Research Output
The smart region: governing the transition to intelligent small urban areas
  Cities and megacities are getting smart. This strategic transition might be considered as an effective tool to cope with a number of current issues such as the urban population growth, the rapid urbanisation and the social, economic and environmental crisis condition. However, the application of the smart city strategy has mainly involved large-size cities, excluding small towns and villages from this process of innovation and redevelopment of urban fabrics.
Coping with this aspect is crucial in countries like Italy which consists of a diffuse urban structure, constituted for its 70% of small urban areas with a population less than 5000 inhabitant. Clustering and networking might be considered as efficient tools to face criticalities connected to small urban areas, such as their individual lack of resources. This approach increases the possibility for asset enhancement through a cooperative system, which can take advantages from ‘intelligent’ infrastructures of the ICT sector.
Grounding on the smart city analysis, a governance model has been defined to effectively manage the transition to more intelligent small towns and villages, shifting from the urban level to the territorial one. This process has lead to the identification of the smart region which consists of a cluster of small urban areas, working together to frame a diffused smart city.
This scenario generates the ground to identify new research orientations within the field of Urban Technology Management, linked to an innovative model for the territorial development. Moreover, the spatial and conceptual framework of the smart region is closely connected to European Union's Smart Specialization policies and it might be implemented in the Italian context, creating the rationale for a nationwide project

  • Date:

    23 November 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HT Communities. Classes. Races

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    307 Communities

  • Funders:

    Politecnico di Milano


Mora, L., Branzanti, C., & Bolici, R. (2012). The smart region: governing the transition to intelligent small urban areas. In Smart, creative, sustainable, inclusive: territorial development strategies in the age of austerity



Smart cities, big data, digital infrastructure,

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