Smart Urbanism

Smart Urbanism requires cities to commit themselves with integrated, sustainable and participative urban growth. The way worldwide cities evolve will guide the future of society not only in the urban development field, but also in their economic, ecological and civic engagement aspects.

Nowadays, the main challenges we face require that cities renew their strategies to achieve better living conditions in urban areas, so that they can offer their citizens equitable and inclusive places to develop their daily life. The increasing of urban population worldwide will threaten urban planners and governors with phenomena such as the new urban management system that Megacities will need, slum upgrading and inclusive development patterns that guarantee the integration of the former rural citizens in the urban life.

In the consolidated urban regions, like Europe, cities will have to define how they evolve to achieve:

  • Sustainable development: focusing on strategic planning for their regions, paying attention to the viability of their development strategies and avoiding the construction of infrastructure with no real demand.
  • Inclusive growth: in order to reach all parts of society and not letting that urban development attaches social exclusion via gentrification processes or physical delimitation of ghettos. Physical planning can help to create cities in which people of diverse social positionsand cultures live together on an equal footing.
  • Housing accessibility: as a fundamental factor of quality of life in a city. Urbanism should enable the mechanisms that assure an affordable source of housing possibilities to all parts of society, taking it into account when physical planning is thought.
  • Public participation and empowerment: bottom-up initiatives may coincide withand complement top-down initiatives. Both parts may take advantage of the new Information and Communication Technologies services that would help them communicate before any city planning choice is made.

ICT, Big Data analyses and new GIS systems can provide useful tools to support smarter choices regarding urban growth. Urban planners, designers, citizens and governors should take advantage of the new possibilities they offer to achieve a much more connected and cooperative urbanism.