Special Issue "Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future"

A special issue of Informatics (ISSN 2227-9709). This special issue belongs to the section "Industrial Informatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2022 | Viewed by 12197

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mahdi Safa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA
Interests: industry digitalization; construction visualization; supply nexus management; project management; integrated construction information; Industry 4.0 technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maryam Hamidi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA
Interests: reliability engineering; statistical data analysis; maintenance and inventory optimization; game theory; warranty and lease contract design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart cities and infrastructures mean improved operations, promoted sustainability, improved transportation and accessibility, improved social services, and new ways to provide services and connect with citizens, businesses, government, and other organizations. Due to a surge in population growth, construction companies need to be tasked with building a high-tech urban environment. Building smart cities and infrastructures necessitates a new set of requirements on projects. McKinsey and Company (2020) reported that over the next 7 years, the global construction industry will potentially grow from $7.2 trillion to over $12 trillion. Using new technologies, applying digitization, rolling out best practices across construction sectors, and embedding data and analytics services into new and existing buildings and infrastructures during the construction process and continuing delivery through commissioning and into the operational years will improve all stakeholders’ experience, reduce energy consumption, and streamline maintenance. This Special Issue will provide an opportunity for researchers to exchange new ideas across the emerging field. The goal of this Special Issue is to collect high-quality contributions to address smart cities and infrastructure construction and operations. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the ones listed below:

  • Accelerating projects with smart construction and simulation technologies;
  • Digital transformation of the construction enterprise;
  • Smart city infrastructure development and monitoring;
  • Managing the life-cycle cost of smart infrastructure systems;
  • Digitization in construction;
  • Improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity;
  • Smart marine infrastructure and port automation;
  • Digital systems in smart city and infrastructure.

Dr. Mahdi Safa
Dr. Maryam Hamidi
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 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. Informatics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 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

  • infrastructure cybersecurity
  • digitization
  • smart city and infrastructure
  • advanced construction
  • port automation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
The C2G Framework to Convert Infrastructure Data from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Informatics 2022, 9(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics9020042 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 853
Abstract
Making smart and informed decisions often requires the integration and analysis of large amounts of data. However, integrating these data is rarely straightforward, mainly because of heterogeneities in data structure and format. In this study, we focus on two widely used data formats [...] Read more.
Making smart and informed decisions often requires the integration and analysis of large amounts of data. However, integrating these data is rarely straightforward, mainly because of heterogeneities in data structure and format. In this study, we focus on two widely used data formats by municipalities to store digital maps of their infrastructure: Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While most municipalities still maintain infrastructure data in CAD format, many have started converting them to GIS since GIS includes geographical coordinates. However, the inherent differences between these two formats pose challenges to accurately converting information from CAD to GIS. The main goal of this study is to develop a procedure to help municipalities to perform CAD-to-GIS conversion. To that end, potential problems in CAD-to-GIS conversion were first identified through interviews with practitioners at different U.S. municipalities and through a literature review. Taken together, we propose the C2G framework to streamline the conversion process while minimizing information loss. The framework consists of five stages, and the execution of this framework and tasks involved in each stage are explained. Moreover, we apply the framework to real-world underground stormwater infrastructure data obtained from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to illustrate the framework’s applicability. The case study explains details about the technical difficulties we encountered in the process and provides recommendations to circumvent those difficulties. The results from the case study showed that the C2G framework was able to successfully convert CAD data to GIS data. Although the framework is developed specific to the needs of CAD/GIS practitioners in the US municipalities, it can be adopted in most CAD-to-GIS conversion situations. The information learned during the interviews supports the need for a standard CAD-to-GIS conversion process. The contribution of this study is to fill this gap by developing a generalized framework to carry out CAD-to-GIS conversion which only requires basic knowledge of CAD and GIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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Article
Aspects of E-Scooter Sharing in the Smart City
Informatics 2022, 9(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics9020036 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
The contemporary urban environment faces such challenges as overloaded traffic, heavy pollution, and social problems, etc. The concept of the “smart city” allows solving some of these issues. One of the opportunities provided by the smart city is the development of micro-mobility and [...] Read more.
The contemporary urban environment faces such challenges as overloaded traffic, heavy pollution, and social problems, etc. The concept of the “smart city” allows solving some of these issues. One of the opportunities provided by the smart city is the development of micro-mobility and sharing services; contributing to the optimization of transport flows and decreasing carbon footprints. This study investigates the factors affecting the development of e-scooter sharing services and the attitudes of young urban residents towards using these services. The research applied a PLS-SEM (partial least squares structural equation modeling) analysis performed in SmartPLS3.7 software. The data were collected via focus groups and surveying a population aged 18–35. The authors partially based the research on the UTAUT model (the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology), taking such constructs as “intention to use”, “anxiety”, “attitude toward use”, “effort expectancy”, and “social influence”; they also introduced the new unique variables “internal uncertainty”, “e-scooter design”, “experience”, “perceived safety”, “infrastructure quality”, and “motivation to physical activity”. The main finding of the study was determining that the latent variables attitude towards sharing, anxiety, internal uncertainty, JTBD (jobs to be done), and new way of thinking have a direct or indirect effect on the intention to ride e-scooters in the future and/or to use sharing services. The obtained results permit making recommendations to businesses, municipal authorities, and other stakeholders on developing e-scooter sharing services as a contribution to the advancement of the smart city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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Article
UTAUT Model for Smart City Concept Implementation: Use of Web Applications by Residents for Everyday Operations
Informatics 2022, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics9010027 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1130
Abstract
The article considers the attitude of smart city residents towards the use of web applications in everyday life. It is very important for many stakeholders since it affects the involvement of people in all processes of urban life and contributes to the implementation [...] Read more.
The article considers the attitude of smart city residents towards the use of web applications in everyday life. It is very important for many stakeholders since it affects the involvement of people in all processes of urban life and contributes to the implementation of the smart city concept. The goal of the research is to study the factors influencing the intention and use of web applications in a smart city. Based on the results of surveying the residents of Riga, the UTA UT model was applied with the employment of partial least squares structural equation modeling in Smart PLS. The traditional constructs of the UTAUT model—Performance Expectancy (PE), Effort Expectancy (EE), Social Influence (SI), Facilitating Conditions (FC), as well as Attitude towards the use of Applications (ATA)—had a direct or indirect positive relationship with the intention to use technologies (Behavioral Intention: BI) and/or with usage of these technologies (Use Behavior: UB). Anxiety indirectly via ATA showed a negative effect on UB. The influence of Age, Gender and Education on BI and UB as moderators was also investigated. Only Age as a moderator negatively affected the relationship between FC and PE and SI. The results showed that in order to involve in full scope of the population of Riga in the use of communication technologies and the implementation of the smart city concept, it is necessary to create the appropriate conditions for residents, in particular by teaching people on a permanent basis. Some of the obtained results were different from similar studies’ results, which emphasizes that city authorities and other stakeholders should make decisions on the involvement of citizens in smart process based on the local peculiarities, which supports the slogan of smart cities—think globally, act locally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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Article
Modifying the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model for the Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry from the User Perspective
by , , and
Informatics 2021, 8(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8040081 - 20 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Inefficient and ineffective practices in the construction industry have hindered productivity even though it is considered as one of the largest sectors in any county. One best solution to overcome these inherent problems in the construction industry is to move forward with digital [...] Read more.
Inefficient and ineffective practices in the construction industry have hindered productivity even though it is considered as one of the largest sectors in any county. One best solution to overcome these inherent problems in the construction industry is to move forward with digital technologies. For that, organizational structure, technical aspects, and, most importantly, human factors need to be considered. The aim of this research is to find out human behaviors that affect the digital transformation of the construction industry based on the well-accepted model Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). An in-depth literature review was carried out using fifty-five journal papers to develop a conceptual model for the acceptance of digital transformation, and it was validated and further reviewed using ten expert interviews. The model consists of seven constraints: Personal Benefits, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Risk, Facility Conditions, Attitudes, and Subjective Norms. The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was carried out to rank these seven factors according to individual priorities in the construction industry. Further, the model was extended and modified using factors derived from literature review and expert feedback. It is proved that “Perceived Personal Benefits” is the major consideration of an individual who is willing to move towards digital transformation. This research fulfills the lack of knowledge in the digitalization of the construction industry as per a human perspective, and it provides a prerequisite to finding the solutions for the issues which emerged within the industry towards digitalization. Further, the framework developed in the research can be used to systematically adopt the human factor for the digital transformation of the construction industry. In addition, this enables the analysis of changing demands for humans in digitally transformed environments, such as Industry 4.0 environments, and contributes towards a successful digital transformation that avoids the pitfalls of innovation performed without attention to human factors. The paper concludes by highlighting future research directions on the human factor in digital transformation as well as managerial implications for successful application in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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Article
Blockchain and Smart Contracts: A Solution for Payment Issues in Construction Supply Chains
Informatics 2021, 8(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8020036 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3478
Abstract
The construction industry has dynamic supply chains with multiple suppliers usually engaged in short-term relationships. Government legislation, novel types of payment agreements, conventional information technology solutions, and supply chain management best practices have endeavoured to solve payment-related financial issues in the construction industry, [...] Read more.
The construction industry has dynamic supply chains with multiple suppliers usually engaged in short-term relationships. Government legislation, novel types of payment agreements, conventional information technology solutions, and supply chain management best practices have endeavoured to solve payment-related financial issues in the construction industry, which are mainly caused by the complexities of the construction supply chain. Nevertheless, payment-related issues persist as one of the key challenges in the industry. Applications of blockchain technology–a trusted, distributed data storing mechanism–along with smart contracts are gaining focus as solutions for complex interorganisational processes. A smart contract is a self-executing script that codifies a set of rules or agreements between multiple parties and runs across the blockchain network. This paper identifies the suitability of blockchain and smart contract technologies in solving payment issues in the construction industry. An expert forum of construction industry stakeholders served as the primary data collection method through a structured questionnaire. The key finding of the paper is that blockchain and smart contract powered solutions can significantly mitigate the payment and related financial issues in the construction industry, including partial payments, nonpayments, cost of finance, long payment cycle, retention, and security of payments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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Review

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Review
Measuring Digital Citizenship: A Comparative Analysis
Informatics 2021, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8010018 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2970
Abstract
This paper aims at showing a state of the art about digital citizenship from the methodological point of view when it comes to measuring this construct. The review of the scientific literature offers at least ten definitions and nine different scales of measurement. [...] Read more.
This paper aims at showing a state of the art about digital citizenship from the methodological point of view when it comes to measuring this construct. The review of the scientific literature offers at least ten definitions and nine different scales of measurement. The comparative and diachronic analysis of the content of the definitions shows us two conceptions of digital citizenship, some more focused on digital competences and others on critical and activist aspects. This paper replicates and compares three scales of measurement of digital citizenship selected for their relevance and administered in a sample of 366 university students, to analyze their psychometric properties and the existing coincidences and divergences between the three. The most outstanding conclusion is that not all of them seem to measure the same construct, due to its diversity of dimensions. An online activism dimension needs to be incorporated if digital citizenship is to be measured. There is an urgent need to agree internationally on a definition of digital citizenship with its corresponding dimensions to elaborate a reliable and valid measuring instrument. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Smart Cities and Infrastructures for a Sustainable Future)
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