Title: Developing the PlanIT Valley: a view on the governance and societal embedding of u-eco city pilots

Authors: Luís Carvalho; João Bruno Campos

Addresses: Department of Urban, Port and Transport Economics (RHV b.v.), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands; European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (Euricur), Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Room H16-23, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands ' School of Economics, University of Porto, R. Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-464 Porto, Portugal

Abstract: During the last decade, a small number of large-scale city pilots emerged in order to explore and test new urban solutions, namely based on ubiquitous computing and blended with ecological notions (u-eco city pilots). Inspired by recent literatures on urban development and social studies of innovation, we argue that a more encompassing planning framework for such 'new cities' should go beyond framing their technological challenges, embracing societal dimensions which ultimately may affect the technological development of the pilot in itself - governance and societal embedding. We illustrate these ideas with the case of the PlanIT Valley, a private-driven u-eco city pilot under development in the north of Portugal. Despite its still embryonic stage, first evidence suggests that these two dimensions pose relevant challenges to the pilot's development, namely related with resource access, license to operate and the development of a socially-rich innovation ecosystem.

Keywords: smart cities; Portugal; u-eco cities; urban planning; societal embedding; sustainability transitions; sustainable development; ubiquitous computing; ecology; technological development; governance; innovation ecosystems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2013.054089

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2013 Vol.4 No.2, pp.109 - 125

Available online: 20 May 2013 *

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