Smart Cities as an operating concept promotes social and environmental sustainability. Acknowledging the detrimental environmental impact of the conventional urban lifestyle, it promotes a culture of recycling and environmental design strategies that focus on integrating greenscapes with urban design. Today’s metropolitan areas must face the issue of the economic divide with smart urban landscapes that function as sites of mediation between groups with conflicting interests. Technology has transformed our physical world into a hybrid of materials and information; Smart Cities consider the possibility of sensing their dynamics in real-time, and making this information available to both citizens and institutions. They invest in simplifying urban accessibility with interactive and digitally retrofitted architectures, and capitalize on the ability of public art to socially empower citizens. They envision an active future of human cohabitation by taking advantage of technological and socio-cultural trends to provide the infrastructure for a secure and desirable standard of urban living.
The symposium on Smart Cities is partially funded through a collaboration between the University of Bergamo in Italy and the Harvard GSD with the goal of creating an exhaustive catalogue of technologically enhanced, intelligent solutions based on their intrinsic value for sustainable urban development and growth, as well as their applicability to problem areas specific to the city of Bergamo. The outcome of this collaborative exercise will be integrated into an ongoing initiative at the University of Bergamo titled CITTA’ 2.(035), which is focused on a smartened-up vision of the Bergamo region for the year 2035.