• English
  • French

Why Smart Cities still aren’t working for us after 20 years. And how we can fix them

  • en
  • Download as PDF
Daniel Kaplan

By Daniel Kaplan

Link to an online resource : https://theurbantechnologist.c... ( French)

Why is digital, our most powerful agent of change, not being used well in order to address the acute challenges that cities are facing?

Why Smart Cities still aren’t working for us after 20 years. And how we can fix them

In a long article filled with links and references, Rick Robinson, an urban infrastructure engineers with a long track record, asks why after 20 years, the "Smart Cities" movement seems to have achieved so little:

"From global urbanisation and population growth to man-made climate change we are facing some of the most serious and acute challenges in our history, as well as the persistent challenge of inequality. But the most powerful tool that is shaping a transformation of our society and economy, digital technology, is, for the most part, not being used to address those challenges. (...) So what can we do about that?"

Robinson ends his paper by offfering his own working definition of a Smart City:

A Smart City or community is one which successfully harnesses the most powerful tool of our age – digital technology – to create opportunities for its citizens; to address the most severe acute challenges the human race has ever faced, arising from global urbanisation and population growth and man-made climate change; and to address the persistent challenge of social and economic inequality. The policies and investments needed to do this demand the highest level of political leadership at a local level where regional challenges and resources are best understood, and particularly in cities where they are most concentrated. Those policies and investments will only be successful if they are enabling, not directing; if they result from the actions of leaders who are listening and responding to the people and communities they serve; and if they shape an urban environment and digital economy in which individual citizens, businesses and communities have the skills, opportunities and resources to create their own success on their own terms.


Please login to contribute.
If you do not have an account yet, this is very quick! Create my Transitions² contributor account