Filipa CardosoDirector of Smart Cities magazine (Media Line)
Filipa Cardoso is, since 2017, director of the magazine Smart Cities (Media Line), an information organ with specialized contents, dedicated to the theme of smart cities.
With interest in smart cities, urban trends, new technologies, renewable energies, climate change, arts and literature, Filipa Cardoso was always connected to the specialized press, being also a journalist in Buildings and Energy.
With a degree in Journalism and a master in Sustainable Urbanism and Territorial Planning, Filipa Cardoso is the special guest of the Connecting Stories series from PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. You are currently the director of Smart Cities magazine (Media Line). Can you tell us a bit about this project and your journey and professional experience?
Smart Cities has existed for six years and was created at a time when people were starting to talk about smart cities in Portugal, but nobody really knew what they were about. In fact, the idea of creating the publication was a "almost" natural extension of another specialized publication from Media Line, which has more than 20 years old, the magazine Edifícios e Energia, in which I am the editor.
With Smart Cities, we have moved from the scale of the building to that of the city, being also a project with a much wider scope than energy.
2. You have a degree in Journalism and practice in this area, but in a very specific way, because you write mainly about Smart Cities. What attracted you the most in this area?
I have always worked in specialized press. Still in college, I started writing for a nautical magazine and, after three years, I joined Media Line, where my "specialization" in sustainability truly began. All the experience I gained by writing in the areas of energy and buildings was essential to the work I have been developing at Smart Cities.
However, I must admit that since I was a child, I have always had a huge fascination with urban issues. I have always been in love with the city! At the same time, I have always been concerned about the need to preserve the planet. Thinking about it, nothing seems to me more certain than to be in the Smart Cities project and write about these subjects!
3. Do you feel that the master's degree in Sustainable Urbanism and Territorial Planning has driven you to investigate more about Smart Cities?
In fact, it was the other way around: the smart cities urged me to take this master's degree. I felt I needed a theoretical component that would help me understand the issues of urbanism and territorial planning, and the master's degree was very important in that aspect. Unfortunately, the subject of smart cities was not very present in terms of curriculum and I even felt some resistance to the concept.
Smart cities have some bad reputation, for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that their emergence has been closely linked to global technological giants, which has always placed the mistrust of corporate interests. Then, there's the fear of dystopian scenarios, the surveillance of people, the control of data and its financialisation, the dehumanisation of the city... Or there is simply the idea that "smart" is a fashion term and that it serves for marketing purposes. All of this must be taken into account, but these are just some of the cons. There are also many pros when we approach the concept holistically.
4. Is this area increasingly explored?
Yes, because at the same time we are being forced to balance our way of life with the sustainability of the planet, we are undergoing a profound digital transformation. This is reflected in everyone's life, but also in our city.
The cities themselves, as entities, are making this transition. Notice how, during the pandemic, it was necessary to accelerate the digitalization of a series of municipal procedures so that everything would continue to work!
5. What do you think is the importance of technology in Smart Cities?
It is impossible to dissociate technology from the smart cities concept. The question is the role that new technologies play in this city model. Technology alone should not be a goal; it should be used as a tool for a common goal: a vibrant, fair, sustainable and prosperous city.
6. How do you relate Sustainable Urbanism and Territorial Planning to Smart Cities?
In today's paradigm, good urbanism and territorial planning with a view to sustainability are ingredients to make our cities smarter in various dimensions.
Moreover, if we think from the point of view of technology, there are today many technological solutions that allow good planning and a much more informed decision making in matters of urbanism and territorial planning. Data analysis to understand mobility patterns is an excellent example of this, but there are many more.
7. In what ways does Smart Cities (Media Line) magazine approach this topic?
From the beginning, it was defined that Smart Cities would not be a magazine about technological cities, but about sustainable territories that provide quality of life to people at all levels. We chose to follow a holistic approach to the concept, without closing the editorial line to the application of new technologies in an urban context, but also without rejecting it.
Therefore, we can either have one edition dedicated to the functioning of an urban data platform, or have another on the impact of urban art on the dynamization of a certain territory.
Above all, we care about what is interesting in the territories with a view to their sustainability, as is thought and done in the city at the present time. And the new technologies are not left out of this discussion.
8. What are the benefits of living in a Smart City?
It always depends on what we understand by smart city, but there are some benefits that, in general, the application of the concept can bring us.
The smart city will always be more efficient in the way it uses available resources, so it will be more environmentally and economically sustainable. But it also needs to be a city that creates the conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship, that is competitive, that promotes creativity, that is equitable and inclusive and that works in harmony with nature. Now, a city that installs the latest technology just to say that it has it and therefore is very innovative, will never achieve this, so looking at the concept just from the perspective of technology will not bring many benefits.
Cities are made of people, so we can't imagine a smart city as a place where everything works perfectly. That doesn't exist. I think the most important thing about a smart city is that there is a constant search for what is best for its citizens and for the planet.
9. How do you foresee the cities of the future?
Given all the challenges we face today – climate change, scarcity of resources, glaring social and economic inequalities and now the pandemic –, cities will have to reinvent themselves, and are already doing so. The urban development model we follow is no longer sustainable. If the smart city concept is understood in an integrated way, in its various dimensions (economy, human and social capital, governance, mobility and ICT, natural resources and quality of life), it can guide us in what the cities of the future could be. And technology is an unavoidable trend, but its application should always be well considered, without forgetting that its purpose is the common good.
10. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a leader in the development of digital billboards and multimedia kiosks for the international market and one of the companies highlighted in the Smart Cities magazine (Media Line), what is your opinion about PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, its products and its strategy for the smart city movement?
It is always with great satisfaction that we see portuguese companies giving letters at international level with their solutions and PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS has done a remarkable job in this matter.
There is a very promising industry of smart cities solutions in Portugal, which is also due to some willingness that existed from the portuguese municipalities in a first phase to try these solutions.
It is essential that PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS and the other companies in the sector continue to be attentive to the needs of the territories and to collaborate with the various agents, as this is how we will be able to co-create the solutions that allow our cities to be more intelligent.
Connecting Stories is a new editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.