The International Conference on City Sciences will take place on June 4-5 2015 in Shanghai, China.
The new science of cities stands at a crossroads. It encompasses rather different, or even conflicting, approaches. Future cities place citizens at the core of the innovation process when creating new urban services, through “experience labs”, the development of urban apps or the provision of “open data”.
But future cities also describe the modernisation of urban infrastructures and services such as transport, energy, culture, etc., through digital ICT technologies: ultra-fast fixed and mobile networks, the Internet of things, smart grids, data centres, etc. In fact during the last two decades local authorities have invested heavily in new infrastructures and services, for instance putting online more and more public services and trying to create links between -still prevalent- silo approaches with the citizen taking an increasingly centre-stage role.
However, so far the results of these investments have not lived up to expectations, and particularly the transformation of the city administration has not been as rapid nor as radical as anticipated. Therefore, it can be said that there is an increasing awareness of the need to deploy new infrastructures to support updated public services and of the need to develop new services able to share information and knowledge within and between organizations and citizens.
And above this, there is an urgent need to discuss among practitioners and academicians successful cases and new approaches able to help to build better future cities.