Smart Legal Mechanisms for Sustainable Cities

Tiago de Melo Cartaxo, Miguel de Castro Simões Ferreira Neto, Vânia Vassalo

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The reality of “smart cities” is being spread all over the world as an obvious acquis, once populations are more and more gathering in urban areas. According to most recent reports from the United Nations, the largest part of the world’s population lives within the territories of cities and, by 2050, these numbers may reach more than 70% of the inhabitants on the surface of Earth. The aggregation of people in small territories, such as megacities, represents a greater problem for present and future generations, once there are questions of health, pollution, safety or welfare that must be dealt with more effectiveness. Therefore, environmental and spatial planning laws and policies are a concern for political and judiciary powers. Public officers are, obviously, concerned with people’s well-being, balance between various factors and resources in the nature, efficient use of those resources, cohesion and territorial sustainability, the future of the world we live in and the guarantee of meeting the needs of future generations. Consequently, the mechanisms used for fostering the development of “smart cities” (which are to be sustainable, inclusive and resilient territories), such as the use of new technologies, open data, monitoring and public participation, must be adopted by legal systems in urban areas. Adaptive legal mechanisms will play the catalysing role of articulating the wide range of the traditionally idiosyncratic elements of cities. Adaptive, flexible, participated, perceptive legal instruments are the most innovative secret for enhancing the future of people’s lives in smarter and more sustainable cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) 19-23 April 2017, Sarajevo
EditorsÖzer Çınar
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-605-83575-9-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event III International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Duration: 19 Apr 201723 Apr 2017
Conference number: 3


Conference III International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD)
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
Internet address


  • Smart Cities
  • Adaptive Law
  • Well-being
  • Sustainable Urbanism


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