The Rise Of Post Coronavirus Smart Cities


The city is a kind of reservoir—people can both easily enter and easily leave a city in
order to move to a suburban or rural area, provided they have the financial means to do so.

People always have to make compromising choices, and to follow priorities and decisions regarding their well-being, health and happiness, thereby impacting current and future cities.

People want their ‘frontdoor in the city centre and a backdoor in the forest’.

The current debate on ‘The New Urban World’ calls for a critical debate that may play an important role in finding out why people would choose to stay or leave the city, as in the urban to rural flight during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, but also events such as the 9/11 attacks, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, and so forth.

There is a permanent centripetal and centrifugal movement to and from the city. As things stand now (based on historical facts), most cities have always become bigger over the past centuries.

To keep pace with the structural transformation of settlement patterns of people and with persistent and rapid urbanisation, smart cities need to adjust themselves to new circumstances (using new technology, ‘digitisation’, data, information, vision) and develop effects and response strategies in collaborative partnership with citizens by ‘putting people first’.

Consequently, the success of well-designed XXQ ( or the highest possible quality of urban life) strategies to strengthen intelligent urbanism has become an essential element to launch foundational transformations at different relevant scale levels of the urban fabric.

In this context, resilience capability building—in a transparent and systemic collaboration with the involvement of ‘end-users’ and ‘co-producers’ (people)—may power an intelligent transformation of cities, using new technologies and data analytics.

In turn, making smart governance effective, with jointly undertaken strategic efforts—by continuously anticipating changing circumstances, urban paradoxes, pandemics, crises and shocks, and by decoding and converting threats into opportunities—is helping to change and to focus their urban development trajectories on crucial value-building elements in order to maximise the achievement of a sustainable happy and healthy city.

We also note that there is a need for strict intelligent governance systems and response mechanisms to avoid any kind of ‘policy lockdown’.

Furthermore, to create a full-scale flexibility and a smart adaptability to these changes, we need instantaneous—pandemic and socio-economic—interventions and responses from effective policy and governance in order to cope with the supply and demand shocks and responses in the COVID-19 pandemic, equity in healthcare utilisation or panic behaviour responses (‘non-social behaviour’) during disaster and calamities.

This may help in providing user-oriented decision tools to develop preventive strategies (e.g., security control) and interact under (un)certain future conditions and interruptions.

In particular, when taking into consideration the present pressing concerns, it may also help to address current and future urban complications and urban paradoxes on the basis of ‘city intelligence’.

This helps to build strong urban capacity network linkages and effective resilience strategies so as to make a better risk assessment in the face of uncertainty in different ways and levels.

Admittedly, the access to ‘city intelligence’ is unequally distributed, so that any corona- inspired dynamics will reflect socio-spatial disparities in cities.

Clearly, strengthening citizen empowerment and partnership is crucial for building an intelligent ‘resilience agglomeration’ to launch ‘foundational transformations’.

This calls for solid and comparable databases (and underlying metrics) on sustainable development to identify a multiplicity of answers in order to develop effective policy intervention tools and related intelligent solutions. continue reading