The paper discusses the concept of “urban smartness” starting from the early results of the Periphèria Project. Periphèria is a 30-month Pilot B action funded by the European Commission under the CIP ICT PSP Programme and it aims at deploying convergent Future Internet (FI) platforms and services for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles in and across emergent networks of “smart” peripheral cities in Europe. Periphèria develops the Living Lab premise of shifting technology R&D out of the laboratory and into the real world in a systemic blend of technological with social innovation. It defines five archetypical “Arenas” – specific urban settings or innovation playgrounds, with defined social features and infrastructure requirements – as the spaces where co-design and service integration processes unfold. The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part the authors review the concept of urban smartness as it is recently discussed in the literature. In the second part they present the early results of the Periphèria project paying attention to the cities smartness, urban smartness, perspectives. Finally in the third part the spatial dimension of urban smartness is explored.
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