In ICFI's Urban Theme our researchers aim to develop a bottom-up frugal and smart alternative to existing smart city paradigms. The existing smart city discourse has shifted from a purely technology focus to a broader focus including intangibles associated with smart governance and smart people. However, the gross of the literature and practicalities are still mainly associated with high-tech development of a creative class, most likely leading to rising levels of inequality, vulnerability and social exclusion.
Our Urban research team aims to reclaim the concept of a ‘smart city’ based on the perspectives of residents and firms in (informal) settlements. Bottom-up frugal innovations can bring in perspectives of vulnerable groups and offer alternative ways to co-create smart cities which are more inclusive and resilient.
We bring research on innovation, urban resilience, smart cities and urban platforms together. Hereby, a frugal city is perceived as an inclusive smart city that may use urban platforms and contributes to community resilience of vulnerable groups.