Less Smart More City

  • Rocco Papa Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II
  • Carmela Gargiulo Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II
  • Mario Cristiano Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II
  • Immacolata Di Francesco Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II
  • Andrea Tulisi Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II
Keywords: Smart City, Urban Challenges, Definition, Text Analysis, Trends


Smart is an expression used in recent years in science, and it refers to someone or something that shows a lively intelligence, with a quick learning curve and a fast response to external stimuli. The present scenario is dominated by the accelerated technological development that involves every aspect of life, enhancing the everyday tools through the use of information and digital processing: everything is smart, even cities. But when you pair the term smart to a complex organism such as the city the significance of the two together is open to a variety of interpretations, as shown by the vast and varied landscape of definitions that have occurred in recent years. Our contribution presents the results of research aimed at analyzing and interpreting this fragmented scene mainly, but not exclusively, through lexical analysis, applied to a textual corpus of 156 definitions of smart city. In particular, the study identified the main groups of stakeholders that have taken part in the debate, and investigated the differences and convergences that can be detected: Academic, Institutional, and Business worlds. It is undeniable that the term smart has been a veritable media vehicle that, on the one hand brought to the center of the discussion the issue of the city, of increasing strategic importance for the major challenges that humanity is going to face,  and on the other has been a fertile ground on which to pour the interests of different groups and individuals. In a nutshell we can say that from the analysis the different approaches that each group has used and supported emerge clearly and another, alarming, consideration occurs: of the smart part of “Smart City” we clearly grasp the tools useful to the each group of stakeholders, and of the city part, as a collective aspiration, there is often little or nothing.


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Author Biographies

Rocco Papa, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II

Full Professor of Land Use Planning at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at University of Naples “Federico II”. Editor-in-Chief of the Scientific Journal TeMA - Land Use, Mobility and Environment since 2007. Director of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning DiPiST of University of Naples “Federico II”, from 1999 to 2005. Chairman of the Urban Transformation Company Bagnoli futura S.p.A from 2006 to 2010. Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Naples, from 2001 to 2006. City Councilor for Livability (appointed to Town Planning and Historical Centre) for the Naples Municipality, from 1997 to 2001. Research activity, carried out continuously since 1974, has developed according to the following four main lines: the study of the interactions between urban and mobility systems; the management and governance of metropolitan areas; the safeguard of environmental quality in highly urbanized areas; the experimentation of new protocols for urban planning tools connected with the updating of techniques, methods and models of analyses, interpretation, planning and governance of territory. As City Councilor for Livability (appointed to Town Planning and Historical Centre) for the Naples Municipality he has developed in detail the following projects: the approval and implementation of the new Master Plan of Naples; the approval and implementation of the Loacl Master Plan for the area of Bagnoli-Coroglio and the establishment of the Urban Transformation Company Bagnoli futura SpA, and the restoration and requalification of the “Real Albergo dei Poveri” and of the “SS. Trinità delle Monache”, the implementation of the Line 1 and Line 6 of the Metropolitan Railway. He is the author of more than 100 publications.

Carmela Gargiulo, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II

Associate professor of Urban Planning Techniques at the University of Naples Federico II.Since 1987 she has been involved in studies on the management of urban and territorial transformations. Since 2004, she has been Member of the Researcher Doctorate in Hydraulic, Transport and Territorial Systems Engineering of the University of Naples “Federico II”. She is Member of the Committee of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Naples “Federico II”. Her research interests focus on the processes of urban requalification, on relationships between urban transformations and mobility, and on the estate exploitation produced by urban transformations. On these subjects she has co-ordinatedresearch teams within National Project such as Progetto Finalizzato Edilizia - Sotto progetto “Processi e procedure” (Targeted Project on Building – Subproject “Processes and procedures), from 1992 to 1994; Progetto Strategico Aree Metropolitane e Ambiente, (Strategic Project Metropolitan Areas and Environment) from 1994 to 1995; PRIN project on the “Impacts of mobility policies on urban transformability, environment and property market” from 2011 to 2013. Scientific Responsible of theProject Smart Energy Master for the energy management of territory financed by PON 04A2_00120 R&C Axis II, from 2012 to 2015. She is author of more than 90 publications.

Mario Cristiano, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II

Engineer, PhD and Fulbright Scholar, he studies the technological aspects of the building process, learning from examples set by historical buildings and the integration of advanced technologies that cross over from other fields of study, as they relate to the perusal of quality and sustainable environments.  Part of the Smart Energy Master research project, at the University of Studies of Naples, he studies the definition of the energy consumption model of the building stock, to include non-residential, public and singular buildings. He is the author of more than 30 publications

Immacolata Di Francesco, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II

Architect, Interior and Graphic Designer. Graduated with a thesis on “Representation and multicriteria analysis of the natural and built environment”; since 2008 she works in the fields of construction design and urban planning. In 2014, she won a scholarship for the European project SEM “Smart Energy Master” at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering - University of Naples Federico II. In the SEMs project team she researched measures and best practices for energy saving and efficiency. She contributed to the development and implementation of the projects and actions catalog of the last twenty years of the city of Naples.

Andrea Tulisi, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering University of Naples Federico II

Architect, graduated in Architecture from the University Federico II in Naples in 2006. In January 2014 he holds a PhD in Environmental Technology with a research focus on rehabilitation strategies for semi-enclosed spaces in the “Compact City”. He is currently involved within the project Smart Energy Master with DICEA department of the University of Naples Federico II; his research activity is focused on the link between urban open spaces and energy consumption.


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How to Cite
Papa, R., Gargiulo, C., Cristiano, M., Di Francesco, I., & Tulisi, A. (2015). Less Smart More City. Tema - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 8(2), 159-182. https://doi.org/10.6092/1970-9870/3012
Land Use, Mobility and Environment