The article “Smart City Planning from an Evolutionary Perspective ‘ by N. Komninos, C. Kakderi, A. Panori and P. Tsarchopoulos was published in the Journal of Urban Technology and focuses on the parallel efforts and initiatives that have been made in the case of Thessaloniki to promote its vision to transform the city into a smart and sustainable place, including ICT solutions fostered by civic communities and individual developers. The study clearly shows that the strategy and actions guided by the vision for an open, global, smart, and resilient city, have been largely shaped by a series of opportunities that appeared gradually over the last few years, both at global and local levels.
In the theory of urban development, the evolutionary perspective is becoming dominant. Cities are understood as complex systems shaped by bottom-up processes with outcomes that are hard to foresee and plan for. This perspective is strengthened by the current turn towards smart cities and the intensive use of digital technologies to optimize urban ecosystems. This paper extends the evolutionary thinking and emerging dynamics of cities to smart city planning. It is based on recent efforts for a smart city strategy in Thessaloniki that enhances the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the city. Taking advantage of opportunities offered by the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities, the World Bank, and the EU Horizon 2020 Program, Thessaloniki shaped a strategy for an inclusive economy, resilient infrastructure, participatory governance, and open data. This process, however, does not have the usual features of planning. It reveals the complex dimension of smart city planning as a synthesis of technologies, user engagement, and windows of opportunity, which are fuzzy at the start of the planning process. The evolutionary features of cities, which until now were ascribed to the working of markets, are now shaping the institutional aspects of planning for smart cities.
Reference: Komninos, N., Kakderi, C., Panori, A., & Tsarchopoulos, P. (2018). Smart City Planning from an Evolutionary Perspective. Journal of Urban Technology, 1-18.
You can find the full article here.