Smart city in context (0): an introduction

[Versión en castellano]

The smart city event of the year took place in Barcelona on November 13 to 15. Now, ​​it seems to me right to devote a whole series of posts on smart cities on this blog. It is a key issue because cities are world-class centers of life, economy and power, and they are currently growing at a rapid pace.

Barcelona, November 2012

The complexity of the cities is also within the smart city concept, which has not yet achieved a broad and formal consensus on its real meaning. For that reason, this remarkable invention of the blog is especially suited to discuss the issue by allowing a wide and open participation. My intention here, therefore, is to talk about smart cities in successive posts and from different points of view. I invite every Internet surfer coming here to make his/her own contributions, whether he/she agrees or not with what I explain here, or just if he/she wants to give new or interesting nuances. All contributions are welcome.

In a previous article I explained that, in my opinion, the greatest effect that  the concept of smart city brings is competitiveness. This is the basic idea I will use as a leitmotiv to structure the series of posts. These will express my specific and personal view , obviously supplemented or contrasted with the comments submitted to this blog. The list of posts I’m thinking about is purely indicative and will be updated here when convenient. Currently, the list is:

  1. The competitiveness well understood: How the different players (TIC companies, urban services, urban managers, citizens, …) understand the competitiveness inside the smart city concept. What do they want and what do they expect from this concept.
  2. The communication appeal of the concept: Why everyone is now talking about smart cities, why this concept generates rivers of ink and events worldwide.
  3. The technological and the urban approaches: What is the smart city products offering, and what is the demand for them.
  4. Financial issues: What mechanisms and funding sources exist to fund a smart city project. What is the role that citizens and entrepreneurs can play in the making of smart city projects.
  5. The integrated urban services platform: What’s inside this concept, what are its advantages and how it can be implemented according to its different alternatives.

All these posts will not have an academic style. On the contrary, they will explain my vision obtained from interaction with different players in the smart cities world, and from specific projects in which I participated. They will also explain the strategy I derived from their analysis, and all of it from a practical approach standpoint.

Once again I invite all those concerned to make their own contributions, criticisms and comments.


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