Towards Culture-Aware Smart and Sustainable Cities: Integrating Historical Sources in Spatial Information Infrastructures

Benedicte Bucher, C.M. Hein, Dorit Raines, Valérie Gouet Brunet

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This article addresses the integration of cultural perspectives in the smart city discourse and in the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030; it does so specifically with respect to land patterns and land use. We hope to increase the ability of relevant stakeholders, including scientific communities working in that field, to handle the complexity of the current urban challenges. Culture is understood here in the broadest sense of the word, including the values and conceptualizations of the world, and the modes of technological creation and control of the environment. This concept of culture varies among stakeholders, depending, in particular, on their activities, on the place they live in, and also depending on their scientific background. We propose to complement existing targets that are explicitly related to culture in the UN and UNESCO agendas for 2030, and introduce a target of culture awareness for city information infrastructures. We show that, in the specific case of land patterns and land use, these new targets can be approached with historical data. Our analysis of the related core functionalities is based on interviews with practitioners, draws on insights from the humanities, and takes into account the readiness of the existing technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number588
Number of pages24
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • smart cities
  • cultural
  • land use
  • historical data
  • multimodality
  • synergy
  • spatial information infrastructures
  • linked data


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