Articles on Smart cities

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Adelaide’s aims in becoming a smart city include better traffic flows and highly co-ordinated transport networks. moisseyev/iStock by Getty Images

Lessons from Adelaide in how a smart city can work to benefit everyone

Smart city thinking makes good use of rapidly developing technology to help make cities work better, easier-to-navigate, safer, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.
It’s hard to see how a city can be good for all its people unless they are involved in its creation. Paul James

What actually is a good city?

Developing principles to create cities that are good for all is not easy. Who decides what is good? And for whom? We desperately need a big and general public discussion about this.
Geelong’s relatively high creative industries score, coupled with a robust rate of business entries, provides a solid foundation for steady growth. paulrommer from www.shutterstock.com

Bust the regional city myths and look beyond the ‘big 5’ for a $378b return

Regional cities can be as effective at generating jobs and growth as their big five metro cousins. But they must identify and build on their strengths to be investment-ready.
When the smart city looks inhuman: a robot police officer from Dubai greets guests at last November’s Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. Ramon Costa/AAP

Creative city, smart city … whose city is it?

The corporate world has taken the lead in promoting various creative/smart city visions, which struggle to be inclusive, let alone entrust citizens with control over their lives.
Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow! Michael Coghlan

We should create cities for slowing down

Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
Aspiring ‘smart cities’ like Barcelona have worked to build their profile – it recently hosted the Smart City Expo World Congress – but Australia may benefit from not having rushed in. Ramon Costa/AAP

From Smart Cities 1.0 to 2.0: it’s not (only) about the tech

Australia has lagged behind some other countries in its investment in smart cities, but in retrospect that may not have been such a bad thing.
Smart cities work on developing a shared vision of their preferred future. Andrea Danti/from www.shutterstock.com

Here’s what smart cities do to stay ahead

Smart cities do more than develop products to increase productivity and prosperity. Mayors, CEOs and leaders engage entire communities in shaping the future of cities.
Connecting cities should serve all citizens, not just a few. Illustration via shutterstock.com

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents.
Melbourne is powered by the coal-fired stations of Gippsland, which illustrates the problems with any urban strategy that neglects regional roles and interests. AAP/Julian Smith

‘The urban’: a concept under stress in an interconnected world

City-centric thinking arguably obscures connections between 'humans' and 'nature', and 'urban' and 'rural' or 'wild'. Growing evidence of the depths of these links is testing the concept of 'urban'.
Housing costs are driving poorer families into areas with fewer and fewer opportunities. Kate Ausburn/flickr

Smart cities wouldn’t let housing costs drive the worse-off into deeper disadvantage

The 2016 articulation of an urban agenda assumes building more highways, railways and trams will produce better, more productive cities that somehow give everyone a job.
Much of the ‘smart cities’ rhetoric is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Ase from www.shutterstock.com

Taking the city’s pulse: we need to link urban vitality back to the planet

The rhetoric of 'smart cities' is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Truly smart and resilient cities need to be more in tune with the planet.
Rather than create regulatory frameworks that allow innovations to thrive, governments have created hurdles to transformative applications like Uber or Airbnb. Torrenegra/flickr

While governments talk about smart cities, it’s citizens who create them

Governments too often hinder change, when instead they should aim to foster an organic innovation ecosystem. This is more about bottom-up innovation than top-down schemas.
Jane Jacobs holds up documentary evidence at a 1961 press conference during the campaign to save the West Village. Wikimedia Commons

What might Jane Jacobs say about smart cities?

In an age of data-driven urban science, we need to remember how Jane Jacobs gave voice to the multiple languages, meanings, experiences and knowledge systems of a vibrant city.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible. Teresa Parker/AAP

30-minute city’? Not in my backyard! Smart Cities Plan must let people have their say

Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.

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