Smart Cities as Drivers of a Green Economy

Balaban O.

in: Handbook of Green Economics, Sevil Acar,Erinç Yeldan, Editor, AP, London , London, pp.69-92, 2019

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Publisher: AP, London 
  • City: London
  • Page Numbers: pp.69-92
  • Editors: Sevil Acar,Erinç Yeldan, Editor


The current economic system is highly unsustainable. It has created an economic crisis and an ecological crisis, which seriously threaten the future of our planet and societies. Both crises could be overcome by transitioning to a green economy. The green economy concept is based on the idea that the conventional model of economic development is socially and environmentally unsustainable, and argues that we should move toward a new economy, which respects natural boundaries and ecological limits, and responds to the needs of the poor and the disadvantaged.

Cities are in a position to facilitate the transition to a greener economy. This is not only because cities today are home for majority of the world's population and economic activities but also because cities are centers of knowledge and innovation that are crucial for green economy transition. On the other hand, cities, especially the ones in the developing world, are characterized by significant economic, social, and environmental challenges that prevent governments from taking the necessary steps to move the world toward a green economy. Therefore, green economy transition requires another transition pathway that applies to the production and use of urban space. Given the role that innovation and technology have to play in green economy transition, the conceptual foundation of the city of the green economy can be based on the idea of smart city. In the light of this background, this chapter aims to discuss the roles that the four key urban sectors, namely land use, buildings, transportation, and waste, can play in transitioning to a green economy and a smart city. Based on the previous research in academic literature, the green economy potential in these sectors and the intrinsic barriers that have to be eliminated for a better transition are highlighted.