The parametric city

Smart cities are cities in which the ‘Internet of Things’ and advanced data analytics are used to address persistent societal problems. Many urbanists, designers, engineers, enterpreneurs and policy makers are currently embracing the idea of a smart city. However, present thinking and practice about smart cities suffer from a number of shortcomings, i.e. they often reflect either purely utopian or highly instrumentalist views and approaches.

This keynote offers a critical reflection on both current theory and practice of smart cities in Europe and beyond. It argues that the concept of a ‘parametric city’ is best suited to counter a number of dystopian aspects that are commonly overlooked. In such a city specific forms of policy intervention, civil involvement and regional coordination are needed to ensure an optimal outcome. The keynote brings together these measures in a practical ‘building model’ for the parametric city.