The smart city model: A new panacea for urban sustainability or unmanageable complexity?
Despite several calls in this journal of debating the rapid growth of the literature on “smart cities”, such a debate has in large been absent. Smart cities are often un-critically launched as a sustainable way of developing cities. When cities become increasingly complex as its features are wired into the Internet, theories for their understanding is lagging behind. As it is prospected that a greater number of people and things will become connected by Information and Computer Technology, the complexity of urban systems will over time increase. Historical insights reveal that as complexity in societies increase, growth in energy consumption tends to follow. In this paper, we discuss whether complexity carried too far could lead to diminishing returns of energy saving and create unmanageable urban systems.
As part of initiating such a debate, this commentary asks whether the smart cities development has a bearing on the issue whether a society can erode its capacity of sustaining itself? We pose this question against the backdrop that no one actually knows what type of society the smart cities model in the end will generate.
General news | 2023-02-02
Three quick questions for Marcus Lundstedt, our new head of communications
We welcome Marcus Lundstedt, the centre's new head of communications, and have a quick chat with him about his new role
Research news | 2023-01-30
The best way to deal with shocks is by combining diverse responses
Humankind’s best chance to deal with looming turbulences and crises is by diversifying response strategies
Research news | 2023-01-30
Policymakers need to work more closely with researchers to fight the global food crisis
We are facing the worst food crisis in modern history – Sweden and the EU need to take action to shift how food is produced and consumed. That was the message from researchers to policymakers during a high-level meeting for the Swedish government at Stockholm Resilience Centre
Research news | 2023-01-19
Time for an "IPCC for the ocean"
Leading ocean experts propose a new International Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS) to build consensus and inform policy
Research news | 2023-01-13
Going beyond dichotomies of local versus global food systems
Food systems are becoming increasingly stressed, but whether they are local or global is not the big issue
Research news | 2022-12-22
Overshooting climate targets could significantly increase risk for tipping cascades
Temporarily overshooting the climate targets of 1.5-2 degrees Celsius could increase the tipping risk of several Earth system elements by more than 70 per cent, a new risk analysis study shows