ICT and Spatial Planning in European Cities: Reviewing the New Charter of Athens

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In the Charter of Athens 2003 the European Council of Town Planners has proposed a vision for twenty-first century European cities, 'The Connected City'. In this vision, the desirable European urban future – in which cities will be organized in polycentric structures – will be realized through pervasive electronic connectivity and advanced ICT applications. If 'the connected city' is the main notion to face the European urban challenges, how then does the Charter deal with ICT-related topics? This paper reviews the assumptions and propositions regarding ICTs as set down in the Charter, examining key parts of the text: problem statement; the social, economic and environmental connectivity domains; and the framework for the implementation of the vision. The results indicate that the European Council of Town Planners with the New Charter of Athens 2003 takes a stand as an enthusiastic believer in the promises of ICT (connectivity), which would become the remedy for serious urban problems. However, it does not give indications about the necessary conditions and means to achieve such advanced level of connectivity and digital applications. The Charter's assumptions and propositions suggest insufficient knowledge of ICT-related matters, in its technical, economic and socio-cultural aspects.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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