Practical understandings and use of smart city concepts in Australia

  • YEAR
    Melles, Fanni
    Paay, Jeni
    Woodcock, Ian
    Rusenova, Gergana
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Practice Based & Interdisciplinary Design & Research


Humanity and its only home, the planet Earth, are facing significant challenges. Habitats need to prepare for crises such as overpopulation, climate change, and economic instability. Cities, providing home for more than half of human kind, are known to consume the majority of the Earth’s resources, produce most of the waste and emit great amount of greenhouse gasses. As acknowledged by many international, national, and regional organisations, these challenges require new approaches to urban planning, design and management to transition existing urban areas to more resilient and sustainable futures. The smart city is proposed as a potential approach, although its adoption is far from widespread, especially in urban design. This paper investigates how the smart city concept is used and implemented, and the presented challenges are targeted in design practices of Australia, through interviews with design practitioners. We present preliminary findings on different understandings of the smart city and the required changes for cities. Early evidence indicates lack of agreement around the smart city concept, and overarching themes with various elements regarding the concerns, opportunities and strengths of the future of cities by those who use it in their design practice.

Keywords: Smart city; practical use; interviews; professional understanding.


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