“We are going back to the Renaissance.” These are the words of none other than Simon Smithson, architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2007. The quote is from an interview you can find in this issue. He is referring to the importance and identity that some world capitals are attaining and how, if United Nations expectations of population growth over the coming decades are accurate, the way in which our societies are structured will change. Those that govern these megacities will have to face up to the challenges of poverty, insecurity, pollution and mobility on a scale far greater than we are used to. It is in this context where concepts such as smart cities or global cities become particularly relevant. The concept encompasses much more than the simple digitalization of cities. It involves a structural change of how to live in them, just as our collaborators point out, and where indicators such as life quality, population decline, resilience and happiness will all be particularly important. Likewise, the need to commit firmly to renewable energy, which favors sustainability and reduced consumption of natural resources, are also essential challenges that should be addressed over the coming years if the great phenomenon of global cities is to be managed in good time.

Those who have a transformative vision and aim to turn their cities into global spaces all agree on the need for a development plan, as it is public-private collaboration, with the aim of converting cities into modern spaces where culture, technology, mobility, security, health, connectivity and economy are pillars for growth. As is also pointed out in this issue, the collaborative economy and citizen participation, which are already becoming part of our society, will have an even greater presence in our cities in the future, giving communication a fundamental role in successfully managing these megacities.

The importance of a strategical vision is key in order to build solid, timeless foundations. Likewise, we cannot forget the concept of sustainability, of generating responsible development and innovation. Nor can we forget the cultural diversity and the social harmony between tradition and modernity. For this, these pillars will only be effective and transformative insofar as they have the capacity to be sustainable in the long-term.

Those who have a transformative vision and aim to turn their cities into global spaces all agree on the need for a development plan, as it is public-private collaboration

In this issue, we analyze all of these variables with the aim of continuing the debate, which is already underway on these matters. Furthermore, we do so from different perspectives and with the help of diverse collaborations in order to be able to create a framework, which enables a context, yet at the same time offers a reflection on this phenomenon that has already started to change the way we live.