Smart city research highlights

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Tampere urban fabric. worldarchitecture.org

The renowned Finish research instititution VTT has just published Smart city research highlights, an extensive guide to the scientific progress on the field of the smart cities.

Many have tried to define what a smart city is, or should be, and many have failed. The question is kind of resolved by reading through the dozens of projects that researchers in VTT are working at, and by reflecting at the subsequent challenges they are addressing.

Boosting collaborative planning with visualization technology, developing new urban services by citizen-driven co-design, use of gamification to foster mutual learning in healthcare, augmented reality for building maintenance, visual and participative urban planning tools, or ICT supported business in energy positive neighborhoods… are just a few glimpses of a wide array of disciplines that are enlightened by means of VTT’s research efforts.

Amongst them, we are proud to collaborate with VTT’s smart city research team on the Citykeys project, whose goal is “to boost the widescale deployment of smart city solutions”, by creating the “necessary framework for performance assesment of the deployment of smart cities technologies.” As one of the 5 pilot cities in Citykeys, Zaragoza will showcase the application of the indicators framework to a couple of smart city projects: the “safe routes to school” program, and the CIEM start-up incubator (located at the city’s first zero emissions building). We think they are a good test to trial the performance assesment tools developed so far, since both projects summarize Zaragoza’s understanding of what a smart city should be: high quality public space, sustainability, cooperation, innovation and autonomy gains for our locals (whether they are children or geeks, or both 😉

A final word: for those urban practitioners in the field of smart cities, or for those individuals just curious to understand what is smoke and what is reality around this booming technology trend, the Smart cities research… guide offers countless paths to viable prototypes, some of which, for our excitement, materialize ideas we just had started to develop as part of our work in urban innovation.

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