Special Issue "Technologies and Humanities for Smart Cities"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chiara Garau
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: smart cities; urban and regional planning; participatory processes; cultural heritage; smart tourism; urban governance; urban policies
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Prof. Dr. Ginevra Balletto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari, Via Marengo 3, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: urban and regional planning; cultural heritage; urban governance and urban policies; urban governance and urban policies (hard and soft); sport in the city
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Dr. Paola Zamperlin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
SAGAS, Department of History, Archaeology, Geography, Fine and Performing Arts, University of Florence Via San Gallo, 10, 50129, Florence, Italy
Interests: human geography; smart cities; urban geography; assessment of environmental susceptibility; cultural heritage; Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
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Prof. Dr. Beniamino Murgante
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
Interests: spatial planning; spatial simulation; geodemographics; geographic data analysis of socioeconomic and population data; planning 2.0; participation 2.0; e-democracy; e-participation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart-city inventiveness is rapidly influencing the processes of urban development. This shift and the consequent impact in many areas (population growth, mobility, energy, healthcare, technology, etc.) has motivated public administrators and stakeholders to foresee, plan, and integrate the existing facilities of cities and communities in order to improve individual and collective well-being. These new ongoing processes aims to facilitate good urban strategies, policies, and short and long-term actions, by triggering a greater economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Focusing on urban government and smart city inventiveness, this Special Issue critically explores (but is not limited to) these relevant topics: (1) How can we govern current and future urban trends, enhancing the dynamic synergies between the material and immaterial data of a city (big data, IoT/IoE, sensor networks, blockchain, etc.) (2) How can we govern the urban and regional relationships without compromising urban-land synergies (between the city and the territory), also in term of mobility and of distributive logistics. (3) How “smart city policies” have impact on the city and regional economies, by making cities competitive at national and international level (4) How can we govern the urban and regional relationships between advanced technology and metamorphosis smart city (competitiveness, cohesion, conservation, …)

The Smart city paradigm has evolved from a technology-driven point of view of solutions for cities, to an integrated approach combining the hardware—the ICT platforms—with the software—the human components of governance and the bottom up approach of inventiveness.

The inventiveness of the smart city is rapidly influencing urban development processes—especially in those areas with high population growth and social fragility—energy and mobility, health and sport, technology and education. They motivate public administrators, even among themselves, in metropolitan cities to plan and integrate the existing structures of cities and communities in order to improve collective well-being.

The good practices related to strategies, policies and urban actions in the short and long term, are in fact able to trigger greater economic, social and environmental sustainability, as long as they are suitable for the urban-territorial context.

In this sense, focusing on urban governance and the inventiveness of smart cities, this Special Issue critically explores (but is not limited to) these relevant topics:

  • How current and future urban trends can be governed, improving the dynamic synergies between a city's material and immaterial elements, both hard (green infrastructure and architecture) and soft (big data, IoT/IoE, sensor networks, blockchains, etc.);
  • How to govern urban and regional relations without compromising the city-land synergies (between city, territory and society), in terms of mobility, distribution logistics and ecological footprint;
  • How "smart city policies" have an impact on the city and regional economies, making cities competitive nationally and internationally without losing their local characteristics through collective creativity;
  • How to govern urban and regional relations between advanced technology and metamorphosis of smart city (competitiveness for events, social cohesion, urban regeneration);
  • How communities respond to changes and influence changes in the Smart City, by means of participation, inclusion and creativity.

Prof. Dr. Beniamino Murgante
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Borruso
Prof. Dr. Chiara Garau
Prof. Dr. Ginevra Balletto
Dr. Paola Zamperlin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • smart cities
  • smart governance
  • open data
  • urban growth
  • urban creativity
  • urban regeneration
  • big data
  • IoT/IoE
  • intelligent transport systems
  • sustainability
  • competitiveness
  • urban and regional planning
  • technologies and humanities

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
The Role of Social Enterprises in Urban Sustainability: Insights from Anyang, South Korea
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(3), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci4030042 - 05 Sep 2020
Viewed by 902
Abstract
The collaboration of Social enterprises (SEs) and the government to maximize the socio-economic prosperity of citizens, including minor ethnic groups and low-income classes, is one of the key tools that leads to the sustainable development of a city. Notably, though, is that a [...] Read more.
The collaboration of Social enterprises (SEs) and the government to maximize the socio-economic prosperity of citizens, including minor ethnic groups and low-income classes, is one of the key tools that leads to the sustainable development of a city. Notably, though, is that a seamless coordination of development processes between SEs and relevant government agencies is often challenging to attain because it is usually affected by several factors. Some of these factors include lack of enough funding, depletion of natural resources and inadequate social capital. Besides such factors, there has also been another conspicuous factor— the increasing number of emerging cities, an example being the City of Anyang, which is located in Gyeonggi province of South Korea. Based on the issue of emerging cities, the objective of conducting this research was to find out what mechanisms of SEs can positively affect sustainable development and urban regeneration for the City of Anyang. As for the methodology, primary data were collected by use of questionnaires and the methodologies of factor analysis and correlation analysis tools, such as Cronbach and varimax rotation, applied to evaluate the results. The sample of the survey consisted of 1062 stakeholders recruited from over 18 economic sectors. The findings suggest that a significant number of respondents demonstrated a low confidence level in the social enterprises’ abilities to address all the emerging economic and social development issues. Regardless of the low levels of confidence exhibited by the study participants in the ability of SEs to address emerging economic and social development issues, other factors, such as employment creation, support for vulnerable groups, and environmental conservation had significantly high scores. Based on these findings, it is a reasonable assertion that SEs can effectively use these abilities to affect urban regeneration and sustainable development positively. Unfortunately, other values associated with enterprises, such as promoting access to quality education, affordable housing, addressing financial exclusion and disability, provision of the grants to other organizations, and support to other social enterprises, were ranked below the expected level. Based on the results from the study, it is evident that instruments of SEs, such as supporting the vulnerable population, the creation of employment opportunities, and environmental conservation positively influence Anyang’s urban regeneration process and its sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Humanities for Smart Cities)
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Article
Using Multi-Sensory and Multi-Dimensional Immersive Virtual Reality in Participatory Planning
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(3), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci4030034 - 17 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1632
Abstract
In the last two decades, urban planners have embraced digital technologies to complement traditional public participation processes; research on the impact of smarter digital instruments, such as immersive virtual reality (IVR), however, is scant. We recruited 40 focus group participants to explore various [...] Read more.
In the last two decades, urban planners have embraced digital technologies to complement traditional public participation processes; research on the impact of smarter digital instruments, such as immersive virtual reality (IVR), however, is scant. We recruited 40 focus group participants to explore various formats of spatial planning scenario simulations in Glassboro, NJ, USA. Our study finds that the level of participation, memory recalls of scenarios, and emotional responses to design proposals are higher with multi-sensory and multi-dimensional IVR simulations than with standard presentations such as 2D videos of 3D model simulations, coupled with verbal presentations. We also discuss the limitations of IVR technology to assist urban planning practitioners in evaluating its potential in their own participatory planning efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Humanities for Smart Cities)
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Article
The TRAX Light-Rail Train Air Quality Observation Project
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(4), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci3040108 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Observing air quality from sensors onboard light rail cars in Salt Lake County, Utah began as a pilot study in 2014 and has now evolved into a five-year, state-funded program. This metropolitan region suffers from both elevated ozone levels during summer and high [...] Read more.
Observing air quality from sensors onboard light rail cars in Salt Lake County, Utah began as a pilot study in 2014 and has now evolved into a five-year, state-funded program. This metropolitan region suffers from both elevated ozone levels during summer and high PM2.5 events during winter. Pollution episodes result predominantly from local anthropogenic emissions but are also impacted by regional transport of dust, chemical precursors to ozone, and wildfire smoke, as well as being exacerbated by the topographical features surrounding the city. Two electric light-rail train cars from the Utah Transit Authority light-rail Transit Express (“TRAX”) system were outfitted with PM2.5 and ozone sensors to measure air quality at high spatial and temporal resolutions in this region. Pollutant concentration data underwent quality control procedures to determine whether the train motion affected the readings and how the sensors compared against regulatory sensors. Quality assurance results from data obtained over the past year show that TRAX Observation Project sensors are reliable, which corroborates earlier preliminary validation work. Three case studies from summer 2019 are presented to illustrate the strength of the finely-resolved air quality observations: (1) an elevated ozone event, (2) elevated particulate pollution resulting from 4th of July fireworks, and (3) elevated particle pollution during a winter time inversion event. The mobile observations were able to capture spatial gradients, as well as pollutant hotspots, during both of these episodes. Sensors have been recently added to a third light rail train car, which travels on a north–south oriented rail line, where air quality was unable to be monitored previously. The TRAX Observation Project is currently being used to provide reliable pollutant data for health studies and inform urban planning efforts. Links to real-time data displays and updated information on the quality-controlled data from this study are available on the webpage for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Humanities for Smart Cities)
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