The « smart » and « green » fashion : both a trend and a highly competitive market
The list of labels that have flourished is too long to even dare analyzing the full semantic variety of this emerging trend (let’s say, to fix the ideas on that, that it’s already some 20-25 years old). The labels prevailing today are : smart cities or intelligent cities, creative cities, green or sustainable cities. There are also valuable attempts under such labels as innovative cities, flexible cities, mesh cities and cities of the future. None of these concept is fully clear, satisfying and sustainable and sufficient (making others unnecessary), as they are different conceptual but also territorial claims on issues and working traditions, as we shall see, but also business territories, on the markets of communication influence, political lobbying, technology selling and image marketing, partly overlapping each other, and therefore in tight competition for general attention and eventual recognition.
This « market » opposes social, economic, academic and cultural entrepreneurs, each one with his/her own constituency, identity and territory, from which trying to expand, and made of events, rankings, awards and marketing announcements. The key questions, for anyone wishing to do anything meaningful and effective for his/her own urban environment, or in a business perspective, to enhance urban equipment and service for instance, is : what to think of this overwhelming and pervasively sprouting celebration of « intelligence » or «green-ness / sustainability » (in a predominantly unsustainable world !), assume ably given to cities and how to get oriented so as to keep a certain entrepreneurial capacity, not immediately already worn out in above-mentioned worldwide market.
Let’s first clarify the key concepts of this evolution. Smart/intelligent, creative and green cities :Smart City
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