2050: over 65% of the world’s population will be living in cities covering barely 2% of the surface of the globe. This stark contrast alone is sure to impose limitations on the further evolution of the urban phenomenon that first appeared many centuries ago, heralding ever more complexity, friction and social upheaval.
Now the concept of the Smart City seems to offer solutions to these tensions, providing an appropriate response to the many challenges and holding out the promise of a cleaner, safer, more manageable, more economical, more attractive, more cultured – in a nutshell, nicer – town to live in. This people-oriented project, unlike the grand visions of the ‘ideal‘ city conceived by 18th century planners, is based on continuity – following on from, not eradicating, the history and culture of existing towns. By the very nature of its ambition, the Smart City calls for new approaches, new actors and new tools – both in the technological domain and on the political front.