Smart City Concepts: Chances and Risks of Energy Efficient Urban Development

  • Rudolf Giffinger
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 579)


On the background of globalisation and climate change discussions about urban development are increasingly concentrating on economic performance and positioning as well as issues of social polarization and environmental conditions. As such trends are in particular affecting urban development attention is focusing on the question how cities might meet challenges of improved quality of life, energy efficiency and sustainable development, but also of improved urban competitiveness in an interregional and even global context.

Due to these trends and challenges the idea of a Smart City concept emerged and has been widely discussed. However, looking on this discussion (and respective strategic efforts) one can easily detect the different understandings which are more or less directly related to the question ‘How can cities use and implement technical innovations in the urban fabric?’.

Facing these trends this paper will deal with following questions: Which meaning do innovations have in the different Smart City approaches? What are the impacts of different understandings? Why does the place based understanding of Smart City strengthen a sustainable development?.

Dealing with these questions the contribution gives an overview about the understanding of the Smart City idea and the differences existing across specific approaches. Then, chances and risks regarding energy efficient urban developments are worked out. Finally, the contribution will conclude with specific suggestions of a place based understanding of Smart City initiatives from the point of view of strategic planning.


Smart city Place based understanding Urban innovation Integrative approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Regional Science, Department of Spatial PlanningTU WienViennaAustria

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