Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Offering a thorough assessment of the recent developments in the economic literature on happiness and quality of life, this Handbook astutely considers both methods of estimation and policy application. The expert contributors critically present in-depth research on a wide range of topics including culture and media, inequality, and the relational and emotional side of human life. Accessible and far-reaching, it will prove an invaluable resource for students and scholars of welfare and economics.

Chapter 6: Quality of life and smart cities

Elena Granata

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, welfare economics, research methods, research methods in economics


In the vision of the smart city, squares and plazas become intelligent spaces of meeting and citizen participation. Garbage, properly tagged of course, relays precious information back to city officials about how it can best be disposed of. Household appliances auto-detect and display the amount of water and energy they are consuming in real time and can be controlled remotely by handheld devices. It is possible to harness energy produced from bicycles and move around without negatively impacting the environment. It is not difficult to comprehend the attraction of ever more quickly advancing technology on our daily lives. It proposes solutions that can improve social interaction, solve practical problems such as mobility and our aging population, and enhance the quality of our living spaces (at home and in the public sphere). Nor is it difficult to understand why the term ‘smart city’ has, in just a few years, received such a warm embrace, and not just among urban professionals but also among laypeople, who are both reassured and seduced by its grand promises. The discourse of smart cities includes a combination of terms to express everything that a city ought to be: highly technological and sustainable, competitive and inclusive, creative and business friendly, technologically efficient and open to citizen participation. In short, a perfect synthesis of what economics, sociology, urbanism and design have long dreamed the city of the future to be.

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