Unpacking a Smart City Model: The Hegemony of Ecological and Information Paradigms in Urban Space

By Claudio Marciano.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The city is a privileged place from which to analyze the emergence of new social demands and conflicts. Informational and ecological paradigms of contemporary urban landscape collect them in an ideal type called, in many scientific and policy perspectives, Smart City. To be economically competitive, socially developed and culturally modern, cities have to face sustainability and digital innovation challenges. This involves implementing new technologies and organizational architectures in both sectors: recycle, zero energy buildings, car sharing as well as broadband, cloud computing services, and accessibility. Often these elements are not isolated: ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) research is increasingly focused on the improvement of environmental outputs. The convergence between technologies is directly linked with the emergence of new social practices and cultural acquisitions. Digital innovation, ecological issues and integrated solutions populate the policy agenda of many European cities, often overcoming political belongings, generating new life styles. You can project zero energy buildings because you have 3D Digital Software, but you use it to save energy because we are aware of environmental risks. The key topic of this paper is communication understood as collective and connective intelligence able to solve problems, an immaterial infrastructure linked with material and human capitals able to change the network of power between sub social systems. To be still functional, sub social systems should increase interoperability and decrease auto-reference. In essence it means creating a platform where citizen, firms, and public administrations share data, opinions and information. It requires expanding the opportunity for everyone to be connected, to widen participation, to increase openness and interoperability. What is the shape of this platform? What consequences would produce her implementation in the organization of power? To what extent is the Smart City Model politically naive?

Keywords: Smart City, Ecological Sustainability, Digital Innovation, Human Capital, Communication Platform

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 430.086KB).

Dr Claudio Marciano

Ph.D Student, Communication and Social Research Department, University of Rome - La Sapienza, Minister of Economic Development, Rome, Lazio, Italy

In October 2011, Claudio started his Doctorate in "Science of Communication." He carries out his research between the University La Sapeinza and the Minister of Economic Development, focusing on technologies of communication for sustainability and social inclusion. Claudio is an assistant to the chair of Environmental Sociology, Prof. Anna Rosa Montani. Claudio is a contribution with La Nuova Ecologia, a national ecologist journal. Claudio’s interests for urban studies and ecological issues started when he was Alderman in his hometown, Formia (40.000 habitants), for five years working on environmental policy.