Is being a smart city enough? What about being a truly intelligent community?

By SA2020 | Oct 2 2013

“Smart” and “intelligent” are supposed to mean the same thing. When it comes to urban areas, however, the meanings diverge. They may be moving on parallel tracks but they are different trains headed to distinct destinations.

On one hand, smart cities are big news in urban planning. These initiatives turn to technology for the solution to their problems, from traffic congestion to leakage from water mains, public safety to parking tickets. They use information and communications technology (ICT) to do more with less. For example the European Union has a smart cities initiative focused on energy efficient and low carbon technologies with goals that stretch to 2020. And in 2008 construction began on Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, a $22 billion project that is designed to produce zero emissions or waste while becoming the core of a cleantech cluster in the Emirates.

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