Data-Driven Smart Sustainable Cities: A Conceptual Framework for Urban Intelligence Functions and Related Processes, Systems, and Sciences

  • Simon Elias BibriEmail author
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


Cities epitomize complex systems par excellence, more than the sum of their parts and developed through a multitude of individual and collective decisions from the bottom up to the top down. Data-driven smart sustainable cities are becoming even more complex with the very technologies being used to understand and deal with them in terms of their operational functioning, management, planning, and design. Therefore, there is a need for more innovative solutions and sophisticated approaches as to the way such cities can be monitored, understood, and analyzed so as to be more efficiently planned and designed and more effectively operated and managed in line with the long-term vision of sustainability. This chapter examines data-driven smart sustainable urbanism, focusing on new urban intelligence functions and related processes, systems, and sciences. Further, it proposes and illustrates a conceptual framework for data-driven smart sustainable cities on the basis of advanced technologies and data-intensive approaches to science. To achieve these aims, a thematic analysis method is adopted to cope with the vast body of the multidisciplinary literature. We conclude that urban intelligence functions as new conceptions of how data-driven smart sustainable cities function play a pivotal role in facilitating the synergy between urban planning, design, management, and operational functioning in terms of producing the expected benefits of sustainability. The proposed framework represents a conceptual structure intended to serve as a guide for building a model of data-driven smart sustainable cities that can expand the structure into something useful on the basis of further qualitative analyses, empirical investigations, and practical implementations. This work contributes to bringing data-analytic thinking and intelligence to the domain of smart sustainable urbanism, and draws special attention to the clear prospect of big data science and analytics to transform the future form of such urbanism and tackle the kind of complexities it embodies.


Data-driven smart sustainable cities Big data computing Intelligence functions Simulation models Complexity science Urban science Data science Data-intensive science 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Department of Architecture and PlanningNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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