Do smart cities realise their potential for lower carbon dioxide emissions? M Cavada, D V.L. Hunt, C D.F. Rogers

ICE - Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability Ahead of print SSN 1478-4629 | E-ISSN 1751-7680



‘Smart cities’ embrace technologically based solutions as an enabler of efficient, affordable and more sustainable urban living in times of resource scarcity, persistent austerity and high-tech innovations. However, cities’ evermore complex systems are, albeit unwittingly, causing mismanagement, future uncertainty and lack of transparency to exacerbate their challenges. Climate change is likely to be the greatest of the contextual challenge scale and in terms of scale and diversity of impacts. This paper explores the role of smartness indicators, in which ‘green’ undoubtedly is a large innovation engine, yet not the only one. Similarly, the beneficial impacts of ‘green’ technology solutions are yet to be fully understood or rigorously established. Cities that adopted smart roadmaps embedded lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within the environmental sustainability agenda; however, the degree to which the two issues have been directly linked is unclear. Findings from this study suggest that lower carbon dioxide emission initiatives are embodied within the environmental sustainability initiatives agenda, yet are not clearly defined in the smart cities ideology. This paper proposes a balanced combination of human talent, ‘green’ innovation and technological innovation – the interdependent triptych philosophy for ‘smart city’ resilience that can be adapted and offer tailored solutions for cities, communities and individuals.