Greenfields progress report: Lessons from 5 of the world's most important new cities

Wed, 2013-08-07 06:10 -- Jesse Berst
By Jesse Berst
 
Songdo, KoreaGreenfields projects are vitally important to the success of the smart cities movement. Because they have fewer constraints, because they are not hampered by the additional expense of retrofitting, they become the proving ground for cutting edge ideas. As such, they push the boundaries and encounter many challenges. But they also give us invaluable feedback. And, when they succeed, invaluable inspiration – proof that smart city theories will work when put into practice.
 
UBM's Future Cities is out with two articles cataloging the successes and failures of five showcase projects. The stories contain some important lessons:
 
  • From Konza, Kenya -- even if you are building a greenfields project, you must still engage with the local population right from the start, or they may create obstacles.
  • From Zhujiang, China -- do not forget culture and beauty and architecture, which can be powerful magnets.
  • From Songdo, Korea – sustainability can work, both as a way to meet governmental climate goals and is a way to attract businesses and residents.
  • From Rawabi, Palestine -- politics can hold back even the best designed projects.
  • From Destiny, Florida – don't eco-talk unless you can truly eco-walk.
 
 
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Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.