What is a Smart City?

During the last fifty years, city dimensions have been increasing more and more, all over the world. By 2050, 70 % of population will live in cities. Cities are both places of opportunities and diseases.

The Smart City phenomenon spread quickly in recent years. It is perceived like a winning strategy to cope with severe urban problems like traffic, pollution, energy consumption, waste treatment and so on. A smart city can be linked to a complex, long-term vision for a more suitable urban area, aiming at reducing its environmental footprint and improving the quality of life for its citizens…but what is a smart city?

There can’t only be one answer to this because each city differs from each other!

Giffinger, for instance, defines a Smart City as “a city well performing in a forward-looking way in economy, people, governance, mobility, environment, and living, built on the smart combination of activities of self-decisive, independent and aware citizens”.

Transport and Mobility are two of the main sectors through which a city can play a pivotal role in its path to be smarter.

If a Smart City is a new, emerging and evolving concept, Smart Port is even newest, with no international accepted definition and with several parallel initiatives from both main international Ports and Sectoral Associations. Several initiatives have been carried out all over the world (let’s think about the Smart Port Initiative in Hamburg or at the Ship to Grid Initiative in Amsterdam) but what seems to be missing is an effective linkage between smart cities and port initiatives. They seems to be often treated as separated “hubs”. Cities and ports should perhaps be seen a single component of the smart city vision?

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