Redefining the Smart City: culture, metabolism and governance

Urban planning smart cities Green infrastructure
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Abstract: The Smart City concept is still evolving and can be viewed as a branding exercise by big corporations, which is why the concept is not being used by the United Nations (UN). Smart Cities tend to represent the information, communication, and technological industry alone without considering the values and cultural and historical profiles that some cities hold as legacies. However, the technology inherent in Smart Cities promises efficiencies and options that could allow cities to be more “inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” as required by the UN agenda including cultural heritage. There is a notable lack of Smart City application to cultural and historical urban fabrics. Instead, the modernist new town approach has emerged under this new rubric leading to many problems such as urban decay and unsustainable car dependence. This study therefore presents a review of the literature on the nature, challenges, and opportunities of Smart Cities. A new Smart Cities framework is proposed based on the dimensions of culture, metabolism, and governance. These findings seek to inform policy makers of an alternative viewpoint on the Smart City paradigm, which focuses on urban outcomes rather than technology in isolation.

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