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Smart Cities, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 7 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Linking Dynamic Building Simulation with Long-Term Energy System Planning to Improve Buildings Urban Energy Planning Strategies
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1242-1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040061 - 22 Oct 2020
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Abstract
The building sector is currently responsible of 40% of global final energy consumption, influencing the broader energy system in terms of new electricity and heat capacity additions, as well as distribution infrastructure reinforcement. Current building energy efficiency potential is largely untapped, especially at [...] Read more.
The building sector is currently responsible of 40% of global final energy consumption, influencing the broader energy system in terms of new electricity and heat capacity additions, as well as distribution infrastructure reinforcement. Current building energy efficiency potential is largely untapped, especially at the local level where retrofit interventions are typically enforced, neglecting their potential synergies with the entire energy system. To improve the understanding of these potential interactions, this paper proposes a methodology that links dynamic building simulation and energy planning tools at the urban scale. At first, a detailed bottom-up analysis was conducted to estimate the current and post-retrofit energy demand of the building stock. The stock analysis is further linked to a broader energy system simulation model to understand the impact of building renovation on the whole urban energy system in terms of cost, greenhouse gas emission, and primary energy consumption up to 2050. The methodology is suited to analyze the relationship between building energy demand reduction potential and clean energy sources’ deployment to shift buildings away from fossil fuels, the key priority for decarbonizing buildings. The methodology was applied to the case study city of Torino, Italy, highlighting the critical role of coupling proper building retrofit intervention with district-level heat generation strategies, such as modern district heating able to exploit low-grade heat. Being able to simulate both demand and supply future alternatives, the methodology provides a robust reference for municipalities and energy suppliers aiming at promoting efficient energy policies and targeted investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economy and Finance in Smart-Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
A Testbed for GNSS-Based Positioning and Navigation Technologies in Smart Cities: The HANSEL Project
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1219-1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040060 - 19 Oct 2020
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Abstract
In urban contexts, the increasing density of electronic devices equipped with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and complementary positioning technologies is attracting research and development efforts devoted to an improvement of the quality of life towards the smart city paradigm. Vehicular and [...] Read more.
In urban contexts, the increasing density of electronic devices equipped with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and complementary positioning technologies is attracting research and development efforts devoted to an improvement of the quality of life towards the smart city paradigm. Vehicular and pedestrian positioning and navigation capabilities are among the major drivers for innovation in this process. Ultra-low-cost electronics such as smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors aim at providing accurate and reliable positioning solutions through a set of promising solutions. Among these, snapshot positioning allows to remotely perform the post-processing of GNSS signals in IoT sensor networks while Wi-Fi™ ranging and cooperative positioning provide auxiliary anchors of opportunity to enhance indoor/outdoor positioning capabilities. This paper presents an innovative platform to perform a centralised testing and assessment of such positioning and navigation technologies along with a set of results obtained in the context of the European project HANSEL, by relying on current network technologies and infrastructures (i.e., Wi-Fi™ and cellular connectivity). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Positioning and Timing)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Social Media to Seek and Provide Help in Hurricanes Florence and Michael
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1187-1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040059 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 336
Abstract
During hazardous events, communities can use existing social media networks to share information in real time and initiate a local disaster response. This research conducted a web-based survey to explore two behaviors around the use of social media during hurricanes: seeking help and [...] Read more.
During hazardous events, communities can use existing social media networks to share information in real time and initiate a local disaster response. This research conducted a web-based survey to explore two behaviors around the use of social media during hurricanes: seeking help and responding to help requests. Through the survey, we sampled 434 individuals across several counties affected by 2018 hurricanes Florence and Michael, which were both designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as billion-dollar weather disasters. The survey questions collected data about demographics, social media use habits, perceptions towards social media, hurricane damages, and actions taken during a hurricane to seek and provide help. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used to conceptualize and frame parameters that affect intentions and behaviors regarding the use of social media during hurricanes to seek and provide help. Survey responses are analyzed using statistical regression to evaluate hypotheses about the influence of factors on seeking help and responding to help requests. Regression analyses indicate that attitude and perceived behavioral control predict intention to access social media during a hurricane, partially supporting the TPB. Intention and experiencing urgent damages predict help-seeking behaviors using social media. Posting frequency to social media under normal conditions and the number of help requests seen during the event predict help-responding behaviors. Linear regression equations governing intention and behavior were parameterized using survey results. The factors underlying social media behavior during hurricanes as identified in this research provide insight for understanding how smart information technologies, such as personal devices and social media networks, support community self-sufficiency and hazard resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
Perceptions on Smart Gas Meters in Smart Cities for Reducing the Carbon Footprint
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1173-1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040058 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Carbon emission is a prominent issue, and smart urban solutions have the technological capabilities to implement change. The technologies for creating smart energy systems already exist, some of which are currently under wide deployment globally. By investing in energy efficiency solutions (such as [...] Read more.
Carbon emission is a prominent issue, and smart urban solutions have the technological capabilities to implement change. The technologies for creating smart energy systems already exist, some of which are currently under wide deployment globally. By investing in energy efficiency solutions (such as the smart meter), research shows that the end-user is able to not only save money, but also reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Therefore, in this paper, the focus is on the end-user, and adopting a quantitative analysis of the perception of 1365 homes concerning the smart gas meter installation. The focus is on linking end-user attributes (age, education, social class and employment status) with their opinion on reducing energy, saving money, changing home behaviour and lowering carbon emissions. The results show that there is a statistical significance between certain attributes of end-users and their consideration of smart meters for making beneficial changes. In particular, the investigation demonstrates that the employment status, age and social class of the homeowner have statistical significance on the end-users’ variance; particularly when interested in reducing their bill and changing their behaviour around the home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
Democratising Smart Cities? Penta-Helix Multistakeholder Social Innovation Framework
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1145-1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040057 - 06 Oct 2020
Viewed by 557
Abstract
The smart cities policy approach has been intensively implemented in European cities under the Horizon 2020 programme. However, these implementations not only reduce the interdependencies among stakeholders to technocratic Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) models, but also fail to question the identities of strategic stakeholders and [...] Read more.
The smart cities policy approach has been intensively implemented in European cities under the Horizon 2020 programme. However, these implementations not only reduce the interdependencies among stakeholders to technocratic Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) models, but also fail to question the identities of strategic stakeholders and how they prioritise their business/social models. These aspects are putting democracy at stake in smart cities. Therefore, this article aims to unfold and operationalise multistakeholders’ policy frameworks from the social innovation perspective by suggesting the ex-novo penta-helix framework—including public, private, academia, civic society, and social entrepreneurs/activists—to extend the triple and quadruple-helix frameworks. Based on fieldwork action research conducted from February 2017 to December 2018—triangulating desk research, 75 interviews, and three validation workshops—this article applies the penta-helix framework to map out five strategic dimensions related to (i) multistakeholder helix framework and (ii) the resulting business/social models comparatively in three follower cities of the H2020-Replicate project: Essen (Germany), Lausanne (Switzerland), and Nilüfer (Turkey). For each case study, the findings reveal: (i) a unique multistakeholder composition, (ii) diverse preferences on business/social models, (iii) a regular presence of the fifth helix as intermediaries, and (iv) the willingness to experiment with democratic arrangements beyond the hegemonic PPP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Revisiting the Smart City Concept)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Smart City Strategies and Planned Smart Development
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1133-1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040056 - 03 Oct 2020
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Smart city strategies developed by cities around the world provide a useful resource for insights into the future of smart development. This study examines such strategies to identify plans for the explicit deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. A total of 12 [...] Read more.
Smart city strategies developed by cities around the world provide a useful resource for insights into the future of smart development. This study examines such strategies to identify plans for the explicit deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. A total of 12 case studies emerged from an online keyword search representing cities of various sizes globally. The search was based on the keywords of “artificial intelligence” (or “AI”), and “robot,” representing robotics and associated terminology. Based on the findings, it is evident that the more concentrated deployment of AI and robotics in smart city development is currently in the Global North, although countries in the Global South are also increasingly represented. Multiple cities in Australia and Canada actively seek to develop AI and robotics, and Moscow has one of the most in-depth elaborations for this deployment. The ramifications of these plans are discussed as part of cyber–physical systems alongside consideration given to the social and ethical implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessReview
Review of Smart City Assessment Tools
Smart Cities 2020, 3(4), 1117-1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040055 - 30 Sep 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Today’s cities are estimated to generate 80% of global GDP, covering only about 3% of the land, but contributing to about 72% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities face significant challenges, such as population growth, pollution, congestion, lack of physical and social [...] Read more.
Today’s cities are estimated to generate 80% of global GDP, covering only about 3% of the land, but contributing to about 72% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities face significant challenges, such as population growth, pollution, congestion, lack of physical and social infrastructures, while trying to simultaneously meet sustainable energy and environmental requirements. The Smart City concept intends to address these challenges by identifying new and intelligent ways to manage the complexity of urban living and implement solutions for multidisciplinary problems in cities. With the increasing number of Smart City projects being implemented around the world, it is important to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses for their future improvement and evolution track record. It is, therefore, crucial to characterize and improve the proper tools to adequately evaluate these implementations. Following the Smart City implementation growth, several Smart City Assessment tools with different indicator sets have been developed. This work presents a literature review on Smart City Assessment tools, discussing their main gaps in order to improve future methodologies and tools. Smart City Assessment can deliver important performance indicators monitoring for the evaluation of multiple benefits for different actors and stakeholders, such as city authorities, investors and funding agencies, researchers, and citizens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Smart Cities)
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