Sustainable and Equitable Urbanism: The Role of ICT in Ecological Culture Change and Poverty Alleviation

Sustainable and Equitable Urbanism: The Role of ICT in Ecological Culture Change and Poverty Alleviation

Abby Spinak (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Federico Casalegno (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0882-5.ch702
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Abstract

This chapter explores how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used in urban sustainability planning to encourage more ecologically friendly habits and improve social equity. We start by asking why current initiatives to teach ecological urban practices are not more aligned with social equity goals. To understand this misalignment, we review the historical relationship between environmental and social concerns within evolving notions of sustainable development. We then define a framework for urban sustainability that more fully incorporates equity concerns. Unpacking the idea that there are no technical solutions to urban poverty, we argue that intelligent applications of ICT in urban services can significantly improve the reach of public transportation, resource distribution, and civic engagement. We encourage future initiatives to design with social goals in mind, ending with a discussion of current challenges and future opportunities for using ICT in urban sustainability planning.

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