Conversations on Place Branding and Identity – 3 They are separated by more than 11,000 miles of the South Pacific Ocean but emerge as cross-hemispherical twins in their commitment and actions to put Planet before Profit. New Zealand and Costa Rica are universally recognised as pieces of natural paradise sustained by an eco-literate population. But […]

Conversations on Place Branding and Identity – 2 Some cities dominate the mindscape with their fame, but no one can name a neighbourhood in their boundaries. Then there are some incredibly famous neighbourhoods that define cities.  Are neighbourhoods ingredient brands of the city or cities umbrella brands for neighbourhoods? On the other hand, a country […]

Conversations on Place Branding and Identity – 1 New nation states Singapore and Dubai have managed their branding through competitive differentiation, yielding the ultimate prize: attracting capital and talent. Sheffield and Hull fought their way out of dereliction as post-industrial towns by deep-diving into their DNA and developing humanistic brands as curator, editor and storyteller […]

Covid19: Breach of Barrier At its roots, #covid19 exposes the breach of the barrier between wilderness and city and forces us to reflect on the relationship between citizens and ecology. Mangaluru-based environmental planner and architect, Niren Jain, zooms out with The Smart Citizen on the public health crisis and the opportunities it provides for a reset in ecosystem management, architecture, […]

Change Management

Soria: The Radical Rural by David Leal Garcia November 19, 2019 A new generation of ecological economists, of which Max Neef is a prominent exponent, have pointed out how imperative it is to rebalance massive urban centers with middle and small size cities and villages if we are to give priority to human scale model […]


Out of the Gallery and Onto the Street: Stavanger’s NuArt 22 August, 2019 Come September, the conservative oil-rich city of Stavanger on Norway’s west coast will be shaken up by the annual NuArt Festival, which strives to use tech and art to activate a sense of public agency in the shaping of our cities. Arts […]

Up Your Street Art: Berlin August 8, 2019 The German capital is now home to two world-class graffiti crews and the Urban Nation, an art gallery turned street art museum. Gorge on The Smart Citizen’s collection of the city’s street art.

Citizen Engagement

Aarhus: Hygge and the City | 18 July 2019 | by Ferenc Szigeti | When it comes to active citizenship and volunteerism, Denmark hogs more than its share of reputation. As an example, not only is 40% of the country’s energy needs now met by wind turbines, but 75% of these are owned by local […]

Citizen Engagement

Refugees and the City: Stuttgart, Athens and Lucca vie for openness A World Refugee Day Special |By Patrizia Barbera | June 20, 2019 | Swabians are known for two things: Their high work ethic (the most famous saying and life motto of many people in  Southern Germany is “Schaffa, schaffa, Häusle baua!”; “Work, work, build a […]

Technology Enablement

Oslo: The Opportunity of Growing Inwards The Smart Citizen / Vineeta Shetty / June 18, 2019 / “We are a rich city in a rich country dependent on the oil and gas industry,” is the candid admission of Raymond Johanssen, governing mayor of Oslo. A plumber by original trade, he can convincingly claim to know […]