Green and Blue City-Regions: Smart Water, Governance, and Adaptive Capacity Development in Mexican Cities

Green and Blue City-Regions: Smart Water, Governance, and Adaptive Capacity Development in Mexican Cities

Blanca C. Cecilia Garcia (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7625-9.ch009
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Water security has been defined as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water. Growing populations and the increasing trend of human migration from rural to urban environments is leading to an expansion of the metropolitan/urban landscape, which threatens water security. Mexican cities are following this worldwide trend. Hence, this chapter will seek to develop theoretical understanding of the smart cities (SCs) model to meet global challenges such as water security. Seemingly, SCs are expected to deploy adaptation strategies resilient enough to secure future water quotas. Hence, the core scope of the chapter is to link water resources and social resilience strategies to social learning and governance in cities, which in some cases are featured as green and blue cities in the smart city paradigm. This linkage will explore potentials and opportunities of urban spaces and strengthen the efficacy of water networks in smart cities in Mexico, Latin America, and other developing spaces around the world.
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2. The Smart City Model

Emerging in late 1990s, the Smart City paradigm encompassed from digital-based urban environments; to many adjectives describing many innovative forms of digital cities (Anthopoulos, 2017). This process is being extended to defining capacity indexes (people, economy, living, environment, mobility and governance) (Giffinger et al. 2007); to enhancing the city’s capacity to entice human capital; and to apply digital technology to attract this human capital in partnerships with the diverse urban development actors (Anthopoulos, 2017). “Smart City” is indeed a term which denotes a current “hype” in characterizing advanced cities being equipped with up-to-date ICT infrastructures. However, smart city concepts are going beyond the IT intelligence horizon. The claim evolves towards the idea of a city which is developed with a holistic framework in mind. For instance, some authors advance that a true smart city would be developed in a concerted approach covering six different aspects synchronously, namely: Smart Infrastructure, Smart Technology, Smart Mobility, Smart Economy, Smart Governance and Smart Living (Koch, 2015)

The so far discussions about smart cities are reflecting the lower level “hardware layers” offering the many functionalities a smart city is based upon, while on the other hand a knowledge city has been defined by the highest “soft(ware) layers” made by people, as shown in Figure 1. Additionally, professionals and academics broadly accept that concept of “smart cities” has attained mainstream acceptance by 2017, with North-American and Asian cities and towns spearheading this movement, while European communities have closely followed especially since the end of 2015.

Figure 1.

Smart ecosystems, smart cities, knowledge cities

Source: Koch, 2015

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