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Introduction

The TERI'2017 Conference aims to address major research/practical issues on the topic of "Smart Territories", combining scientific and technical approaches with social and human sciences and urban planning. The projects (ongoing or at a discussion level) aim to improve the ways in which territories operate; to this end, they rely on new technical solutions developed during various advances in multiple fields of computer science. Their implementation and, by extension, their success, is wholly dependent on their social and economic acceptance, as well as the widespread adaptation of the practices they intend to implement. In combining these four approaches (technical, social, economic and development/planning), the aim is not to set each against the other but to encourage collaborations between them, and highlight the fact that the development of such projects depends on their ability to communicate the technical advances required and the ability and/or willingness of inhabitants and businesses to get on board, adopt new measures and change their habits.

The initiatives being proposed under the banner of "smart territories" by local authorities, operating on various scales, suggest improving the functioning of cities and regions by reducing their energy consumption and environmental impact, and more generally by improving their "attractiveness." Using innovative and state-of-the-art concepts in the fields of energy, information circulation, mobility, and waste management, these projects require the coordination between multiple operators. This process being complex, it requires the development of measures aiming to transform the concerned populations into stakeholders in their own right. In this context, projects claiming to fall under the scope of "smart territories" find themselves confronted with the challenge of establishing systems comprising multiple stakeholders (regional authorities, companies, residents' associations) and coordinating them successfully.

Multiple initiatives are being developed by local authorities aiming to promote concepts such as "smart cities", "connected cities" and "intelligent cities". They are supported by enterprises using innovative techniques on the scale of buildings, neighbourhoods and even cities. These territorial changes must be examined, along with the consequences that they brind on the life and the habits of local residents. It is necessary to go beyond the scientific discourse - which promotes a new, supposedly "ideal" model - in order to identify the multiple paradoxes that may arise as a result of this model’s implementation. These include disparities between the goals and realities of each achievement, new inequalities that may potentially be brought about by regional transformations, consequences for personal privacy, and the dependency, availability and security of new networks and facilities.

While a number of conferences deal with this subject, they have rarely suggested an approach that is both critical and interdisciplinary - something which is both difficult and essential to implement. The objective of this event is to encourage exchanges and discussions between Universities from France and abroad which are working on new territorial objects, as well as involving local authorities and stakeholders eager to share their own experiences and work with specialists in a variety of different scientific fields, in order to gain access to long-term expertise.

Topics

For each of these five topics, contributions are expected from the fields of computer science, urban development, and humanities and social sciences.

  • Topic 1. "Smart Territories": Technologies at the service of territories, towards a mutation of societies?

The terms "Smart Cities", "Digital cities", "Smart territories", etc. used to promote sustainable territorial development by employing new technologies can be misleading. Here, we are interested in looking at the whole range of technological solutions that can be used to make a territory "smart", and we propose to analyse the benefits and limitations of these approaches. Using concrete examples, the idea will be to examine the different comprehensions of the "smart territory" concept (as well as its limitations) and to contribute to the creation of a new typology integrating the full range of measures being implemented, as well as to describe the various scales on which they are intended to operate.

  • Topic 2. From simulations and sketches to general application: how to create new regional ecosystems?

    The inherent complexity of new technical procedures that urban planners, companies and local authorities are now able to provide requires the application of appropriate and collaborative performances. This also involves analysing the constraints required to move from a "pilot project" to its application on a real area. Later on, the same project may also be transposed to other regions; this process implies exchanges of experience between cities or regions, as well as the analysis of the transferability of measures from one territorial context to another. The conditions having led to the success or failure of a given project (in terms of the objectives initially set) should require a careful analysis.

  • Topic 3. From systems to "Smart Territories"?

    Supported jointly by technological, environmental and societal revolutions, the advent of "smart cities", "eco-districts" and "smart territories" is becoming more and more of a reality, especially in terms of innovative alternatives in a number of areas such as transport, habitat, energy, industry, telecommunications and others. A revolution is underway, due mainly to advanced technology being developed around ever-increasingly "smart" systems. Interconnected and communicative, these systems are now a part of our daily lives (in our cars, homes, hospitals and communications). In the context of this topic, we will study the conceptual, methodological, technical and technological dimensions of smart territories. Intelligent transport, eco-mobility, home automation, energy-positive buildings, renewable energy, cloud computing, and connected devices - the aim here will be to analyse the ways in which each of these elements constitutes a key part of the success of smart territories.

  • Topic 4. "Smart territories": which limitations in terms of social acceptability?

    We are interested here to study whether the new experimental developments (e.g. ERDF's Linky counters, self-service transport facilities) contribute to creating new forms of social tensions (e.g. between project designers and users, between users themselves). While the expectations, needs and concerns of populations directly affected by the developments being implemented can at no stage be overlooked, the idea here is to examine the relationship between the expectations of project designers and the ensuing habits of residents, analysing the forms of involvement in which they are willing to participate. Thus, the use of different developments may evolve progressively regarding to the objectives initially set.

  • Topic 5. "Smart territories" : towards new forms of inequality?

    In this topic we are interested to evaluate whether the new and innovative developments contribute to the creation of new social, generational, or regional inequalities; how can these be identified, and how can they be tackled? Is there a risk of increasing social disparity by implementing measures intended to decrease it (i.e. between densely-populated cities and suburban or rural areas, between richer and poorer neighbourhoods)? The new opportunities offered by "smart" policies and measures contribute to providing competitive advantages to the areas and districts that support them, and from which they emanate. Our aim here will be to analyse the consequences resulting from new disparities currently emerging between different regions and territories.

 

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