Going green vs going smart for sustainable development: Quo vadis?

Paola Gazzola (Lead / Corresponding author), Ainhoa Gonzalez Del Campo, Vincent Onyango

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
665 Downloads (Pure)


To date, sustainable development has been the most important discourse informing planning, a powerful rhetoric for solving environmental problems that shows confidence in human ingenuity and technological advancements. However, recent advances in information and communication technologies, are prompting the development of smart(er) approaches to (sustainable) development, which might be signifying a departure from the more traditional, or perhaps earlier, greener narratives underpinning sustainable development. Within this context and informed by analysis of the literature, this paper aims to reflect on the extent to which ideas of going green and going smart are converging or diverging from the path towards sustainable development. This is done using convergence theory and Bennet's typology (1991) of similarities as an analytical framework. The findings suggest that the convergence of greening and smart ideas for sustainable development might be better achieved if smart-centric approaches to policy- and planning are subsumed in the overarching vision of environmental quality and resilience, with green approaches to urban development setting the path and driving decisions towards a sustainable future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-892
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date4 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019


  • Going green
  • Going smart
  • Sustainable development
  • Ecological modernisation
  • Convergence Divergence


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