Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages

Dear Colleagues,

Smart cities research has established itself as one of the most vibrant of inter- and multidisciplinary study today. Research in this field is driven by the realization that advances in sophisticated information and communication technology (ICT), on the one hand, create the opportunity to alleviate several challenges that progressive urbanization creates, and on the other hand, may substantially contribute to well-being of cities’ residents. Certainly, critical voices exist and these should be noted. Smart villages remain a niche concept, the related debate is still nascent, and the research agenda still open. Similarly, as in the case of the smart cities research, the smart villages debate is driven by the question of how and in which ways ICT can improve well-being in rural areas. Even if wise substantial differences between both strands of research exist, the broadly conceived imperative of sustainability is common in both debates. By bringing together these two debates, the objective of this Topic is twofold, i.e., to encourage research on smart cities and smart villages, respectively, and, while doing so, to reflect on the possibility of building bridges between the two debates.

The Editors of this Topic encourage submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following topics and issues:

  • Smart cities/villages research: new concepts, new approaches, new developments;
  • Smart cities/villages services and applications: supply and demand, issues, developments;
  • Smart cities/villages: regulatory frameworks and the delivery of the best quality of services and applications;
  • Smart cities/villages and migration: issues, challenges, opportunities;
  • Smart cities: democracy, governance, representation, participation;
  • Smart villages: issues of governability, growth, and development;
  • Smart cities/villages: leisure, tourism, art, culture, and heritage;
  • Smart cities/villages: public policy considerations;
  • Smart cities/villages: infrastructure development and utility;
  • Smart cities/villages: managerial approaches;
  • Smart cities/villages: energy sustainability;
  • Smart cities/villages: policies, policymaking, data-driven decision-making;
  • Smart cities/villages: specificity and applicability to the Global South and Global North contexts;
  • Smart cities/villages in times Covid-19 and beyond;
  • Exploring smart cities/villages' resilience through service theories and other approaches.

Prof. Dr. Anna Visvizi
Dr. Wadee Alhalabi
Dr. Shahira Assem Abdel Razek
Dr. Paolo Gerli
Dr. Orlando Troisi
Topic Editors

Deadline for abstract submissions: 28 February 2022.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Topic Board

Prof. Dr. Anna Visvizi
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
1. School of Business & Economics, Deree—The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi Athens, Greece
2. Effat College of Business, Effat University, Jeddah 21551, Saudi Arabia
Interests: smart cities; migration; innovation networks; international business; political economy; economic integration; politics; EU; Central Europe; China
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Wadee Alhalabi
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor
1. Department of Computer Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2. Department of Computer Sciences, Dar Alhekma University, Jeddah 22246, Saudi Arabia
Interests: virtual reality; machine learning; operating systems
Dr. Shahira Assem Abdel Razek
E-Mail
Topic Editor
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Delta University for Science and Technology, International Coastal Road, Gamasa City, Mansoura, Dakhliya, Egypt
Interests: urban and rural regeneration; urban well-being and health; smart cities; urban governance; urban design and planning; urban policy; user centered design
Dr. Paolo Gerli
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor
The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ, UK
Interests: smart villages; smart agriculture; digital divide; digital entrepreneurship; broadband policy; community networks; digital transformation; green transition
Dr. Orlando Troisi
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor
Department of Management & Information Technology, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano SA, Italy
Interests: knowledge management; marketing; service innovation; strategic management; big data management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Keywords

  • smart cities
  • smart villages
  • ICT
  • well-being
  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • growth
  • development

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Sustainability
sustainability
3.251 3.9 2009 15.35 Days 1900 CHF Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
4.848 6.6 2009 16.06 Days 2400 CHF Submit
Smart Cities
smartcities
- - 2018 15.12 Days 1200 CHF Submit
Urban Science
urbansci
- - 2017 18.15 Days 1000 CHF Submit
Buildings
buildings
2.648 4.2 2011 16.38 Days 1600 CHF Submit

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Article
Public Participation as a Tool for Solving Socio-Spatial Conflicts of Smart Cities and Smart Villages in the Sustainable Transport System
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(23), 4821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13234821 (registering DOI) - 27 Nov 2021
Abstract
The article presents modern international approaches to public participation in Sustainable Transport System planning. It discusses the causes of social conflicts during the implementation of transport infrastructure projects using the example of implementation of several Polish strategic road infrastructure projects. It provides the [...] Read more.
The article presents modern international approaches to public participation in Sustainable Transport System planning. It discusses the causes of social conflicts during the implementation of transport infrastructure projects using the example of implementation of several Polish strategic road infrastructure projects. It provides the assessment of the form, scope, and scale of stakeholders’ involvement in the decision-making process. Among mitigation measures, the authors propose a model solution based on a comprehensive approach to public participation in road infrastructure planning in smart cities and smart villages within a Sustainable Transport System. The proposed idea involves a model of multi-criteria spatial analysis using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) developed in the geographical information systems (GIS) environment, which—apart from technical-functional, environmental, cultural, economic, financial, and social criteria—also encompasses preferences expressed by local community representatives. The model includes eight stages of public participation in the decision-making process, involving all the rungs of a ladder of citizen participation. The presented solution departs from typical social participation methods used in road infrastructure planning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Framework Proposal for Achieving Smart and Sustainable Societies (S3)
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13034; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313034 (registering DOI) - 25 Nov 2021
Abstract
This article introduces a Smart and Sustainable Societies (S3) framework, based on what is necessary to achieve the UN agenda by 2030. The proposed model is based on the integration of three smart strategies: (1) water provision that consists of the [...] Read more.
This article introduces a Smart and Sustainable Societies (S3) framework, based on what is necessary to achieve the UN agenda by 2030. The proposed model is based on the integration of three smart strategies: (1) water provision that consists of the use of greywater and rainwater; (2) sanitation provision that comprises the nutrients recovery from excreta and organic solid waste and; (3) resource-oriented agriculture that conceives the use of the water provision system for the production of food with the use of nutrients recovered from the sanitation system. The S3 framework has the potential to increase the well-being, human development, water availability, food safety, poverty alleviation, and healthy environments of societies through the provision of safely managed basic services as well as the recycling of nutrients and water to achieve sustainability at household and community levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Factors Influencing Urban Residents’ Intention of Garbage Sorting in China: An Extended TPB by Integrating Expectancy Theory and Norm Activation Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 12985; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132312985 (registering DOI) - 24 Nov 2021
Abstract
With the deepening of the garbage classification policy strength, making urban household garbage sorting mandatory in China, it is imperative to clarify the key factors affecting the urban residents’ intention to behave in garbage classification. Though it has attracted the attention of researchers, [...] Read more.
With the deepening of the garbage classification policy strength, making urban household garbage sorting mandatory in China, it is imperative to clarify the key factors affecting the urban residents’ intention to behave in garbage classification. Though it has attracted the attention of researchers, there are still several aspects that need to be supplemented and improved. Thus, this study aims to investigate the critical factors affecting the urban residents’ intention of garbage sorting and develop an extended model of planned behavior by integrating expectancy theory (ET) and norm activation model (NAM). Given the positive externalities of urban residents’ garbage sorting behaviors, awareness of consequences and attribution of responsibility are correspondingly interpreted as environmental benefits (EB) and environmental concerns (EC). The sample data of 668 urban residents who lived in four pilot cities of garbage classification in China were collected and adopted to the structural equation modeling (SEM) with bootstrapping estimation method to assess the causal relationship between variables. The results indicated that the expectation (Exp) was a significant positive predictor of garbage sorting intention. Attitude (AT), perceived behavior control (PBC) and subjective norm (SN) positively affected urban residents’ expectation of garbage sorting, with SN having the most significant direct impact. The results also found that the EB has significant influences EC, which strongly influences urban residents’ expectation of garbage sorting. Furthermore, the total effect of EC on Exp is higher than other paths, and the mediating effect of SN on Exp by AT and PBC is greater than other indirect paths, which accounted for about 27.1% of the total effect. Finally, we discuss both theoretical and practical implications, along with recommendations for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Reward–Penalty Mechanism Based on Daily Energy Consumption for Net-Zero Energy Buildings
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12838; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132212838 - 19 Nov 2021
Abstract
Net-zero energy buildings (ZEB/NZEB) have been greatly encouraged and are considered to be a promising approach for energy conservation as well as environmental protection. However, a lack of incentive mechanisms can hinder the fast development and application of ZEB. This study thus focuses [...] Read more.
Net-zero energy buildings (ZEB/NZEB) have been greatly encouraged and are considered to be a promising approach for energy conservation as well as environmental protection. However, a lack of incentive mechanisms can hinder the fast development and application of ZEB. This study thus focuses on the design of a daily reward–penalty mechanism (RPM) by considering the performance of the building, aiming to enable a lower penalty cost for the building where there is a better match between energy consumption and energy generation. The impact of the degree of freedom of the building load (k) is investigated on building performance based on a single-family house located in Shanghai city, China. It is observed that a higher value of k is preferred since the building users can adjust its energy consumption profile to better match with its energy generation. A higher k value enables lower annual energy consumption, lower penalty cost, better stability, and an average daily zero energy level of around 1.0. In addition, four quadratic fit curves are derived to describe the relationship between building performance (i.e., annual energy consumption, the average daily zero energy level, stability, and annual penalty cost) and the degree of freedom. Meanwhile, the uncertainty of ZEB performance is quantified, which provides flexibility for building users in selecting the appropriate degree of freedom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
An Agent-Based Model for 5G Technology Diffusion in Urban Societies: Simulating Two Development Scenarios
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12698; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132212698 - 17 Nov 2021
Abstract
Although 5G has been deployed in several countries, stakeholders are still hesitant to adopt the technology. Massive investment and collaboration become prerequisites for this technology to be successfully implemented and bring the most benefit. This research discusses the diffusion of 5G technology to [...] Read more.
Although 5G has been deployed in several countries, stakeholders are still hesitant to adopt the technology. Massive investment and collaboration become prerequisites for this technology to be successfully implemented and bring the most benefit. This research discusses the diffusion of 5G technology to personal end-users and industries and simulates the collaboration model. The simulation analyzes key essential indicators for stakeholders, such as the number of adopters, diffusion time, and total revenue. This study follows the pragmatism philosophy and abductive approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative research, resulting in the diffusion model. The qualitative data was obtained through focus groups and semi-structured interviews with key sources, while quantitative data from 437 people were gathered through a questionnaire. The simulation resulted in a 34% improvement in diffusion time, leading to faster investment return for industry players. This study offers an alternative paradigm compared to the diffusion of innovation theory, especially for new technology distribution. Finally, this research suggests that 5G stakeholders adopt the proposed collaboration strategy to achieve better business indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Communication
Earth Observations and Statistics: Unlocking Sociodemographic Knowledge through the Power of Satellite Images
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132212640 - 16 Nov 2021
Abstract
The continuous urbanisation in most Low-to-Middle-Income-Country (LMIC) cities is accompanied by rapid socio-economic changes in urban and peri-urban areas. Urban transformation processes, such as gentrification as well as the increase in poor urban neighbourhoods (e.g., slums) produce new urban patterns. The intersection of [...] Read more.
The continuous urbanisation in most Low-to-Middle-Income-Country (LMIC) cities is accompanied by rapid socio-economic changes in urban and peri-urban areas. Urban transformation processes, such as gentrification as well as the increase in poor urban neighbourhoods (e.g., slums) produce new urban patterns. The intersection of very rapid socio-economic and demographic dynamics are often insufficiently understood, and relevant data for understanding them are commonly unavailable, dated, or too coarse (resolution). Traditional survey-based methods (e.g., census) are carried out at low temporal granularity and do not allow for frequent updates of large urban areas. Researchers and policymakers typically work with very dated data, which do not reflect on-the-ground realities and data aggregation hide socio-economic disparities. Therefore, the potential of Earth Observations (EO) needs to be unlocked. EO data have the ability to provide information at detailed spatial and temporal scales so as to support monitoring transformations. In this paper, we showcase how recent innovations in EO and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide relevant, rapid information about socio-economic conditions, and in particular on poor urban neighbourhoods, when large scale and/or multi-temporal data are required, e.g., to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) monitoring. We provide solutions to key challenges, including the provision of multi-scale data, the reduction in data costs, and the mapping of socio-economic conditions. These innovations fill data gaps for the production of statistical information, addressing the problems of access to field-based data under COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Sustainable Cities: Some Reflections on Companies’ Settlements
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132212622 - 15 Nov 2021
Abstract
Urban dynamics in recent years show a tendency that cannot be ignored in terms of the impacts that they induce, with regard to many companies, especially big companies, that are settled in the downtown districts of the main cities, where economic spaces are [...] Read more.
Urban dynamics in recent years show a tendency that cannot be ignored in terms of the impacts that they induce, with regard to many companies, especially big companies, that are settled in the downtown districts of the main cities, where economic spaces are blended with urban spaces. This study, therefore, aims to investigate the sustainability of cities by using the specific perspective of their relationship with the companies’ urban settlements. Some questions in the present work are discussed: What advantages derive from the firms’ settlements in downtown areas? What is the impact on urban geographies? What role does urban policy play in this process? How do cities perceive this large business settlement? To answer to these questions, a model of dynamic equilibrium, referred to as the public–private relationship, is provided. The analysis starts from the context of the city as a commercial space, then identifies the determinants of the establishment of businesses in the city centers and the mediating function of politics in this urban morphogenesis. Case studies from the USA on large companies returning to urban centers complete the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Communication
Evaluating the Dynamic Impact of Theater Performances and Sports Events on Parking Demand in Downtown Pittsburgh
Smart Cities 2021, 4(4), 1391-1402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/smartcities4040073 - 08 Nov 2021
Abstract
The number of drivers using parking facilities (parking demand) in downtown Pittsburgh is highly variable throughout business operating hours, which makes an efficient operation of parking facilities challenging and results in congestion around the facilities. In this study, we applied an [...] Read more.
The number of drivers using parking facilities (parking demand) in downtown Pittsburgh is highly variable throughout business operating hours, which makes an efficient operation of parking facilities challenging and results in congestion around the facilities. In this study, we applied an event-based ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model to the parking data set provided from one of the parking facilities, the Theater Square Garage in downtown Pittsburgh. We demonstrated that our model achieved a high R-squared value during time periods when parking demand is highly variable. Using the model, we revealed the dynamic (time-dependent) impact of theater performances and sports events on parking demand. This dynamic information can help facility managers appropriately adjust their operating settings (e.g., the number of staff and fee structure) during surge or vacant time periods accordingly. This model is applicable to various businesses in downtown areas that have increased customer flow from theater performances and sports events, not only parking garages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Innovation in Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Best Practices from Five Smart Cities in Indonesia
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12072; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132112072 - 02 Nov 2021
Abstract
In relation to innovations which help to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the best practices of several smart cities become an important input to organize and create strategies for future cities. This research aims to identify the responses of cities to the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
In relation to innovations which help to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the best practices of several smart cities become an important input to organize and create strategies for future cities. This research aims to identify the responses of cities to the COVID-19 pandemic; analyze their innovation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic; and create strategies and planning for the future of the cities. This study analyzes aspects such as the use of information and communication technology (ICT), smart city implementation, the biological disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, the environment, and spatial plans. This research was carried out in five smart cities using a case study. The results indicated that each case had innovations for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. They showed a uniqueness and local innovations adapted to the problems faced in the five case areas. The innovations were demonstrated by the use of ICT-based applications in several public services as part of smart city implementation. The concept of a smart city, which addresses the biological disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic through the existence of ship-based isolation centers and sociotechnical innovations, was then adapted in various cities throughout Indonesia. In terms of the smart environment concept, this is translated through technological and social innovation approaches to improve medical and domestic waste management, public service systems, and the socialization of environmental protection programs in cities during the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is allegedly accelerating the implementation of the smart city concept in spatial planning. There is a tendency for the use of public space in the city center to shift to local-scale service centers. Additionally, other activities are increasingly occupying the digital space so that it affects the arrangement of spatial organization and increases the need for ICT infrastructure. The efficient and flexible use of applications for supporting the implementation of smart cities needs to be broadened for the public services provided by both the government and private sectors. Meanwhile, in relation to the dimensions of a smart environment, it is necessary to take into account the waste management as a result of COVID-19. The same case is the aspect of spatial planning in which it is necessary to redesign open spaces for public use. City planning in the future also needs to be capable of the smart mitigation of non-physical disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
Article
Prediction of the Energy Self-Sufficiency Rate of Major New Renewable Energy Types Based on Zero-Energy Building Certification Cases in South Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11552; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132011552 - 19 Oct 2021
Abstract
There is an increasing interest in new renewable energy sources for achieving net zero emissions. Consequently, the construction industry has mandated zero-energy building certification (ZEB), through the usage of new renewable energy. However, because of the variations in the energy self-sufficiency rate (ESR) [...] Read more.
There is an increasing interest in new renewable energy sources for achieving net zero emissions. Consequently, the construction industry has mandated zero-energy building certification (ZEB), through the usage of new renewable energy. However, because of the variations in the energy self-sufficiency rate (ESR) among the new renewable energy types, incorrect ESR prediction at the design stage may lead to problems. Hence, in this study, the ESR and construction cost are analyzed for each new renewable energy capacity to predict the ESR of photovoltaic (PV), building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV), geothermal, and fuel cell systems. Passive and active technology elements of the ZEB cases in Korea are analyzed, and by establishing a standard model with the average value of each case, the ESR is calculated for each new renewable energy capacity, and the calculation formulas are derived. The results indicate that for the PV and BIPV systems, the rate of ESR increases with the capacity (kWp) and is constant at 0.54% and 0.34%, respectively. However, for the geothermal system and fuel cells, the average ESR is 0.016% and 1.46%, respectively, but as the rate of ESR increase with the capacity (kW) gradually decreases, the calculation formulas are derived with a log graph. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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Article
Threshold Effect of the Internet on Regional Innovation in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10797; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910797 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Internet business adoption is an essential determinant of regional innovation which has received little attention in the literature. This paper emphasizes the role and threshold effect of Internet business adoption in increasing regional innovation outputs. We construct a threshold spatial autoregressive model to [...] Read more.
Internet business adoption is an essential determinant of regional innovation which has received little attention in the literature. This paper emphasizes the role and threshold effect of Internet business adoption in increasing regional innovation outputs. We construct a threshold spatial autoregressive model to illustrate the nonlinear positive impact of Internet business adoption on innovation, simultaneously estimating interregional knowledge spillovers. To test threshold effect and interregional knowledge spillover, we use province-level panel data set in China and calculate Moran’s I and LR-like statistics to confirm the nonlinearity and spatial dependence. Within the empirical model, we find a positive relationship between the number of websites owned by local firms and the number of patents filed in that specific region. Our analysis suggests that Internet business adoption has a greater marginal benefit on the innovation of isolate regions. The results also indicate that ignoring interregional knowledge spillover may cause mistakes in the model on regional innovation systems. Policy implications for these results suggest that the government should not only pay attention to Internet development of the whole country but also encourage the reduction of digital divisions among regions Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
Article
A Method for Constructing Geographical Knowledge Graph from Multisource Data
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10602; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910602 - 24 Sep 2021
Abstract
Global problems all occur at a particular location on or near the Earth’s surface. Sitting at the junction of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, knowledge graphs (KGs) organize, interlink, and create semantic knowledge, thus attracting much attention worldwide. Although the existing KGs [...] Read more.
Global problems all occur at a particular location on or near the Earth’s surface. Sitting at the junction of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, knowledge graphs (KGs) organize, interlink, and create semantic knowledge, thus attracting much attention worldwide. Although the existing KGs are constructed from internet encyclopedias and contain abundant knowledge, they lack exact coordinates and geographical relationships. In light of this, a geographical knowledge graph (GeoKG) construction method based on multisource data is proposed, consisting of a modeling schema layer and a filling data layer. This method has two advantages: (1) the knowledge can be extracted from geographic datasets; (2) the knowledge on multisource data can be represented and integrated. Firstly, the schema layer is designed to represent geographical knowledge. Then, the methods of extraction and integration from multisource data are designed to fill the data layer, and a storage method is developed to associate semantics with geospatial knowledge. Finally, the GeoKG is verified through linkage rate, semantic relationship rate, and application cases. The experiments indicate that the method could automatically extract and integrate knowledge from multisource data. Additionally, our GeoKG has a higher success rate of linking web pages with geographic datasets, and its exact coordinates have increased to 100%. This paper could bridge the distance between a Geographic Information System and a KG, thus facilitating more geospatial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages)
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