Special Issue "CITIES: Energetic Efficiency, Sustainability; Infrastructures, Energy and the Environment; Mobility and IoT; Governance and Citizenship"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 27903

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Víctor Alonso Gómez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dr. Vicente Leite
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic Institute of Braganza, Braganza, Portugal
Interests: smart grid; microgrid; converters
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Ângela Ferreira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Electrical Engineering Department, Polytechnic Institute of Braganza, Braganza, Portugal
Interests: smart grid; microgrid; converters
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cities are changing—this is a reality. As this change takes place, advances in research must propose solutions to the numerous problems that arise with it. Administration, universities, and companies must cooperate to establish the foundations of the Smart City.

In this sense, the main pillars of a city are:

  • Energetic efficiency and sustainability;
  • Infrastructures, energy and the environment;
  • Mobility and IoT;
  • Governance and citizenship.
Therefore, this SI will be focused on the previous topics.

Submissions are invited for both original research and review articles. Additionally, invited papers based on excellent contributions to the 2020 CIUDADES INTELIGENTES TOTALMENTE INTEGRALES, EFICIENTES Y SOSTENIBLES (CITIES) will be included. We hope that this collection of papers will serve as an inspiration for all those interested in the prosperity of smart cities.

Dr. Luis Hernández Callejo
Dr. Víctor Alonso Gómez
Dr. Sergio Nesmachnow
Dr. Vicente Leite
Dr. Javier Prieto
Dra. Ângela Ferreira
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2300 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

  • Renewable energy and Smart City
  • Energy and Smart City
  • Smart grid, smart city and microgrid
  • Energetic Efficiency
  • Infrastructures and Smart City
  • IoT
  • Smart mobility
  • Connected vehicle
  • Cybersecurity
  • Edge computing
  • M2M communications
  • Artificial Intelligence and Smart City
  • Governance, Citizenship, and Smart City

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Thermal Discomfort Index for Demand Response Control in Residential Water Heaters
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10048; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110048 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 419
Abstract
Demand-response techniques are crucial for providing a proper quality of service under the paradigm of smart electricity grids. However, control strategies may perturb and cause discomfort to clients. This article proposes a methodology for defining an index to estimate the discomfort associated with [...] Read more.
Demand-response techniques are crucial for providing a proper quality of service under the paradigm of smart electricity grids. However, control strategies may perturb and cause discomfort to clients. This article proposes a methodology for defining an index to estimate the discomfort associated with an active demand management consisting of the interruption of domestic electric water heaters. Methods are applied to build the index include pattern detection for estimating the water utilization using an Extra Trees ensemble learning method and a linear model for water temperature, both based on analysis of real data. In turn, Monte Carlo simulations are applied to calculate the defined index. The proposed approach is evaluated over one real scenario and two simulated scenarios to validate that the thermal discomfort index correctly models the impact on temperature. The simulated scenarios consider a number of households using water heaters to analyze and compare the thermal discomfort index for different interruptions and the effect of using different penalty terms for deviations of the comfort temperature. The obtained results allow designing a proper management strategy to fairly decide which water heaters should be interrupted to guarantee the lower discomfort of users. Full article
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Article
Battery Energy Storage System Dimensioning for Reducing the Fixed Term of the Electricity Access Rate in Industrial Consumptions
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7395; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167395 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 646
Abstract
Industrial buildings account for very few high peaks of power demand. This situation forces them to contract a high fixed electricity term to cover it. A more intelligent use of the energy in industrial buildings, together with an improved efficiency of the transmission [...] Read more.
Industrial buildings account for very few high peaks of power demand. This situation forces them to contract a high fixed electricity term to cover it. A more intelligent use of the energy in industrial buildings, together with an improved efficiency of the transmission and distribution of the energy along the electric power grid, can be achieved by reducing the peak consumption of industrial buildings. Energy storage systems, and lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in particular, are one of the most promising technologies for reducing this peak consumption. However, selecting a proper Li-ion battery requires a dimensioning process in terms of energy and power which is not straightforward. This paper proposes a dimensioning methodology that takes into consideration both technical and economic implications, and applies it to a case example with real industrial consumption data and a commercial battery. Results show that implementing batteries for reducing this peak consumption can lead to a cost–benefit improvement. Full article
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Article
Exact and Evolutionary Algorithms for Synchronization of Public Transportation Timetables Considering Extended Transfer Zones
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7138; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157138 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
This article addresses timetable synchronization in public transportation, an important problem in modern smart cities, in order to guarantee a proper quality of service to citizens. Two variants of the bus timetabling synchronization problem considering extended transfer zones are studied: optimizing offsets and [...] Read more.
This article addresses timetable synchronization in public transportation, an important problem in modern smart cities, in order to guarantee a proper quality of service to citizens. Two variants of the bus timetabling synchronization problem considering extended transfer zones are studied: optimizing offsets and optimizing offsets and headways for each line. An exact mixed integer programming and an evolutionary algorithm are developed to solve both problem variants. The algorithms are evaluated on 45 instances of a real case study, the intelligent transportation system of Montevideo, Uruguay. Experimental results reported significant improvements over the current timetable implemented by the city administration. The number of successful synchronizations improved up to 66.6% and 179.9% for the first and second problem variant, respectively. The average waiting times for transfers improved, especially in tight problem instances (up to 57.8% and 158.3% for the first and second problem variant, respectively). The proposed planning methods are useful to help decision makers to configure public transportation systems. Full article
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Article
Substitutability and Complementarity of Municipal Electric Bike Sharing Systems against Other Forms of Urban Transport
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 6702; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11156702 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
The current quantitative and qualitative development of bike-sharing systems worldwide involves particular implications regarding the level of sustainability of urban development and city residents’ quality of life. To make these implications as large as possible as well as the most positive, it is [...] Read more.
The current quantitative and qualitative development of bike-sharing systems worldwide involves particular implications regarding the level of sustainability of urban development and city residents’ quality of life. To make these implications as large as possible as well as the most positive, it is essential that the people who use municipal bikes on a regular basis to the largest extent possible abandon car travel at the same time. Thanks to their operational characteristics, electric bikes should enable meeting the transport needs of a wider group of city residents compared with traditional bicycles. The main aim of this study was therefore to check whether the municipal electric bike system (MEVO) in Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot metropolitan area of Poland lived up to the hopes placed upon it by policymakers. Therefore, the article tests the hypothesis indicating that the municipal electric bike systems constitute a substitutable form of transportation against passenger cars to a larger extent than against collective urban transport and walking trips. The analysis was performed based on the results of primary studies conducted among the users of MEVO. The data show that the MEVO was a substitutable form of transportation against collective transport and walking trips to a larger extent than against passenger cars. Through logistic regression analysis, the variables concerning the probability of replacing car trips by MEVO bicycles were determined. Among the analyzed variables, the following turned out to be statistically significant: age, the number of people in the household, the number of cars in the household, the distance from work, and gender. The results therefore indicate that substituting in favor of electro bikes was more probable for younger people with fewer people in the household and a distance to travel below 3 km, whereas it was less probable for people with more cars in the household or traveling a distance longer than 10 km. Additionally, females were more likely to choose the bike system. Full article
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Article
Conversion of a Network Section with Loads, Storage Systems and Renewable Generation Sources into a Smart Microgrid
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5012; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115012 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
This paper shows an experimental application case to convert a part of the grid formed by renewable generation sources, storage systems, and loads into a smart microgrid. This transformation will achieve greater efficiency and autonomy in its management. If we add to this [...] Read more.
This paper shows an experimental application case to convert a part of the grid formed by renewable generation sources, storage systems, and loads into a smart microgrid. This transformation will achieve greater efficiency and autonomy in its management. If we add to this the analysis of all the data that has been recorded and the correct management of the energy produced and stored, we can achieve a reduction in the electricity consumption of the distribution grid and, with this, a reduction in the associated bill. To achieve this transformation in the grid, we must provide it with intelligence. To achieve this, a four steps procedure are proposed: identification and description of the elements, integration of the elements in the same data network, establishing communication between the elements and the control system, creating an interface that allows control of the entire network. The microgrid of CEDER-CIEMAT (Renewable Energy Centre in Soria, Spain) is presented as a real case study. This centre is made up of various sources of generation, storage, and consumption. All the elements that make up the microgrid are incorporated into free software, Home Assistant, allowing real-time control and monitoring of all of them thanks to the intelligence that has been provided to the grid. The novelty of this paper is that it describes a procedure that is not reported in the current literature and that, being developed with Home Assistant, is free and allows the control and management of a microgrid from any device (mobile, PC) and from any place, even though not on the same data network as the microgrid. Full article
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Article
Environmental Footprint Assessment of a Cleanup at Hypothetical Contaminated Site
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4907; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114907 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Contaminated site management is currently a critical problem area all over the world, which opens a wide discussion in the areas of policy, research and practice at national and international levels. Conventional site management and remediation techniques are often aimed at reducing the [...] Read more.
Contaminated site management is currently a critical problem area all over the world, which opens a wide discussion in the areas of policy, research and practice at national and international levels. Conventional site management and remediation techniques are often aimed at reducing the contaminant levels to an acceptable level in a short period of time at low cost. Owing to the fact that the conventional approach may not be sustainable as it overlooks many ancillary environmental effects, there is an immense need of “sustainable” or “green” approaches. Green approaches address environmental, social and economic impacts throughout the remediation process and are capable of conserving the natural resources and protecting air, water and soil quality through reduced emissions and other waste burdens. This paper presents a methodology to quantify the environmental footprint of a cleanup for a hypothetical contaminated site by using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spreadsheet for Environmental Footprint Assessment (SEFA). The hypothetical contaminated site is selected from a metropolitan city of Pakistan and the environmental footprint of the cleanup is analyzed under three different scenarios: cleanup without any renewable energy sources at all, cleanup with a small share of renewable energy sources, and cleanup with a large share of renewable energy sources. It is concluded that integration of renewable energy sources into the remedial system design is a promising idea which can reduce CO2, NOx, SOx, PM and HAP emissions up to 68%. Full article
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Article
Behavior of Traffic Congestion and Public Transport in Eight Large Cities in Latin America during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4703; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104703 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
This comparative study analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on motorized mobility in eight large cities of five Latin American countries. Public institutions and private organizations have made public data available for a better understanding of the contagion process of the pandemic, [...] Read more.
This comparative study analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on motorized mobility in eight large cities of five Latin American countries. Public institutions and private organizations have made public data available for a better understanding of the contagion process of the pandemic, its impact, and the effectiveness of the implemented health control measures. In this research, data from the IDB Invest Dashboard were used for traffic congestion as well as data from the Moovit© public transport platform. For the daily cases of COVID-19 contagion, those published by Johns Hopkins Hospital University were used. The analysis period corresponds from 9 March to 30 September 2020, approximately seven months. For each city, a descriptive statistical analysis of the loss and subsequent recovery of motorized mobility was carried out, evaluated in terms of traffic congestion and urban transport through the corresponding regression models. The recovery of traffic congestion occurs earlier and faster than that of urban transport since the latter depends on the control measures imposed in each city. Public transportation does not appear to have been a determining factor in the spread of the pandemic in Latin American cities. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Artificial Intelligence-Based Models for Classifying Defective Photovoltaic Cells
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4226; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094226 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy has experienced an important growth and prospect during the last decade due to the constant development of the technology and its high reliability, together with a drastic reduction in costs. This fact has favored both its large-scale [...] Read more.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy has experienced an important growth and prospect during the last decade due to the constant development of the technology and its high reliability, together with a drastic reduction in costs. This fact has favored both its large-scale implementation and small-scale Distributed Generation (DG). PV systems integrated into local distribution systems are considered to be one of the keys to a sustainable future built environment in Smart Cities (SC). Advanced Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of solar PV plants is necessary. Powerful and accurate data are usually obtained on-site by means of current-voltage (I-V) curves or electroluminescence (EL) images, with new equipment and methodologies recently proposed. In this work, authors present a comparison between five AI-based models to classify PV solar cells according to their state, using EL images at the PV solar cell level, while the cell I-V curves are used in the training phase to be able to classify the cells based on its production efficiency. This automatic classification of defective cells enormously facilitates the identification of defects for PV plant operators, decreasing the human labor and optimizing the defect location. In addition, this work presents a methodology for the selection of important variables for the training of a defective cell classifier. Full article
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Article
Active Safety System for Urban Environments with Detecting Harmful Pedestrian Movement Patterns Using Computational Intelligence
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9021; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249021 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
This article presents a system for detecting pedestrian movement patterns in urban environments, by applying computational intelligence methods for image processing and pattern detection. The proposed system is capable of processing multiple images and video sources in real-time. Furthermore, it has a flexible [...] Read more.
This article presents a system for detecting pedestrian movement patterns in urban environments, by applying computational intelligence methods for image processing and pattern detection. The proposed system is capable of processing multiple images and video sources in real-time. Furthermore, it has a flexible design, as it is based on a pipes and filters architecture that makes it easy to evaluate different computational intelligence techniques to address the subproblems involved in each stage of the process. Two main stages are implemented in the proposed system: the first stage is in charge of extracting relevant features of the processed images, by applying image processing and object tracking, and the second stage is responsible for the patterns detection. The experimental analysis of the proposed system was performed over more than 1450 problem instances, using PETS09-S2L1 videos, and the results were compared with part of the Multiple Object Tracking Challenge benchmark results. Experiments covered the two main stages of the system. Results indicate that the proposed system is competitive yet simpler than other similar software methods. Overall, this article provides the theoretical frame and a proof of concept needed for the implementation of a real-time system that takes as input a group of image sequences, extracts relevant features, and detects a set of predefined patterns. The proposed implementation is a reliable proof of the viability of building pedestrian movement pattern detection systems. Full article
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Article
Measuring the Lighting Quality in Academic Institutions: The UPM Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (Spain)
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8345; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238345 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
This article analyzes the current status of the lighting quality at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio (ETSIAE), the aerospace engineering faculty at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), and evaluates possible improvement actions based on the use of [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the current status of the lighting quality at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio (ETSIAE), the aerospace engineering faculty at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), and evaluates possible improvement actions based on the use of DIALux® lighting simulation software together with measured data. The results show rather low levels of measured illuminance on classroom desks and blackboards in one of the buildings comprising the faculty. The improvements proposed (a new coat of paint on the walls and replacement of luminaires) were simulated in four individual classrooms representing all rooms in two of the ETSIAE buildings (where the lower illuminance levels were measured). In order to study these improvements, the current situation of the four selected classrooms was simulated using DIALux® and fine-tuning attenuation of the luminaires to take into account their wear and tear. The correlation between the DIALux® simulation and the test results was analyzed with quite good results. The results clearly reveal a need to fully replace the classroom lighting systems in ETSIAE building A (the oldest building, dating back to 1955). According to the results from the selected classrooms, the average lighting over the desks can be greatly improved by using LED technology in order to meet UNE 12464-1 standard (that is, 500 lx, from an initial situation with much lower illuminance values: 129 lx to 295 lx). This article represents an innovative way to perform lighting improvement projects as real measured lighting data is used as initial input for the lighting simulations. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Energy Certification on Housing Sales Prices in the Province of Alicante (Spain)
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7129; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207129 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
This work examines the implementation of energy labelling by the residential real estate sector. First, it considers the interest by real estate sellers in not publishing energy certification information, and then, it quantifies the impact of the housing’s energy certification on the asking [...] Read more.
This work examines the implementation of energy labelling by the residential real estate sector. First, it considers the interest by real estate sellers in not publishing energy certification information, and then, it quantifies the impact of the housing’s energy certification on the asking price. The results are compared with those obtained from other studies conducted in distinct European countries. The study’s final sample was collected, including information from 52,939 multi-family homes placed on the real estate market in the province of Alicante (Spain). One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used, as well as an ordinary least squares regression model. This study highlights the fact that, in the current market, owners and sellers have no incentive to reveal the energy certification, since this permits them to sell homes with low energy ratings at prices similar to those of more energy efficient homes. In addition, it was found that homes with better energy ratings (letters A and B) are not sold at higher prices than homes with other rating letters, unlike the case of other European countries that were examined. Full article
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Article
Towards Energy-Efficient Mobile Ad Optimization: An App Developer Perspective
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6889; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196889 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Advertising over smart devices is one of the growing trends in the information technology domain. Most of the Android application (app) developers generate revenue through the use of ads, but on the other hand, the end users get the free app. However, the [...] Read more.
Advertising over smart devices is one of the growing trends in the information technology domain. Most of the Android application (app) developers generate revenue through the use of ads, but on the other hand, the end users get the free app. However, the excessive number of ads infers hidden costs with respect to energy consumption, network utilization, and user comfort. These factors affect the app rating and reviews. Consequently, developers require a technique to balance app performance through optimized mobile ad usage. Therefore, in this paper, we extend an existing work and propose an energy-efficient method that uses gamma correction to reduce the hidden costs of a mobile app. In this approach, gamma correction efficiently balances the app performance by minimizing the size of ads. The size of the mobile ad is reduced by adjusting its pixels, reducing background color, and illuminating the content of the ad. After several experiments, it is deduced that our proposed approach efficiently saves mobile battery and developers can apply this approach to improve app rank and feedback. Full article
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Article
Identification of Major Inefficient Water Consumption Areas Considering Water Consumption, Efficiencies, and Footprints in Australia
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6156; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186156 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2335
Abstract
Due to population growth, climatic change, and growing water usage, water scarcity is expected to be a more prevalent issue at the global level. The situation in Australia is even more serious because it is the driest continent and is characterized by larger [...] Read more.
Due to population growth, climatic change, and growing water usage, water scarcity is expected to be a more prevalent issue at the global level. The situation in Australia is even more serious because it is the driest continent and is characterized by larger water footprints in the domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors. Because the largest consumption of freshwater resources is in the agricultural sector (59%), this research undertakes a detailed investigation of the water footprints of agricultural practices in Australia. The analysis of the four highest water footprint crops in Australia revealed that the suitability of various crops is connected to the region and the irrigation efficiencies. A desirable crop in one region may be unsuitable in another. The investigation is further extended to analyze the overall virtual water trade of Australia. Australia’s annual virtual water trade balance is adversely biased towards exporting a substantial quantity of water, amounting to 35 km3, per trade data of 2014. It is evident that there is significant potential to reduce water consumption and footprints, and increase the water usage efficiencies, in all sectors. Based on the investigations conducted, it is recommended that the water footprints at each state level be considered at the strategic level. Further detailed analyses are required to reduce the export of a substantial quantity of virtual water considering local demands, export requirements, and production capabilities of regions. Full article
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Article
A Model for Locating Tall Buildings through a Visual Analysis Approach
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 6072; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10176072 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Tall buildings have become an integral part of cities despite all their pros and cons. Some current tall buildings have several problems because of their unsuitable location; the problems include increasing density, imposing traffic on urban thoroughfares, blocking view corridors, etc. Some of [...] Read more.
Tall buildings have become an integral part of cities despite all their pros and cons. Some current tall buildings have several problems because of their unsuitable location; the problems include increasing density, imposing traffic on urban thoroughfares, blocking view corridors, etc. Some of these buildings have destroyed desirable views of the city. In this research, different criteria have been chosen, such as environment, access, social-economic, land-use, and physical context. These criteria and sub-criteria are prioritized and weighted by the analytic network process (ANP) based on experts’ opinions, using Super Decisions V2.8 software. On the other hand, layers corresponding to sub-criteria were made in ArcGIS 10.3 simultaneously, then via a weighted overlay (map algebra), a locating plan was created. In the next step seven hypothetical tall buildings (20 stories), in the best part of the locating plan, were considered to evaluate how much of theses hypothetical buildings would be visible (fuzzy visibility) from the street and open spaces throughout the city. These processes have been modeled by MATLAB software, and the final fuzzy visibility plan was created by ArcGIS. Fuzzy visibility results can help city managers and planners to choose which location is suitable for a tall building and how much visibility may be appropriate. The proposed model can locate tall buildings based on technical and visual criteria in the future development of the city and it can be widely used in any city as long as the criteria and weights are localized. Full article
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Article
Urban Mobility Data Analysis for Public Transportation Systems: A Case Study in Montevideo, Uruguay
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(16), 5400; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10165400 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
Transportation systems play a major role in modern urban contexts, where citizens are expected to travel in order to engage in social and economic activities. Modern transportation systems incorporate technologies that generate huge volumes of data, which can be processed to extract valuable [...] Read more.
Transportation systems play a major role in modern urban contexts, where citizens are expected to travel in order to engage in social and economic activities. Modern transportation systems incorporate technologies that generate huge volumes of data, which can be processed to extract valuable mobility information. This article describes a proposal for studying public transportation systems following an urban data analysis approach. A thorough analysis of the transportation system in Montevideo, Uruguay, and its usage is outlined, combining several sources of urban data. Furthermore, origin-destination matrices, which describe mobility patterns in the city, are generated using ticket sales data. The computed results are validated with a recent mobility survey. Finally, a visualization web application is presented, which allows conveying mobility information in an intuitive way. Full article
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Article
Wireless Home Energy Management System with Smart Rule-Based Controller
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4533; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134533 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Despite the increasing utilization of renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy, most residential buildings still rely on conventional energy supply by public utility services. Such utility services often use time-of-use energy pricing, which compels residential consumers to reduce their energy [...] Read more.
Despite the increasing utilization of renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy, most residential buildings still rely on conventional energy supply by public utility services. Such utility services often use time-of-use energy pricing, which compels residential consumers to reduce their energy usage. This paper presents a wireless home energy management (HEM) system that enables the automatic control of home appliances to reduce energy consumption to assist such energy users. The system consists of multiple smart sockets that measure the energy that is consumed by the connected appliances and are capable of implementing on/off commands. The system includes other support components for supplying data to a central controller, which utilizes a rule-based HEM algorithm. The control rules were designed, such that the lifestyle of the user would be preserved while the energy consumption and daily energy cost were reduced. The experimental results showed that the central controller could effectively receive data and control multiple devices. The system was also found to afford significant reductions of 23.5 kWh and $2.898 in the total daily energy consumption and bill of the considered household setup, respectively. The proposed HEM system promises to be particularly useful for households with a high daily energy consumption. Full article
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Article
Use of Digital Technologies for Intensifying Knowledge Sharing
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 4281; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124281 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
The operation of companies in the current environment, introducing the concept of Industry 4.0 and the establishment and expansion of inter-company networks, as well as open and knowledge-based systems in organizations, is a precondition for success in the efficient acquisition, processing, storage, and [...] Read more.
The operation of companies in the current environment, introducing the concept of Industry 4.0 and the establishment and expansion of inter-company networks, as well as open and knowledge-based systems in organizations, is a precondition for success in the efficient acquisition, processing, storage, and sharing of key information. The instruments created for this purpose came to the market gradually during the Third Industrial Revolution; however, with the outbreak of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, their development underwent a leap, whereas this stage is associated with the introduction and use of big data in human resources management. The aim of this paper is to analyze the current state of organizations operating with a focus on Slovakia, as well as the importance and knowledge value of the organizations, their way of internal sharing, and the level of knowledge database use for this purpose in the context of the region in which the organizations operate. On one hand, the results show a lack of businesses orientation with regard to this issue, especially in comparison with neighboring countries; however, on the other hand, they also show relatively significant progress in this area, which may increase competitiveness internationally in the near future. Full article
Article
The Feasibility and Environmental Impact of Sustainable Public Transportation: A PV Supplied Electric Bus Network
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3987; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113987 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
Limited fuel resources and the huge negative impact on the environment from using fossil fuels have led to an urgency to utilize the most energy efficient solutions for public transportation. Environmentally sustainable solutions can deliver the same benefits of traditional systems, but without [...] Read more.
Limited fuel resources and the huge negative impact on the environment from using fossil fuels have led to an urgency to utilize the most energy efficient solutions for public transportation. Environmentally sustainable solutions can deliver the same benefits of traditional systems, but without the negative impacts. The Bus Rapid Transit Project of Amman (Amman BRT) is used as a case study. Proposed measures include using electric buses instead of diesel ones, and installing elevated photovoltaic systems above buses parking and routes, in addition to using LED street lighting. The feasibility study of applying the proposed measures on the Amman BRT project showed that only 7.1 years is needed to payback the incremental investment throughout this transformation. Capital expenditure (CAPEX) is higher than the baseline buses, while operational expenditure (OPEX) is much lower, resulting in a 32% lower total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by 27,203.68 metric ton of CO2 per year and 408,055.26 metric tons for the 15-year lifetime of the project. Full article
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Review

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Review
Smart Cities’ Applications to Facilitate the Mobility of Older Adults: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6395; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11146395 - 11 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
This study aimed to identify: (i) the relevant applications based on information technologies and requiring smart cities’ infrastructure to facilitate the mobility of older adults in URBAN SPACES; (ii) the type of data being used by the proposed applications; (iii) the maturity level [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify: (i) the relevant applications based on information technologies and requiring smart cities’ infrastructure to facilitate the mobility of older adults in URBAN SPACES; (ii) the type of data being used by the proposed applications; (iii) the maturity level of these applications; and (iv) the barriers TO their dissemination. An electronic search was conducted on Web of Science, Scopus, and IEEE Xplore databases, combining relevant keywords. Then, titles and abstracts were screened against inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the full texts of the eligible articles were retrieved and screened for inclusion. A total of 28 articles were included. These articles report smart cities’ applications to facilitate the mobility of older adults using different types of sensing devices. The number of included articles is reduced when compared with the total number of articles related to smart cities, which means that the mobility of older adults it is still a not significant topic within the research on smart cities’. Although most of the included studies aimed the implementation of specific applications, these were still in an early stage of development, without the assessment of potential end-users. This is an important research gap since it makes difficult the creation of market-oriented solutions. Another research gap is the integration of knowledge generated by other research topics related to smart cities and smart mobility. Consequently, important issues (e.g., user privacy, data standardization and integration, Internet of Things implementation, and sensors’ characteristics) were poorly addressed by the included studies. Full article
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Review
Development of a Preliminary-Risk-Based Flood Management Approach to Address the Spatiotemporal Distribution of Risk under the Kaldor–Hicks Compensation Principle
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9045; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249045 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
All over the world, probability-based flood protection designs are the ones most commonly used. Different return-period design floods are standard criteria for designing structural measures. Recently, risk-based flood management has received a significant appraisal, but the fixed return period is still the de [...] Read more.
All over the world, probability-based flood protection designs are the ones most commonly used. Different return-period design floods are standard criteria for designing structural measures. Recently, risk-based flood management has received a significant appraisal, but the fixed return period is still the de facto standard for flood management designs due to the absence of a robust framework for risk-based flood management. The objective of this paper is to discuss the economics and criteria of project appraisal, as well as to recommend the most suitable approach for a risk-based project feasibility evaluation. When it comes to flood management, decision-makers, who are generally politicians, have to prioritize the allocation of resources to different civic welfare projects. This research provides a connection between engineering, economics, and management. Taking account of socioeconomic and environmental constraints, several measures can be employed in a floodplain. The Kaldor–Hicks compensation principle provides the basis for a risk-based feasibility analysis. Floods should be managed in a way that reduces the damage from minimum investments to ensure maximum output from floodplain land use. Specifically, marginal losses due to flood damage and the expense of flood management must be minimized. This point of minimum expenses is known as the “optimum risk point” or “optimal state”. This optimal state can be estimated using a risk-based assessment. Internal rate of return, net present value, and benefit–cost ratio are indicators that describe the feasibility of a project. However, considering expected annual damage is strongly recommended for flood management to ensure a simultaneous envisage of the performance of land-use practices and flood measures. Flood management ratios can be used to describe the current ratio of expected annual damage to the expected annual damage at the optimal risk point. Further development of the approach may replace probability-based standards at the national level. Full article
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Review
A Critical Review of Flood Risk Management and the Selection of Suitable Measures
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8752; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238752 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Modern-day flood management has evolved into a variety of flood management alternatives. The selection of appropriate flood measures is crucial under a variety of flood management practices, approaches, and assessment criteria. Many leading countries appraise the significance of risk-based flood management, but the [...] Read more.
Modern-day flood management has evolved into a variety of flood management alternatives. The selection of appropriate flood measures is crucial under a variety of flood management practices, approaches, and assessment criteria. Many leading countries appraise the significance of risk-based flood management, but the fixed return period is still the de facto standard of flood management practices. Several measures, approaches, and design criteria have been developed over time. Understanding their role, significance, and correlation toward risk-based flood management is crucial for integrating them into a plan for a floodplain. The direct impacts of a flood are caused by direct contact with the flood, while indirect impacts occur as a result of the interruptions and disruptions of the socio-economical aspects. To proceed with a risk-based flood management approach, the fundamental requirement is to understand the risk dynamics of a floodplain and to identify the principal parameter that should primarily be addressed so as to reduce the risk. Risk is a potential loss that may arise from a hazard. On the one hand, exposure and susceptibility of the vulnerable system, and on the other, the intensity and probability of the hazard, are the parameters that can be used to quantitatively determine risk. The selection of suitable measures for a flood management scheme requires a firm apprehension of the risk mechanism. Under socio-economic and environmental constraints, several measures can be employed at the catchments, channels, and floodplains. The effectiveness of flood measures depends on the floodplain characteristics and supporting measures. Full article
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Review
How Can Smart Mobility Innovations Alleviate Transportation Disadvantage? Assembling a Conceptual Framework through a Systematic Review
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6306; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186306 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3093
Abstract
Transportation disadvantage is about the difficulty accessing mobility services required to complete activities associated with employment, shopping, business, essential needs, and recreation. Technological innovations in the field of smart mobility have been identified as a potential solution to help individuals overcome issues associated [...] Read more.
Transportation disadvantage is about the difficulty accessing mobility services required to complete activities associated with employment, shopping, business, essential needs, and recreation. Technological innovations in the field of smart mobility have been identified as a potential solution to help individuals overcome issues associated with transportation disadvantage. This paper aims to provide a consolidated understanding on how smart mobility innovations can contribute to alleviate transportation disadvantage. A systematic literature review is completed, and a conceptual framework is developed to provide the required information to address transportation disadvantage. The results are categorized under the physical, economic, spatial, temporal, psychological, information, and institutional dimensions of transportation disadvantage. The study findings reveal that: (a) Primary smart mobility innovations identified in the literature are demand responsive transportation, shared transportation, intelligent transportation systems, electric mobility, autonomous vehicles, and Mobility-as-a-Services. (b) Smart mobility innovations could benefit urban areas by improving accessibility, efficiency, coverage, flexibility, safety, and the overall integration of the transportation system. (c) Smart mobility innovations have the potential to contribute to the alleviation of transportation disadvantage. (d) Mobility-as-a-Service has high potential to alleviate transportation disadvantage primarily due to its ability to integrate a wide-range of services. Full article
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Case Report
Post-Flood Risk Management and Resilience Building Practices: A Case Study
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4823; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114823 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1256
Abstract
The study was conducted to assess the post 2010 flood risk management and resilience-building practices in District Layyah, Pakistan. Exploratory research was applied to gain knowledge of flood risk management to embed the disaster risk reduction, mitigation, and adaptation strategies at the local [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to assess the post 2010 flood risk management and resilience-building practices in District Layyah, Pakistan. Exploratory research was applied to gain knowledge of flood risk management to embed the disaster risk reduction, mitigation, and adaptation strategies at the local government and community level. Around 200 questionnaires were collected from the four devastated areas/union councils. Primary data from the field uncovered flood risk management practices by organizations, local government, and the community. It highlights resilience-building practices undertaken by the community through rehabilitation, community participation, and local indigenous practices. The role of the District Layyah’s local government and organizations to mitigate the 2010 flood and their contribution towards flood resilience in affected communities was investigated, as no comparable studies were carried out in the riverine belt of District Layyah previously. Moreover, the tangible and non-tangible measures to lessen the vulnerability to floods and improve flood risk governance at a local level were identified. This study makes a valuable contribution in strengthening the resilience building of vulnerable communities by recommending few changes in existing practices concerning flood risk at a local level. Full article
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