Modern digital technologies can help cities increase welfare and productivity, address environmental concerns, improve public spaces, make urban environment more inclusive and mobile, and reach out to the citizens.
The conclusions on how the city lives and how its residents use space are based on monitoring its everyday activities, collecting and analyzing data obtained from digital technology and devices. CCTV, sensors, cloud technology and wireless networks help trace traffic and pedestrian flows, level of security, environmental status and climate change. Their data is used to check the current situation in the city, generate urban environment quality indices and produce territory development plans.
Urban environment quality assessment should go beyond a set of criteria, albeit comfort, up-to-dateness, or government effectiveness. The popular concept of a "smart city" centered on technology aims to improve living standards in general. Local administration often perceives "smartization" processes as a means to solve multiple urban issues. However, pervasive implementation of artificial intelligence can lead to one-size-fits-all solutions, digital inequality, excessive control and other problems.
How to maintain balance between the city's smartness and humanity? What changes are brought about by technology? How to know if the city meets the modern standards of living? Is the process of city planning and governance going to change in the future? And what is the future awaiting the cities of today?