Smart and resilient cities: How can big data inform spatial design and planning for urban resilience?

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Amongst other vectors of change, the development of cities as complex socio-technical-environmental systems is influenced by two notable driving forces: the accelerated development of smart city technologies enabled by the abundance pervasiveness of Big Data and the challenge of resilience to an increasing number of shocks and stresses driven by climate change and urbanisation. Recognising potential synergies between these two driving forces, the paper explores ways in which Big Data can contribute to the translation of systemic resilience targets into principles of spatial transformation and, as a result, to a better evidence base for urban design and planning decisions. To that end, the paper discusses the relationship between Big Data, urban design and planning, and urban resilience. It highlights how resilience-building is enabled by Big Data through, such as evidence-based design, spatial data visualisation and cross-scalar design. The paper also provides an overview of challenges that are brough by Big Data to urban resilience-building. The discussion ends with how Big-Data-driven urban resilience can be an approach that is complementary rather than alternative to traditional practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalContesti. Città, Territori, Progetti
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Big Data
  • Urban resilience
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Planning


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