planned” approach are not the determinants of success. Drivers for success are collaborative and participative citizen-/human-centric approaches. If a city or community wants to become smarter, it should take the needs and problems of its customers – citizens, businesses, workforce/commuters, entrepreneurs, academia and non-profit organizations – into account.

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