by Luís Balula.
The world is experiencing an unprecedented rate of urbanization. In China alone each year 10 million people migrate from rural to urban areas, a flow predicted to add up to 350 million new residents in urban areas by 2030 (Balula and Bina 2015). Globally, cities already account for 70% of wealth creation, but also for 60% of total energy consumption, 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 70% of global waste (UN Habitat 2015). It is a global imperative to develop urban systems that integrate all aspects of sustainability to promote equity and shared prosperity, together with urban development patterns that improve the livability of cities while reducing resource consumption . . . This article explores the smart city model, in particular the roles of new Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in addressing sustainable urban development toward improved urban governance and just socio-technical transitions. It also argues for the importance of strategic planning for city development, with physical planning and social policy supporting the “smart” dimension of the city, not the other way around. CONTINUE READING >