Competitive Smart Cities through Healthy Decision-Making

Competitive Smart Cities through Healthy Decision-Making

Ori Gudes (Curtin University, Australia), Sarah Jane Edwards (The University of Western Australia, Australia), Tan Yigitcanlar (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Virendra Pathak (Uttar Pradesh Technical University, India)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8433-1.ch003


This chapter examines the challenges and opportunities associated with planning for competitive, smart and healthy cities. The chapter is based on the assumptions that a healthy city is an important prerequisite for a competitive city and a fundamental outcome of smart cities. One of the major decision support systems to support healthy cities is e-health. This chapter focuses on the role of e-health planning, by utilising web-based geographic decision support systems. The chapter proposes the implementation of a novel decision system which would provide a powerful and effective platform for stakeholders to support access online information. This would also provide for better decision-making as well as empower community participation. The chapter highlights the need for a comprehensive conceptual framework to guide the decision process of planning for cities in association with opportunities and limitations. This chapter provides critical insights into using information science-based frameworks.
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This chapter looks at a new method of how to achieve competitive and healthy smart cities. There are a number of future city visions that contain different focuses on health such as competitive cities, smart cities, healthy cities, resilient cities, knowledge cities, creative cities, green cities and ubiquitous cities. For example, excellent health service delivery, healthy built environments and a high level of health in the population are integral to achieving competitive cities. This is because the qualities that reflect health can make a ‘location’ more attractive and, therefore, competitive in comparison to global standards. Smart cities, on the other hand, focus on developing urban systems integrated through technology, which leads to the achievement of healthier cities by enabling improved health qualities. Therefore health is an outcome of creating a smart city. For the past few decades, there has been emerging evidence of a close relationship between health and place. This is displayed in the Healthy Cities movement (WHO, 1999) which reflects the amount of work going into creating environments that promote both health and wellbeing. Healthy Cities was officially introduced in 1986 by Ilona Kickbusch at a conference of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Copenhagen, Denmark. This movement has been very popular with over 3000 cities, towns and villages joining the movement from 1985 to 2010 (Healthy Cities Illawarra, 2010). Johnson argues that a healthy community is a critical component of a competitive city (Johnson, 2002). Smart cities include “important ingredients for a healthier environment and for improved quality of life and well-being of city dwellers” (Boulos & Al-Shorbaji, 2014, p.5).

There is evidence that planners require a new approach to enable them to respond to this agenda. Specifically, they need timely access to local information, collaborative planning processes and mechanisms for engaging the public in decision-making. The WHO has concluded that e-Health systems hold great promise for both low- and high-income countries. The benefits of an online approach to health planning apply not only to effective and efficient health-care delivery, but also to public health governance, finance, education, research, and health-related economic activities (WHO, 2008). The purpose of this chapter is to examine an online approach to planning that can respond to the call for healthy, smart and competitive cities. In this chapter, we will first review competitive cities in the context of health. Then we will review smart cities in the context of health. Next, the chapter will explore e-health decision support systems in the context of collaborative health planning practice. This will be followed by the conceptual framework for planning healthy, smart and competitive cities. Lastly, we will introduce a participatory model for implementing collaborative health planning and apply the conceptual framework in practice. In summary, we conclude that e-health Geographical Information System (GIS) based Decision Support System (DSS) can contribute to the development of healthy, smart and competitive cities, particularly if the challenges presented by an online environment can be addressed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Geographic Information Systems: Geographic Information Systems is a decision support tool for making informed decisions by stakeholders, policymakers and decisions-makers. The tool uses a mix of spatial and attributes data, queries, analytical procedures and analysis methods to leverage end-users’ spatial knowledge.

Decision Support Systems: Decision support systems are information communication technology tools, including spatial-based information systems (e.g. GIS) that provide the mechanisms to help decision-makers, policy makers and related stakeholders to assess complex problems and solve these in a meaningful and effective way.

E-Health: E-health encompasses a range of medical informatics applications based on Information and Communication Technology. Utilisation of e-health, is considered to be one of the trendiest ways to increase accessibility to health information.

Spatial-Based Collaborative Technologies: Spatial-based collaborative technologies are based on geographical information. Their primary purpose is to enhance the collaborative practice, debate and decision-making processes. These technologies are being used predominantly by urban planners, policy makers, city leaders and stakeholders.

Competitive Cities: Competitive cities sustain and offer its residents high standards of quality of life and place. As a result, it attracts more financial capital and business opportunities, which in turn, can be invested back into improving the city infrastructure and society well-being.

Healthy Cities: Healthy cities are associated with the following characteristics: Creating and improving those physical and social environments conditions; strengthening community resources; and achieving its maximum potential. The healthy cities approach is based on the process, not just the outcome. Healthy cities are committed to health and have the structure and capacity to execute the necessary health planning processes.

Participatory Action Research: Participatory action research is an application of a research method where the researcher is also a co-learner in the research process in conjunction with the community being researched. One of the most important characteristics of participatory action research is the fact that participants whose lives are affected by the research initiative take an active role of its design.

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