© 2020

Sustainable Urbanism in Digital Transitions

From Low Carbon to Smart Sustainable Cities


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 1-8
  3. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 9-20
  4. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 21-34
  5. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 35-47
  6. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 49-57
  7. Mary J. Thornbush, Oleg Golubchikov
    Pages 59-62
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 63-65

About this book


This book examines how contemporary urbanism is influenced by digital and low carbon transitions. From its infancy at the scale of individual buildings, a focus on ‘green’ agenda, energy, and resource efficiency has fostered research and policies for low carbon cities, eco-cities, and increasingly intelligent and smarter urban systems. Cities around the world are getting ‘smarter’ as more advanced technology is integrated into urban planning and design. People are relying more on digital and information and communication technology (ICT) in their daily lives, while cities are adopting more digital technology to monitor and gather information about people and their environment. This leads to Big Data collection, which is used to inform governance and improve urban performance. These transformations, however, raise critical questions, including whether emerging smart sustainable cities are too technocratic, but also with regard to citizen involvement. This brief addresses these important contemporary concerns through a review of literature and existing urban strategies. It should be of interest to everyone involved in advancing sustainable cities and smart cities. It should also be a relevant read for students and researchers in this area.


Technical Dimension Advanced Technology Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Urban Efficiency Urban Resilience Sustainable Cities Intelligent Cities Smarter Cities Smart Cities Smart Energy Cities

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.School of Geography and PlanningCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

About the authors

Dr Mary J. Thornbush is presently a researcher of the Ecological Footprint Initiative based in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Canada. She has over 80 publications in the areas of applied geomorphology and environmental and urban sustainability. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford addressed urban sustainability through a study of air emissions from transport in central Oxford and investigated their impacts on the weathering of its historical limestone buildings. Her relevant publications include a special journal issue on Geography, Urban Geomorphology and Sustainability in Area (2015) as well as books such as Vehicular Air Pollution and Urban Sustainability: An Assessment from Central Oxford, UK (2015, Springer) and a volume on Urban Geomorphology: Landforms and Processes in Cities (2018, Elsevier).

Dr Oleg Golubchikov is Reader in Human Geography at the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University. He previous worked as an academic at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham. He has also held visiting academic positions in Sweden, Finland, and Russia. His research interests lie with urban political geography, sustainable cities, and energy geography. His recent research interrogates the relationships between spatial governance and urban and regional transformations in the context of major contemporary societal ‘projects’ including post-socialist and post-carbon transitions. He has developed research projects and collaborations across Europe and in the BRIC countries. His research also informs international policies. He has advised the United Nations on aspects of sustainable housing, urban development, and low carbon cities.

Bibliographic information