Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Thoughts on the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona

Neil McInroy reports his thoughts on the Smart City Expo and World Congress that took place in Barcelona a few days ago.

‘˜By the end of the first day it was clear: the smart city agenda is a ‘˜movement’ . A significant minority of the delegates and speakers were urbanists fuelled with an appreciation of the scale of the challenges and could see how technology could advance a new positive and citizen-focused urbanism.‘ , McInroy explains. At URENIO, we believe that it is a very important that the physical aspects of deploying urban technologies are carefully analyzed, planned and monitored in any smart or intelligent city. All technical utilities, even the ones that are ostensibly non-material, are in essence supported by material infrastructure and have profound influence on the physical aspects of the urban realm. Thus any related intervention ought to be supported by appropriate urban/physical planning.

McInroy continues by mentioning ‘˜I argued that we will not address these unless we have a smart city movement. This movement must ensure that technology is used for the many and not the few and is used as a tool for increasing the role of citizens, communities and the social sector in shaping and making our cities’¦..This could revolutionise urbanism and could ‘“ if placed within a progressive political economy ‘“ offer the potential for greater social and economic inclusion and radically shift and recast a better social contract between the state, community and citizens.‘ This is a view of extreme importance to the social sustainability of a smart city (and any city in general). URENIO emphasizes this aspect as well, as we believe that technology should underpin accessibility for all, social inclusion, open innovation and user/citizen engagement. The collective intelligence of the populace could be more resourceful than any single-machine artificial intelligence.

Read McInroy’ s entire article here.

Read about what URENIO believes of a smart city here.