Sustainability and Inclusivity in the Smart City

A special issue of Smart Cities (ISSN 2624-6511). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and ICT".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2019) | Viewed by 23441

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Curtin Mauritius, Charles Telfair Campus, Moka, Mauritius
Interests: smart cities; resilience; future cities; sustainability; urban theory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A rapid adoption of the smart city concept is leading to an increasing consumer market for “smart” solutions, which often, through intelligent marketing campaigns by large ICT companies, are geared mainly towards profit making. The advent of big data and the investment from large corporations into artificial intelligence has also enforced a monopoly in various sectors, which is detrimental to local and smaller scale companies. This disruption in market dynamics leads to unsustainable policies that lack contextualisation, and eventually mould “smart” urban fabrics geared towards technological outputs, disregarding their rich cultural heritage, identities, and human sensibilities. As the concept evolves, unfortunately driven by technology providers and from an overemphasis on the technological standpoint, there is a need for re-actualisation and re-calibration in order to ensure sustainable outcomes. In this sense, various key questions emerge, namely:

  1. How do we create an economically smart ecosystem that encourages both divestment in obsolete technologies and investment in local and decentralised solutions?
  2. How do we redefine the smart city to ensure inclusivity at various levels, so as to ensure the societal adoption of the concept?
  3. What are the most appropriate governing models and policy frameworks that are more applicable for ensuring both sustainability and inclusivity?
  4. What are the future urban trends and dynamics that need to be factored in while tackling the subject of inclusive and intelligent urbanisation?

Multi-disciplinary approaches towards smart cities, aimed at rendering more cohesive and inclusive urban fabrics, are welcomed. The Special Issue calls for theoretical, empirical, critical, and thought-provoking submissions in the form of (1) full length articles and (2) shorter manuscripts (maximum 3000 words) through short communications and perspectives.

Dr. Zaheer Allam
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. Smart Cities 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 2000 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
  • urban growth
  • cultural identity
  • social inclusivity
  • big data
  • artificial intelligence
  • urban policy
  • technology
  • sustainability and resilience
  • urban health
  • energy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 1565 KiB  
Communication
Smart Tourism as a Pillar for Sustainable Urban Development: An Alternate Smart City Strategy from Mauritius
by Yeshna Jessie Dabeedooal, Vickramsingh Dindoyal, Zaheer Allam and David S. Jones
Smart Cities 2019, 2(2), 153-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities2020011 - 5 May 2019
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 9552
Abstract
Mauritius, a small island developing state (SIDS), has an approved government-issued smart city framework geared at facilitating the development of smart cities through an application of Internet of things. In an attempt to move away from privately-operated urban developments in the form of [...] Read more.
Mauritius, a small island developing state (SIDS), has an approved government-issued smart city framework geared at facilitating the development of smart cities through an application of Internet of things. In an attempt to move away from privately-operated urban developments in the form of newly built smart cities, an alternate framework has been proposed by Allam and Newman to redefine this timely concept for existing cities with the main dimensions being metabolism, culture, and governance. This new framework focuses on liveability and sustainability that builds on the cultural and historical dimensions of existing cities. This study adds to the redefined smart city paradigm by proposing a new pillar in the form of smart tourism for the city of Port Louis, Mauritius. This paper reviews models of smart tourism and explores how this can be grafted to the Allam and Newman’s smart city model. The findings of this study seek to inform policy makers on alternate and the more relevant economic potential of smart tourism for the city of Port Louis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Inclusivity in the Smart City)
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17 pages, 7077 KiB  
Article
Achieving Neuroplasticity in Artificial Neural Networks through Smart Cities
by Zaheer Allam
Smart Cities 2019, 2(2), 118-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities2020009 - 8 Apr 2019
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 6895
Abstract
Through the Internet of things (IoT), as promoted by smart cities, there is an emergence of big data accentuating the use of artificial intelligence through various components of urban planning, management, and design. One such system is that of artificial neural networks (ANNs), [...] Read more.
Through the Internet of things (IoT), as promoted by smart cities, there is an emergence of big data accentuating the use of artificial intelligence through various components of urban planning, management, and design. One such system is that of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a component of machine learning that boasts similitude with brain neurological networks and its functioning. However, the development of ANN was done in singular fashion, whereby processes are rendered in sequence in a unidimensional perspective, contrasting with the functions of the brain to which ANN boasts similitude, and in particular to the concept of neuroplasticity which encourages unique complex interactions in self-learning fashion, thereby encouraging more inclusive urban processes and render urban coherence. This paper takes inspiration from Christopher Alexander’s Nature of Order and dwells in the concept of complexity theory; it also proposes a theoretical model of how ANN can be rendered with the same plastic properties as brain neurological networks with multidimensional interactivity in the context of smart cities through the use of big data and its emerging complex networks. By doing so, this model caters to the creation of stronger, richer, and more complex patterns that support Alexander’s concept of “wholeness” through the connection of overlapping networks. This paper is aimed toward engineers with interdisciplinary interest looking at creating more complex and intricate ANN models, and toward urban planners and urban theorists working on the emerging contemporary concept of smart cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Inclusivity in the Smart City)
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10 pages, 247 KiB  
Communication
The Emergence of Anti-Privacy and Control at the Nexus between the Concepts of Safe City and Smart City
by Zaheer Allam
Smart Cities 2019, 2(1), 96-105; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities2010007 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 6490
Abstract
The emergence of Big Data, accelerated through the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, from the emerging, contemporary concept of smart cities coupled with that of the notion for safe cities is raising concerns of privacy and good governance that are impacting [...] Read more.
The emergence of Big Data, accelerated through the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, from the emerging, contemporary concept of smart cities coupled with that of the notion for safe cities is raising concerns of privacy and good governance that are impacting on socio-economic and liveability dimensions of urban fabrics. As these gain ground, largely due to economic pressures from large ICT providers, there is a notable increase towards the need for inclusion of human dimensions, complemented by the use of technology. However, the latter is seen as catalysing elements of control and propaganda which are thriving through oversimplified and non-inclusive urban IT policy measures. This paper dwells on the intersecting subjects of smart and safe cities and explores the highlighted issues that are deemed to cause concern and further explore the need for transparency and inclusivity in urban processes and systems. This paper is oriented towards urban planners and policy makers looking at the implementation of smart and safe cities concepts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Inclusivity in the Smart City)
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