Smart City: who are the actors of the smart city?

Faced with the challenges raised by global warming, the development of new technologies and population growth, a number of urban planning studies have recently emerged. The smart city or intelligent city is one of the most promising projects in terms of innovation. From citizens to local authorities and industries, smart cities bring together a large number of players.

Citizens as major players in the smart city

Referred to in French by the expression “ville intelligente”, the notion of smart city aims to optimize the relationships and interactions between the different actors of the city of tomorrow. In 2018, the Terra Nova association published a report on this subject based on various studies[1]. For local elected officials, it is a matter of working to set up private/public partnerships in order to promote the development of smart cities.

The smart city can only develop through the contribution of the various players in urban areas. In this context, citizens are of prime importance. As they live, work and evolve within the urban fabric, citizens must be involved in the thinking and development processes of the smart city.

smart city vie iot hero

From the neighbourhood to the street, via the building, each part of the territory must be studied in depth. Citizens are also encouraged to reflect on their changing lifestyles and needs, but also on how they interact with the urban environment: 

    • transport,
    • infrastructure,
    • energy consumption,
    • etc.

Local authorities, urban planning professionals and industrialists

Transforming our traditional cities into smart cities requires a strong mobilization of local authorities. By promoting the appropriate use of new technologies and the use of renewable energies, the smart city enjoys a positive public image. The action taken by local authorities to encourage its emergence is thus facilitated.

Public institutions are also concretely participating in the implementation of projects in this direction with the creation of eco-districts. Whether it is in terms of lifestyle or the safety of inhabitants, local authorities have the role of ensuring the transition to the city of tomorrow under the best possible conditions.

In order for the smart city and its environment to have a concrete future, they must also rely on the skills of industry and urban planning professionals. The technological and social issues linked to such a project imply a transversal and cooperative work between each of these different protagonists. From transport to energy and telecommunications, all the key sectors of the urban world must be involved.


[1] “Rapport d’activité 2018”, Terra nova

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