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Special Issue "Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Miltiadis D. Lytras

School of Business, Deree—The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +30 210 600 9800
Interests: smart cities; innovation; big data research; data mining; analytics; emerging technologies; information systems; entrepreunership; technology enhanced learning; virtual reality; knowledge management
Guest Editor
Prof. Anna Visvizi

School of Business, Deree—The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: smart cities; migration; innovation networks; international business; political economy; economic integration; politics; EU, Central Europe, China

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Technological evolution is a continuous process for creating new opportunities to implement significant, high impact, humanistic visions. However, there is great concern about the current mode of exploiting technologies towards this objective. Research on smart cities, on the other hand, provides an excellent context for the cultivation of a collaborative, synergetic, community-driven integration of human minds, cultural individual contributions, launch of businesses, interoperability and even happiness. It is quite straightforward to realize that human happiness in urban settings is no longer a priority nor even an uttered phrase. We propose that the improvement of human happiness should be the highest objective of any smart city initiative, whether driven by technology or not.

The objective of this special issue is to disseminate the latest high quality, interdisciplinary research in the domain of urban computing and smart cities and to introduce also the concept of smart villages as a key response to the desertification of countryside through the adoption of integrative strategies for human development and economic growth with the use of sophisticated technology.

This Special Issue seeks to uncover and present the latest developments in meeting the needs of modern smart cities and smart villages towards sustainable development, prosperity and happiness for humanity.

For this Special Issue, we welcome papers dealing with case studies, literature review, survey findings, analytical methods, and tools. Examples of topics of interest include:

  • Studies on sustainable smart cities research;
  • Elaboration on the concept of smart villages;
  • Smart urban applications for different domains of human activity including education, transportation, energy, accessibility, policy making, governance, entertainment, collaboration, behavior etc.;
  • Advanced information and communication technologies for smart cities research including data mining, analytics, cloud computing, open source technologies, virtual and augmented reality, collaborative platforms, content management systems, etc.;
  • Policy-making and sustainable government initiatives for smart social businesses and entrepreneurship in villages and rural areas;
  • Case studies, prototypes and project deliverables related to smart cities research; Irregular migratory flows and smart villages initiatives;
  • Public consultation and open smart democracy.

Prof. Miltiadis D. Lytras
Prof. Anna Visvizi
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1400 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 Villages
  • Smart urban applications
  • Data Mining
  • Analytics
  • Cloud computing and open source technologies
  • Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic Growth
  • Irregular Migratory flows
  • Smart Technologies
  • ICTs
  • Open Democracy
  • Open Government
  • Smart Education
  • Smart Innovation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Micro-Study of the Evolution of Rural Settlement Patterns and Their Spatial Association with Water and Land Resources: A Case Study of Shandan County, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2277; doi:10.3390/su9122277
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
The balance between population and water and land resources is an important part of regional sustainable development. It is also significant for the ecological civilization in China and can help solve the Three Rural Issues (agriculture, countryside and farmers) in China. The Silk
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The balance between population and water and land resources is an important part of regional sustainable development. It is also significant for the ecological civilization in China and can help solve the Three Rural Issues (agriculture, countryside and farmers) in China. The Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road in twenty-first Century Strategy have brought new opportunities for the Hexi Corridor, which is facing challenges in the sustainable development of rural settlements. In this paper, we analyzed the temporal-spatial differentiation of rural settlement patterns in Shandan County of Hexi Corridor and studied the spatial association between rural settlements and water-land resources. Results show that the total area of rural settlement patches (CA), the number of rural settlement patches (NP), the mean patch area (MPS), the maximum patch areas (MAXP), the minimum patch areas (MINP) and the density of rural settlement patches (PD) changed more rapidly from 1998 to 2008 than from 2008 to 2015. In the second period, the indices mentioned before did not change significantly. The kernel density of rural settlements is basically consistent in three periods. Rural settlements mainly distribute along major roads and the hydrographic network and the kernel density of rural settlements decreases in the direction away from these roads and the hydrographic network. In addition, rural settlements in Shandan County are densely distributed in some regions and sparsely distributed in other regions. The dispersion degree of rural settlements increased from 1998 to 2008 and tended to be stable after 2008. These lead to the dispersion, hollowing and chaos of rural settlements in Shandan County. The spatial distribution of rural settlements in Shandan County is closely related to that of cultivated land and the hydrographic network. Our results might provide a theoretical basis for the reasonable utilization of water and land resources in Shandan County. Ultimately, a balance between population and water and land resources and regional sustainable development can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle The New Pyramid of Needs for the Digital Citizen: A Transition towards Smart Human Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2258; doi:10.3390/su9122258
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
This article analyzes the cultural transition towards postmodernity or a knowledge society and its impact on the changing needs of cities. This transition is characterized by a growing diversification of the use of technologies in most of the economic, political, educational, social, and
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This article analyzes the cultural transition towards postmodernity or a knowledge society and its impact on the changing needs of cities. This transition is characterized by a growing diversification of the use of technologies in most of the economic, political, educational, social, and cultural activities of different human groups. The concept of smart cities emerges, in which the roles and behaviors of citizens are redefined in physical spaces and in their interactions, as well as the function of institutions and interpersonal relationships. Emerging models of social and cultural behavior are required to analyze and systematize these realities, to understand how to increase effectiveness in action, and to rethink education and new ways of teaching and learning. All these processes are based on phenomena of innovation and management, mediated by technology. We proposed an analysis of the new digital skills of these individuals. The elements that shape the reformulation of roles and reference models, as well as an analysis of the postmodern cultural changes and the formation of a holistic, human-community-technology vision, are based on a new pyramid of training needs in which technologies are placed at the service of people’s development, organizations, society, and culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Conflicts of Interest and Change in Original Intent: A Case Study of Vacant and Abandoned Homes Repurposed as Community Gardens in a Shrinking City, Daegu, South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2140; doi:10.3390/su9112140
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 11 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
As part of an urban policy designed to revive South Korea’s shrinking cities, vacant residential structures are being demolished and the resulting empty plots transformed into public spaces. This study discursively examines this process, its stakeholders, and the sources of conflict among them
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As part of an urban policy designed to revive South Korea’s shrinking cities, vacant residential structures are being demolished and the resulting empty plots transformed into public spaces. This study discursively examines this process, its stakeholders, and the sources of conflict among them in the neighborhood of Daebong 2 in Daegu, South Korea. Additionally, solutions for maintaining public interest are explored. Employees and members of relevant municipal authorities and non-profit organizations (NPOs), as well as town residents, were selected through purposive sampling for interviews. The data were then analyzed via open coding. The results reveal conflict between users and non-users in terms of the possession of public goods, as well as conflict between project executives in the creation process. We also found that spatial and policy characteristics are a particular source of conflict in dense, historic residential areas. To overcome problems caused by rivalry and discord, the following actions are required: a change in perspective among policy practitioners; a governance structure that consists of a public/private/community partnership; consensus among community members, and; equitable welfare through programs based on inclusivity and public interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle County-Rural Transformation Development from Viewpoint of “Population-Land-Industry” in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region under the Background of Rapid Urbanization
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1637; doi:10.3390/su9091637
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, rural transformation has gradually become the focus of scholars and governments in the context of global sustainable development; it is of great significance to achieve urban-rural integration and coordinated development through studying the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of rural
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In recent years, rural transformation has gradually become the focus of scholars and governments in the context of global sustainable development; it is of great significance to achieve urban-rural integration and coordinated development through studying the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of rural transformation development. This paper analyzes the spatial-temporal characteristics of county-rural transformation development through drawing into the transformation degree (TD) and coordination degree (CD) from the viewpoint of “population–land–industry” (PT-IT-LT) in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. It explores the mechanism of PT-IT-LT on the rural transformation in different stages through multi-element positioning in the same space coordinate system and carries out functional regionalization on the basis of transformation and coordination research. The results showed that: (1) The CD and TD were divided into four types, namely, the lower-level, low-level, middle-level and high-level, and had a similar changed tendency from 1990 to 2015, where the middle- and high-level were in the central counties of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the lower- and low-level were in the other parts of the region. (2) According to the mechanism analysis, stages A and B were mainly influenced by industry transformation; stage D was affected by population transformation; and stage E was influenced by land transformation. (3) The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was divided into an ecological conservation area, a key development area and a core leading area, according to the study, which would provide a scientific basis to achieve integration of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and regional strategic optimization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Accelerated Urban Expansion in Lhasa City and the Implications for Sustainable Development in a Plateau City
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1499; doi:10.3390/su9091499
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Urbanization challenges regional sustainable development, but a slight expansion mechanism was revealed in a plateau city. We have integrated the urban expansion process and analyzed its determinants in Lhasa (Tibet), and we provide insightful suggestions for urban management and planning for Lhasa. The
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Urbanization challenges regional sustainable development, but a slight expansion mechanism was revealed in a plateau city. We have integrated the urban expansion process and analyzed its determinants in Lhasa (Tibet), and we provide insightful suggestions for urban management and planning for Lhasa. The full continuum of the urban expansion process has been captured using time-series of high-resolution remote sensing data (1990–2015). Four categories of potential determinants involved in economic, demographic, social, and government policy factors were selected, and redundancy analysis was employed to define the contribution rates of these determinants. The results illustrate that considerable urban expansion occurred from 1990 to 2015 in Lhasa, with the area of construction land and transportation land increasing at rates of 117.2% and 564.7%, respectively. The urban expansion in the center of Lhasa can be characterized as temperate sprawl from 1990 through 2008, primarily explained by governmental policies and investment, economic development, tourist growth, and increased governmental investment resulting in faster urban expansion from 2008 to 2015, mainly occurring in the east, south, and west of Lhasa. In contrast with other cities of China, central government investment and “pairing-up support” projects have played an important role in infrastructure construction in Lhasa. The miraculous development of the tourism industry had prominent effects on this economic development and urbanization after 2006, due to the running of the Tibetan Railway. An integrative and proactive policy framework, the “Lhasa development model”, having important theoretical, methodological, and management implications for urban planning and development, has been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Urban Expansion and Exploring Its Driving Forces in the City of Praia, Cape Verde, from 1969 to 2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1434; doi:10.3390/su9081434
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
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Abstract
Urban expansion is the outcome of intensive human activity within a certain natural environment and may cause ecological and environmental problems, especially on small islands where land is a scarce resource. Praia is the capital city of Cape Verde, located on such an
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Urban expansion is the outcome of intensive human activity within a certain natural environment and may cause ecological and environmental problems, especially on small islands where land is a scarce resource. Praia is the capital city of Cape Verde, located on such an island. Understanding urban expansion will provide good knowledge for urban planning and policy making in balancing urban economic development and natural resource protection. According to available data, the urban expansion in Praia between 1969 and 2015 is observed in four phases (1969–1993, 1993–2003, 2003–2010, and 2010–2015). In order to integrate various data sources, this study applies an available method to coordinate and calibrate map data with different scales and forms into a consistent dataset and then introduces some improvements in the delineation of urban areas. With this data, the driving forces in each phase are explored using regression analysis, by which the main urban expansion processes are presented. We found a decrease in annual growth rate (AGR) of urban expansion after the year 2003 and a parallel stabilization of urban utilization density (UD) and land consumption per capita (LCR). This study also indicates that population is not always the persistent driving factor for urban expansion and the majority of horizontal expansion has occurred in zones with less infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Investigating the Role of Virtual Reality in Planning for Sustainable Smart Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2006; doi:10.3390/su9112006
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
With rapid population growth, urban designers face tremendous challenges to accommodate the increasing size of the population in urban areas while simultaneously considering future environmental, social, and economic impacts. A “smart city” is an urban development vision that integrates multiple information and communication
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With rapid population growth, urban designers face tremendous challenges to accommodate the increasing size of the population in urban areas while simultaneously considering future environmental, social, and economic impacts. A “smart city” is an urban development vision that integrates multiple information and communication technologies to manage the assets of a city, including its information systems, transportation systems, power plants, water supply networks, waste management systems, and other community services provided by a local department. The goal of creating a smart city is to improve the quality of life of citizens by using technology and by addressing the environmental, social, cultural, and physical needs of a society. Data modeling and data visualization are integral parts of planning a smart city, and planning professionals currently seek new methods for real-time simulations. The impact analysis of “what-if scenarios” frequently takes a significant amount of time and resources, and virtual reality (VR) is a potential tool for addressing these challenges. VR is a computer technology that replicates an environment, whether real or imagined, and simulates the physical presence and environment of a user to allow for user interaction. This paper presents a review of the capacity of VR to address current challenges in creating, modeling, and visualizing smart cities through material modeling and light simulation in a VR environment. This study can assist urban planners, stakeholders, and communities to further understand the roles of planning policies in creating a smart city, particularly in the early design stages. The significant roles of technologies, such as VR, in targeting real-time simulations and visualization requirements for smart cities are emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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