From transition towns to smart cities : opportunities and challenges

Dimitrijevic, Branka (2015) From transition towns to smart cities : opportunities and challenges. Computers and Law, 26 (2). pp. 26-28. ISSN 0140-3249

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The article highlights two successful approaches in engaging with political structures and communities to address global issues such as climate change, species extinction, global population growth, poverty, housing shortage, aging population, energy security, financial crisis and economic recession. While one approach focused on how to influence governments to make a transition to low carbon economy, the other one turned to communities and individuals with the aim to initiate social innovation which will lead to more sustainable living. The first one has influenced industrial innovation, the second social innovation. Both have the opportunity to achieve greater impacts with an increased availability of data required for social innovation, i.e. problem-solving and social change achieved through the activism of social groups, organisations, communities and individuals. As small towns might develop social innovations faster than big cities, and as these should be captured and shared, the article provided an example of the growing social innovation activities in a small Scottish town stimulated by both of the above approaches.