Ecologically Smart Territories (ESM) represents territories that encompass and critically accommodate various types of environmental, social, cultural and geographical topographies, smartly enhancing their local (always singular) potential by means of various forms of intelligent functioning.

The term emerged as a way of overcoming and critically challenge the idea of a smart city—a top-down and one-dimensional construct promoting technological domination and close(d)ness as a concept for organizing human habitats.

EST reaches out to collective intelligence produced within open, complex and digitally reticulated systems. It fosters different forms of noetic life understood as intermittent, technologically conditioned and fundamental for the sustainability of natural and social milieus historically transformed by technical systems. In this approach, a territory represents a morphological and existential space much bigger than a city and that results from contributory economy results and a permanent dialogue between living entities.

As a notion invested into smartness, EST inspires forms of savoir-faire for savoir-vivre developed in techno-geographical milieus. In this way, smart territories are not only smart in terms of noetic intermittence but also in terms of ecology: they produce ecological smartness within, always more or less local, communities of knowledge and revalue all forms of knowledge by understanding locality as open systems with permeable borders.

Contributory research (CR) fosters collaboration between academic researchers and inhabitants on different levels of territoriality that form societies. It specifically territorializes research practices without reducing them to what ‘research’ means in an academic context. The aim of CR is to show how different fields of ‘knowledge production’: sciences (physical sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, human and social sciences), technological research read more »