Towards A Novel Model for Smart Sustainable City Planning and Development: A Scholarly Backcasting Approach
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In the early 1990s, the discourse on sustainable development produced the concept of sustainable urban forms that became, and continue to be, a hegemonic response to the challenges of sustainable development. However, such forms have been problematic, whether in theory or practice, and indeed are associated with a number of problems, issues, and challenges. This involves the question of how they should be monitored, understood, analyzed, planned, and even integrated so as to improve, advance, and maintain their contribution to sustainability. This brings us to the issue of sustainable cities and smart cities being extremely fragmented as landscapes and weakly connected as approaches, despite the proven role and untapped potential of advanced ICT, especially big data technology, for advancing sustainability under what is labeled “smart sustainable cities.” Essentially, there are multiple visions of such cities, and indeed multiple pathways to achieving them. With that in regard, this futures study aims to analyze, investigate, and develop a novel model for smart sustainable city planning and development using backcasting as a scholarly approach. It involves a series of papers of which this paper is the first, and which aims to report the outcomes of Step 1 and Step 2—an overview of a detailed trend analysis and a review of sustainable urban forms—by answering the guiding questions for each step. We argue that a deeper understanding between social, technological, and scientific solutions is required to achieve more sustainable urban forms. Visionary images of a long–term future can stimulate an accelerated movement towards achieving the long–term goals of sustainability. The proposed model is believed to be the first of its kind and thus has not been, to the best of one’s knowledge, produced, nor is it being currently investigated, elsewhere.