Inventing the city of tomorrow

“Smart City” is a commonly used term that may refer to any so-called “smart” districts or areas. While these terms often refer to the deployment of technological resources…their scope covers so much more!

Admittedly, smart cities optimise the management of natural and economic resources on the basis of data generated to guide decision-making processes. But this concept is particularly rooted in the idea of a sustainable city and prioritises human needs.

The smart city focuses on several objectives that can be simplified on the basis of Boyd’s wheel:

  • Encouraging citizens to participate in public life and facilitating administrative procedures (Smart Governance): this means involving residents in decisions that directly concern them in order to increase their affinity with – and involvement in – the projects of the community, in the interests of inclusion.
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, making better use of natural resources and improving the living environment of inhabitants (Smart Environment):
    • Buildings, which still account for approximately 30% of carbon emissions, must become energy efficient.
    • The blue-green city principle with optimised climate and water resource management locally also improves the living environment.
  • Improving quality of life (Smart Living) by delivering better municipal health services, while keeping citizens safer and more secure and making cultural services more widely accessible
  • Optimising the mobility of people and logistics (Smart Mobility): infrastructure become modular, connected and adaptable in real time, and mobility applications are deployed in several regions in France and Switzerland.

Improving urban quality of life

Data-driven approaches are just one of many strategies. The most important thing is the purpose of the approach: to develop a city built for the women and men who live there. Two essential factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Placing human needs – instead of technology – at the heart of daily concerns
  • Factor the concept of sustainable development into all new construction and investment projects

And seeing as there is no such thing as a desert island in our regions, let’s work in unison with neighbouring municipalities and regions. The urbanisation of the past few decades gives us the chance to navigate our path through the climate transition!

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