jueves, 11 de julio de 2013

Smart City? There is no such thing as a Smart City!

This is not the first time you have read the "Smart City" terms together (at least, you have read them in the title). The first time you read or heard about it, you may have wondered about its meaning. Is it about an intelligent city? About a tidy one? Both?

When I first googled about smart cities, almost every article started trying to define the concept (I did that too the first time I posted about Smart Cities!). Many began by saying that population is growing and concentrating into cities, and that they have to be prepared for that... The big differences are in how people, public and private organizations think about the way to prepare the city. Each one elaborates according to its perspective: technological, social, urbanistic, architectural, economic, etcetera.

The big thing is that somehow, suddenly, there is global consciousness about the need that cities must "stay alive", like people or companies, and that is revolutionary. We do not want cities to suffer pains, to shrink, or to be sick, because city problems are transmitted to us, city inhabitants, who aspire to live healthy, wealthy and happy. So, cities now have to work hard to be Sustainable, from economic, social and environmental points of view.

Then, a city with a set of intentions or initiatives to make the city Sustainable, is told to aspire to be a Smart City. But, when can we say a city IS a Smart City? The response is quite straightforward: never. There will always be new technologies, ideas, practices, experiences, policies, methods... to improve city sustainability.

The term "Smart City" is cool, and very useful: it helps A LOT to its purpose.

As you can deduce from my post, for me, a "Smart City" is the unachievable objective of a city that consciously has the purpose and initiatives to be sustainable. A "Smart City" does not really exist, it is "only" a concept, a concept that will continuously improve our quality of live and that will change the face of the world we are living in for better.

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