In many ways, the smart city concept is simply good urban planning that incorporates both advances in digital technology and new thinking in the age-old city concepts of relationships, community, environmental sustainability, participatory democracy, good governance and transparency. Often, the intelligent city concept involves a re-urbanization of cities, encouraging urbanites to focus their time, energy and abilities to the ongoing urban project through a new layer of electronic connectivity. A virtuous circle is thus formed, in which the city empowers its citizens to power its evolution, creating a positive feedback loop. Above all, smart cities are interactive cities.
The industry for urban innovation is booming. Smart technologies are catering to cities looking to boost connectivity and sustainability. Tech giant Alphabet now goes one step further and plans to build an entire smart waterfront in Toronto – via it urban innovation company Sidewalk Labs.