Managing Urban Complexity: Project and Risk Management and Polycentric and Participatory Governance

  • Simon Elias BibriEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


The widespread dissemination of sustainability, the rapid urbanization of the world, and the global rise of ICT are the three most important global trends at play across the urban world today. They will most likely change the way cities can be managed and developed drastically. They are also rendering the tasks of urban management increasingly more challenging on many scales with regard to city development. This implies that the management of urban systems and what they entail in terms of operations, functions, processes, and services in the context of smart sustainable cities require complex interdisciplinary knowledge pertaining not only to project management and multiscale and participatory governance, but also to the administration of ICT and related computational and data analytics processes. These three urban management functions are particularly associated with significant risks and challenges that need to be managed and overcome, respectively, in the process of making decisions as part of the development of smart sustainable cities of the future. However, topical studies on project management, governance, and risk management approach these topics from a general perspective predominantly. From a somewhat specific perspective, the focus in this chapter is rather on these urban management functions in relation to smart sustainable cities as having distinctive characteristics with respect to both the ubiquity presence and massive use of ICT and what this entails in terms of information security risks as well as the complexity of multiscale and participatory governance structures and project management processes. This chapter intends to explore urban and ICT project and related risk management in the context of smart sustainable cities, as well as the various models of governance of their functioning and development. The emphasis in risk management is placed on both urban development and ICT projects as well as information security in relation to the use of cloud computing as an increasingly widely applied solution for big data and context-aware applications. As to governance models, we put emphasis on polycentric, participatory, and big data forms. This is deemed of particular importance to providing insights into workable, practice-oriented solutions for the management of the complexity of smart sustainable cities increasingly being sought by urban planners, strategists, policymakers, and decision-makers.


Smart sustainable cities Urban sustainability Urban management Project management Risk management Multiscale and participatory governance Urban development projects ICT projects 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information Science, Department of Urban Design and PlanningNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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