WIT Press

The Sustainable City And The Smart City: Measuring Urban Entropy First


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






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537 - 548




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R. Fistola, R. A. La Rocca


It is quite difficult to define what the Smart City is: some studies try to understand urban smartness by considering a set of variables inside the urban system. Most likely, a different method can be found, starting from the assumption that the city could be considered as a complex system. In a way, we can say that the Smart City is a physical space in which technology is widespread, available and inclusive and supports a new growth of social capital, the renewal of the material urban dimension and allows the development of new functional systems throughout the “virtualization” of some urban activities. The process towards the knowledge of “urban smartness” is conditioned to a first step, which is a common phase in the two new dimensions of modern urban planning: sustainable planning and smart planning. Both of these two dimensions try to manage the evolution of the urban system and drive it towards a future state that should be compatible with the available resources as well as sustainable considering the future needs of human beings as well as the planet. In order to initiate the management of territorial transformation, there is one first obligatory step in common with all new urban planning: the reduction of urban entropy. Urban entropy represents the main obstacle to starting new sustainable processes of urban planning and corresponds to all the kinds of urban dyscrasia that can occur within the urban subsystems. In order to reduce urban entropy, we first need to develop a way to identify and to measure it inside the different city sub-systems. This paper proposes a useful method which can be used to measure it and to envisage urban actions aimed at reducing negativity of the city by using new technologies.


urban entropy, Sustainable City, systemic approach, entropy variables