The Convenient City: Smart Urbanism for a Resilient City

  • Rob RoggemaEmail author
Part of the S.M.A.R.T. Environments book series (SMARTE)


The surge of smart city technology, thinking, publications and consultancy offerings is significant. This implies there is something seriously developing. But to what extent is this a new development? In this paper the case will be made that urban design has always had to include new technologies and the smart city movement is just another wave of technology that demands inclusion in urban design practice. Nevertheless, city designers and policy makers should make use of the new possibilities on offering. Interactive urban environments could support healthy living, while smart and responsive regulators could minimize our energy use, and anticipative traffic management could help minimising congestion. Further to this, crowd-sensing could smoothen urban mobility and new forms of 3d-printing may re-use and reduce waste. The core of all new technological potential however is still to service people and to make life for urban citizens better. How could people in search for a convenient life be better serviced? Many of them want to have a nice house, a clean, safe and healthy environment, access to resources such as clean water, renewable energy and healthy food, a resilient place that is not vulnerable for all kinds of climate impacts and possibly some room for contemplation. With Maslow’s ladder in mind, achieving this not only depends on the availability and use of technology, rather a well-designed and integrated urban plan is asked for. Meeting the needs of contemporary urban citizens must be served by what urban design is supposed to deliver, only now with current available technologies in the back pocket. The paper emphasises how to design the convenient city by making use of the available technology, but it also takes a stand on the relativity of the current hype of smart cities.


Smart urbanism Convenience Resilience Smart city 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre for the Built Environment NoorderRuimteHanze University of Applied SciencesGroningenThe Netherlands

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