Smart Cities capture the attention of popular audiences and specialists alike. The Smart City concept promises access and opportunity while building civic engagement and expanding public participation. The idea promises simultaneously to generate new revenue via new markets and services and to save money through new efficiencies and systems optimization. Its advocates argue that smart cities are more efficient, more sustainable, more profitable, and more inclusive.
Urban and economic geographers have long studied innovation as part of the broader disciplinary project of mapping and analyzing the spatial distribution of economic activities within and across cities, regions, and countries. In recent years, technology and innovation have gained privileged positions of prominence in these industry analyses. Researchers particularly focused on processes of technology diffusion and how regional economic ecosystems absorb new technologies and incorporate them into existing complexes of firms, industries, and industrial specializations. In other words, how incumbent systems incorporate new processes, products, materials, and actors.
The Center for Urban Innovation's Smart Cities Research Neighborhood showcases the projects underway here at Georgia Tech including sensor deployment testbed projects, civic IoT projects, and a wide variety of efforts to research and design the emerging Smart City.