In this article I argue that the development of the so-called buzzword smart city and its use in planning inner cities are intimately bound up with required current urban transformations. In this attempt to deconstruct or unplug the buzzword, this paper shows a sample of the current EU Smart City universe by focusing on four projects the author is engaged in. The conclusion of the article revolves around the necessity to plug stakeholders in by setting up a new, complex, multi-stakeholder, city-regional urbanity as a way to transit towards real smartness in cities and regions. To plug in, or connect, stakeholders, one should consider: the interdependencies among them; the need of democratic mechanisms to manage data; the need to scale up urban solutions to metropolitan/city-regional levels; the intent to provide comparative evidence-based data; and finally, the tendency to establish not only quantitative but also qualitative rankings and city dashboards that will enable adaptability rather than replicability.
Calzada, I. (2016), (Un)Plugging Smart Cities with Urban Transformations: Towards Multistakeholder City-Regional Complex Urbanity? URBS, Revista de Estudios Urbanos y Ciencias Sociales Journal 6(2): 25-45. (ISSN: 2014-2714). Retrieved from: http://www2.ual.es/urbs/index.php/urbs/article/view/calzada