Intelligent Buildings International (a journal of Taylor & Francis) just published the Special Issue “From Intelligent to Smart Cities” edited by Mark Deakin and Husam Al Waer. The issue includes an Editorial and five papers offering a coherent and critical view about current developments in the field of intelligent and smart cities.
Mark Deakin & Husam Al Waer
Drawing upon the smart experiences of ‘˜world class’ cities in N. America, Canada and Europe, this special issue draws together five papers from leading international experts on the transition from intelligent to smart cities. Together they do what Hollands (‘˜Will the real smart city stand up?’ City12(3), 302’“320) has recently asked of smart cities and provide the definitional components, critical insights and institutional means by which to get beyond the all-too-often self-congratulatory tone cities across the world strike when claiming to be smart.
From intelligent to smart cities
Mark Deakin & Husam Al Waer
Abstract: Taking Hollands’ previous statement on the transition from intelligent to smart cities as its point of departure (‘˜Will the real smart city stand up?’ City 12(3), 302’“320), this article reflects upon the anxieties currently surrounding such developments. In particular, it considers the suggestion that such developments have more to do with cities meeting the corporate needs of marketing campaigns than the social intelligence required for them to be smart. Focusing on the social intelligence of such developments, this article captures the information-rich and highly communicative qualities of the transition. In particular, it examines the methodological issues that smart communities pose cities and the critically insightful role which the networks of innovation and creative partnerships set up to embed such intelligence play in the learning, knowledge transfer and capacity-building exercises servicing this community-led transition to smart cities. This, the article suggests, is what existing representations of smart cities miss. This article offers a critically insightful account of the transition.
The smart city: A nexus for open innovation?
Krassimira Antonova Paskaleva
Abstract: This article critically reviews current European trends on smart cities in the context of open innovation. It draws from analyses of key European Union (EU) programmes, four international projects and related activities. These initiatives are framed by the EU’s strategic policies on Competitiveness and Innovation, Smart Cities, the Future Internet and Living Labs with the aims to foster smarter, sustainable and inclusive cities. The article probes similarities and differences in the programmes and projects examined and their challenges towards EU strategies, including the i2020 agenda. The analysis shows that a new approach to open innovation is emerging, which links technologies with people, urban territory and other cities and that this approach is likely to be increasingly influential over the next period of time. It is suggested that this approach of using open innovation for sharing visions, knowledge, skills, experience and strategies for designing the delivery of services, goods and policies in cities is effective, efficient and sustainable. However, consistent frameworks, principles and strategic agendas are necessary to optimally bind these elements together.
Intelligent cities: Variable geometries of spatial intelligence
Abstract: This article discusses the spatial intelligence of cities, the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) and institutional frameworks that support innovation ecosystems of cities and increase the problem-solving capability of communities and cities. It is based on three case studies on Bletchley Park, Cyberport Hong Kong and Smart Amsterdam, which highlight different architectures of spatial intelligence: (1) orchestration intelligence that stems from collaboration within a community and integration of people’s skills, know-how, and collective and machine intelligence, (2) amplification intelligence based on learning, up-skilling and talent cultivation using open technology platforms and ICT infrastructure offered by the city, and (3) instrumentation intelligence based on streams of information generated from the functioning of cities, which enable more informed decisions to be taken by citizens and organizations. The article contributes to understanding different processes that make communities more intelligent, and how collective intelligence, people-driven innovation and use of smart devices advance the efficiency, operation and governance of cities.
The embedded intelligence of smart cities
Abstract: This article offers an extensive review of Mitchell’s thesis on the transition from the city of bits to e-topia and finds it wanting. It suggests that the problems encountered with the thesis lie with the lack of substantive insight it offers into the embedded intelligence of smart cities. Although problematic in itself, the article also suggests that if the difficulties experienced were only methodological they might perhaps be manageable, but the problem is that they run deeper than this and relate to more substantive issues that surround the trajectory of the thesis. This is a critical insight of some significance because if the trajectory of e-topia is not in the direction of either the embedded intelligence of smart cities, or the information and communication technologies of digitally inclusive regeneration platforms, then the question arises as to whether the thesis can be a progressive force for change, or merely a way of reproducing the status quo.
Smart cities, smart places, smart democracy: Form-based codes, electronic governance and the role of place in making smart cities
Abstract: Place matters in smart towns and cities. Technology may keep pushing us apart, but we as a culture continue to gather. Opinions differ as to whether the centrifugal forces of ‘˜splintering’ urbanism are stronger than the centripetal power of physical places. This article argues that if policies and implementation tools of placed-based urban design are embedded and encoded within the e-governance structure of a community, a balance can be achieved where both physical and virtual realms enhance the unique character of particular locations. The pervasive reach of electronic data and media can help bind the disparate elements of a community together as much as it may seek to disperse them. The process of developing plans, codes and sustainable strategies for a community seeking a truly ‘˜smart’ future in a competitive world is illustrated by a case study of Beaufort, a medium-sized town in South Carolina, USA, and these efforts highlight the challenges for English towns and cities in the context of the British Government’s shift towards ‘˜localism’ in planning.