Urban renewal and economic/technological change as a chance for shrinking cities to become smart cities - a case study examination of the City of Bochum, Germany and the City of Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Abstract Summary
As globalization causes ongoing local and regional structural economic transformation processes, big challenges arise for today's urban planning. Cities struggle regenerating themselves based on new economic principles (e.g. sustainability) and new substitute industries to stabilize the urban fabric and stop further shrinkage. Methods and new planning approaches have been applied in many old industrialized regions around the world. These measures often include substitute industries. This is defined as a primary replacement of jobs as well as a strategy for the general revitalization or restructuring of the local economy. The term ‘substitute industries’ does not give any concrete pointers to a specific industry or sector. The self-intensifying process leads to difficult circumstances for urban planning. Due to the shifts in economic structure, cities are left with many old industrial and commercial brownfield sites in urban cores. Many programs, instruments and specially designed projects of the last decades have failed to provide the necessary results aimed for. As the role of technology is advancing, recent developments aim towards technological solutions as job replacements and strategies for the general revitalization. Beside modifications of local governance and increased efficiency, they introduce technological applications to urban planning and cities. The term of a ‘smart city’ has emerged and is recently being used more frequently as a general leitmotiv for cities, as well as part of the discussion among urban and regional development models and planning in general. Smart cities are widely being used and defined in literature but still hard to grasp, as there are many different ways to include or exclude certain applications. Osborne and Rose have defined smart city as being framed as efficient, green and socially inclusive and technologically advanced city. A more recent attempt on defining what elements smart city could foster was published in the ISOCARP Review 2017, determining four pillars: sustainability, efficiency, people and security. Since many instruments and initiatives of the past were unable to solve the issues found in shrinking cities, the answers could be identified by smart city related solutions. The paper argues that urban planning can play a role in bringing this technological framework forward, to serve shrinking cities in a more efficient, social and sustainable way. By providing necessary frameworks and test fields, a new way to source the potential of smart city applications (as substitute industries) could shed a light on issues unsolved today. Smart urban planning can facilitate the development of new ways to implement these rather new possibilities. The aim of this paper is to analyze the strategy of introducing and applying smart city technology as a substitute industry in cities affected by economic changes. In this context, the paper analyses the feasibility of introducing smart city strategies and technologies to reinvent shrinking cities. The results are based on an analysis of the case study examination of the City of Bochum, Germany and the City of Columbus, Ohio, USA. As structural changing cities, both Bochum and Columbus developed strategies to reinvent themselves. The strategies aimed at establishing new economic pillars, diversifying and creating new future oriented and sustainable jobs and achieving an increase in locally produced goods and services as well as upgraded (public) infrastructure. The in-depth analysis of these cases produce knowledge on the success and lessons that other cities can learn from. The proposed paper discusses the approaches by Bochum and Columbus and elucidates the initiatives and projects as well as learning effects for future projects. At the end, recommendations are especially directed at urban planners as well as involved actors that work with smart cities.
Abstract ID :
ISO439
Submission Type
Research Fellow
,
Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

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