The paper attempted to define the basis of city transformations that conform to the smart concept. The objective of the paper is to relate the concept of a smart city, which is quite frequently discussed in literature related to the subject, with functioning and development of the city’s economy, in a way that would allow monitoring economic processes taking place in the city, and also to find a response to the question as to the extent to which the smart city creates a new city economy. Does it expand the city economy by new elements, generate new economic mechanisms, allow the implementation of growth paths different than those to date? This objective is particularised by a description of selected issues of urban economics. With this in mind the paper discusses an approach to managing supply and demand on the basis of theoretical assumptions defined by Mudie and Cottam (1993) transposed on realities connected with provision of municipal public services in conditions of a smart city. Furthermore, sample solutions were presented related to the smart city, which reflect theoretical conclusions contained in the paper. The paper ends with a presentation of logics related to growing economy in a smart city. The economy of a smart city, ultimately an intelligent economy of the city, is created in a laminar way. Under the pressure of technological, social and political surroundings the city is permeated by social and culture intelligence, forming gradually a new economic quality. In the paper we emphasised that the concept of a smart city still remains a question of the future to a much bigger extent than one of the present time. A smart city slowly emerges from the combination of diverse megatrends and development trends characteristic for communities and economies of the second decade of the 21st century.
Recent works of the authors, concerning the future of urban regions, are synthesised in the paper. Three methodological paths – focused on exploring and creating the future of urban regions – are the backbone of the presented work. Within the fi rst path, creation of regional future by applying the concept of intellectual and strategic challenges is recommended. Second path introduces a new perspective for the future, based upon vehicles. A new philosophy of urban and regional growth emerges here. Third path is a new approach towards creation of regional specialisations in a contemporary notion of technological and creative economy.
The article aims at presenting the philosophy and model of the development vehicle to be understood as a new concept and tool to investigate and program local and regional development processes. The practical issues covered by the article include the identification and discovery of development vehicles, the elements of which can be observed in Polish metropolitan areas and agglomerations.