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Manchester Urban Institute

Smart Cities and Transitions

The notion of the ‘smart city’ is increasingly being leveraged by a range of public and private stakeholders to optimise the delivery and management of collective urban services such as energy, transport and water.

Through the rollout of comprehensive sensor networks and data collection and analysis, smart infrastructure networks promise to tame the complexities of contemporary cities and make cities more environmentally friendly and liveable.

Amsterdam waterfront

Meanwhile, the political and social aspects of the smart agenda related to privatisation, security, surveillance and democracy remain undetermined.

Urban researchers have multiple opportunities to engage in the smart urbanism agenda through observation and critique as it rolls out, providing expertise and analysing and assessing data, and participating as partners in smart city trials.

Moreover, as cities are pressured by multiple drives of changes, the on-going transition process not only speaks to the smart city agenda but also a variety of experiments in new governance and planning systems.

This theme houses the EU-funded Triangulum project: