Work has been done to create "smart communities," a concept which includes information technologies as indicators for future urban planning and development, but there is still some blurriness about what these transformations really intend to do.
In a October 2007 report presented by Smart Cities in Europe, developed by the University of Ljubljana, Vienna University of Technology and Delft University of Technology, the whole concept was broken down into six main dimensions that can be applied to any city, anywhere:
- Smart Economy (Competitiveness);
- Smart People (Social and Human Capital);
- Smart Governance (Participation);
- Smart Mobility (Transport, Information and Communications Technology);
- Smart Environment (Natural Resources);
- Smart Living (Quality of Life).
What about in Latin America and Buenos Aires? Can this "any city, anywhere" concept relate to the problems in our cities? Is some effort being made from local universities to define Smart Cities with a Latin world-view?
The answer is yes, at the Observatory for Urban Sustainability at the University of Belgrano we are working on developing new indicators that can be used to expand the applicability of the Smart Cities concept into the specific case of Buenos Aires.
With the help of American climate strategist Boyd Cohen (who currently resides in Argentina and is working for the University of San Andrés), author of "Climate Capitalism," sustainable transportation has been redefined. These redefined indicators not only promote public transportation and green vehicles, but consider public reaction and how the real estate market develops as a consequence of this "Smart Mobility" transformation.
In a city, everything relates to its surroundings in some way, and the connection between Mobility and Social and Human Capital is just the beginning, as can been seen in Cohen’s Smart Cities’ wheel, something we consider to be an excellent tool in the analysis of Smart planning.
One final thing to note is that it is not only the work from academia that matters, but what can be done with this information on a more practical level. It is not only about what the government can do, but what the Social and Technical Entrepreneur can add to this analysis, and put into practice with creative answers that will lead us into a Smarter Buenos Aires.
Political will from the government has already been granted by the Ministry of Modernization, so from now on, hard work is what we have ahead of us.
What would you add as smart cities indicators for your own community?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.