There are many definitions of smart cities, from the infusion of ICT into urban systems to intelligent design and technological optimization to reach full sustainability. 

We have blogged and shared on What is a Real Smart City:

The recent study, Mapping Smart Cities in EU, suggesting to the EIP on Smart Cities some kind of instructions on smart cities. To our mind, it might be a good sample of what is not a true smart city and how it shouldn’t be developed.

A Smart City is NOT one with at least one initiative addressing one or more of the following six characteristics: Smart Governance, Smart People, Smart Living, Smart Mobility, Smart Economy and Smart Environment.
A Smart City is NOT city seeking to address public issues via ICT-based solutions on the basis of a multi-stakeholder, municipally based partnership.

A real or true smart city is a unified urban entity with three critical layers/levels/spaces, all planned, developed and managed as its integral parts:

• Digital/ICT/Hi-Tech/Ubiquitous/Cyber/Mobile/Digitally Smart and Intelligent City (Digital/Information Capital; Digital Urban Spaces, Multi-Play Telecom Network, ICT spaces/systems/applications, Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous Computation, Cloud Computing, Network-integrated Real Estate, City OS, Intelligent City Management Platform, Augmented Virtual Reality, Virtual Lifestyle);

• Sustainable/Ecological/Green/Zero-Carbon/Zero-Waste/Eco Friendly/Clean City (Natural Capital; Natural Urban Spaces and Ecosystems, Green Energy Network, Real Eco Estate, Ecological buildings, Green Lifestyle);

• Knowledge/Learning/Innovation/Intelligent/Science/Intellectual/LivingLab/Creative/Human/Social/Inclusive City/Noopolis (Knowledge Capital; Innovation Systems, Meaningful Urban Spaces, Collective Intelligence, Knowledge Triangle/Ecology, Health Triangle, Human Social City, Intelligent/Smart Lifestyle).

A truly smart city is three innovative cities in one, the Urban Trinity of Information Cyber City, Intelligent/Knowledge City and Ecological/Clean city. It is essential to draw distinctions between a smart city, as a unified urban entity, and “smart city” technologies, applications, and systems, as well as fragmented “smart city” projects, lacking the overall conception of the smart city project and resulting in unsustainably over-costly ventures.   

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Original author: asha