Space as integrator: from horizontal to vertical urban planning


  • Ulpia-Elena BOTEZATU Romanian Space Agency, Bucharest, Romania
  • Olga BUCOVEȚCHI University “Politehnica” of Bucharest, Romania


networked city, outer space technologies, critical infrastructure, smart city, resilience


The ‘smart city’ as an evolving paradigm, situates at the convergence of technology and the city. In fact, a smart city’s development is connected to the ICT technology in such a way that its ‘smartness’ translates into high technological integration. At the same time, the outer space infrastructure opened up critical information to numerous mass market applications, fostering not only urban innovation, but access to fundamental services such as transportation, provision of energy, water and food, and healthcare, among others. Smart cities use information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve citizens' welfare and the quality of key services. Advances in satellite-based technologies are giving rise to more competitive services, while minimizing environmental and social impacts. Certainly, these intimate integration aspects between space technologies and cities are also valid in the cases of malevolent interventions, disruptive technologies or in any other case in which space technologies are interrupted by intent, this feature trickling down inevitably to the well-functioning of smart cities. In fact, in the moments of failure it is the most visible the profound interconnections between technologies, services and societal well-being. Historically, urban planning has considerably changed over the last century. When, as a consequence of industrialization and massive rural- urban development in the 19th and 20th century, cities expanded beyond their middle-age walls, engineers planned the urban expansion by designing urban street networks, building electricity grids, water supply and sewage networks. In the beginning of the 21st century, a new era of infrastructure development emerged and information and communication entered the stage of urban development. Currently, the smart city adds up another dimension of urban development, one in which urbanization expansion is happening in a networked manner, giving rise to a different reality. The networked city relies on resilience, without which expansion in the ‘vertical’ plane would not have been possible. Thus, drawing from disciplines of urban studies, aerospace engineering and security studies, this research attempts to answer the question related to what is the nature of the relationship between the outer space and smart cities? In order to answer it, the paper looks into the state of the art that involves the concepts of “smart city”, “resilience”, as well as “critical infrastructure protection” and “outer space technologies” in relationship to urban settlements. By disentangling the information provided in the literature, the current research attempts to highlight particular patterns, models, frameworks or tools to be further used and developed when discussing how smart cities and outer space are interrelated, as well as to raise critical questions on contemporary understanding of smart cities.




How to Cite

BOTEZATU, U.-E. and BUCOVEȚCHI, O. 2023. Space as integrator: from horizontal to vertical urban planning. Smart Cities International Conference (SCIC) Proceedings. 9, (Apr. 2023), 393–407.

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