Special Issue "Urban Level Smart Energy System"

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 May 2022) | Viewed by 2559

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paolo Esposito
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Guest Editor
University of Sannio, DEMM, Benevento, 82100, Italy; School of Banking, WSB University, Gdànsk, Poland
Interests: smart energy community; public value measures and measurement; popular financial reporting
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Paolo Ricci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, 80133, Italy
Interests: accountability; cultural smart organizations; smarte energy; smart cities
Prof. Dr. Patrick O'Sullivan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of People, Organizations and Society, Grenoble Ecole de Management, 38000 Grenoble, France
Interests: Economics; Epistemology; Ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims at observing and investigating the evolution of studies on intelligent systems (Li et al., 2016; De Jong et al., 2018; De Jong & Lu, 2019), smart energy systems (Siano, 2014; Talari et al., 2017; Myeong et al., 2018), smart energy communities (Edelenbos et al., 2016; De Jong et al., 2018; Lu & De Jong, 2019; Anttiroiko, 2020), and the evolutionary and dynamic processes of disruptive transformation that are currently underway (Eallace, 2012; Abouei et al., 2019; Radu, 2020). The aim is to look more in-depth at the nature of the relationships arising from new concepts and models.

Keywords such as intelligent systems, smart energy systems and smart energy community have been  at the center of the political (Li et al., 2016), economic (Scuotto et al., 2016) and social (Anttiroiko, 2020) debate for some years now. In a context where financial resources are scarce, energy transformations brought by intelligent systems are already producing major consequences in terms of business organization and strategies (Lombardy Dumay, 2017). For researchers and scholars of ethics, governance and accountability, as well as for practitioners and policy makers, observations on the urban transformations of smart systems can represent a theoretical basis for reflection, both in the measurement of new emerging dimensions and in relation to the issue of performance in those organizations operating according to the principles of financial, social and environmental sustainability of smart communities (Arler et al., 2020). Observations on energy transformations in smart cities and intelligent systems will have to stress the advantages for the main players (Myeong et al., 2021), together with the cultural factors behind such changes (Myeong et al., 2018), highlighting opportunities, challenges, risks.

Adopting an applied research approach, both theoretical and empirical contributions will be welcome, with the relevant methodological approaches being of either a qualitative, quantitative or mixed nature. The papers submitted will be useful to scholars, practioners (Deloitte, 2018) and policy makers alike to understand, identify and acknowledge the various challenges involving ethical (O'Sullivan et al., 2015; Mandalaki & O’Sullivan 2016; Tokoru, 2016; Arler et al., 2020), collaborative governance (Esposito, Ricci, Sancino, 2020) and accountability issues (Mulgan, 2000; Ricci, 2016), in all transformation processes induced by intelligent and sustainable energy systems (O'Leavy, 2018).

The contributions will have to analyze the solutions provided by smart energy systems and the related emerging trends, by observing in particular:

  1. what are the energy transformations in cities (Anttiroiki, 2020), in organized communities and in intelligent systems in general (O’Leavy, 2018);
  2. what are the implications of these transformations under the three proposed areas: ethics (O'Sullivan et al., 2015; Mandalaki & O’Sullivan 2016; Tokoru Nabuyaki 2016; Kitchin, 2016c), responsibility and transparency (Ricci, 2016; Ghosal & Halder, 2018), value and its governance (Talari et al., 2017; Hartley et al., 2019);
  3. what are the most qualified and significant experiences in the current scenario (Anttiroiko, 2020), and according to which parameters or criteria these should be evaluated (Ahvenniemi et al., 2017);
  4. which reporting tools and governance models should be studied (Lombardi, Dumay, 2017) and implemented (Esposito, Ricci, Sancino, 2020) to make energy transformations and transitions as intelligent and sustainable as possible (Visvizi et al., 2019);
  5. what role should be assigned to citizens and communities in defining a new notion of development that has less to do with the economy and more with the quality of life (O'Sullivan et al., 2015; Geels, 2018) in an era of more egalitarian technological progress, also in light of the Covid-19 outbreak (De Las Heras et al., 2020).

With this Special Issue, the Guest Editors ask the scientific community to submit the results of their research on the aforementioned topics. Specifically, the aim of the Special Issue is to share and discuss theoretical models and empirical evidence in order to explain mechanisms, methods, processes and effects related to the ethical, sustainable and responsible governance of energy transformations in intelligent systems and in smart energy communities, in order to present the state-of-the-art on these topics and to highlight future research developments based on ethical and business perspectives.

More specifically, this Special Issue calls for the submission of contributions focusing on smart energy communities with relation to the following topics:

  • understanding the ethical dilemmas and the development of theoretical frameworks on the risks and ethical challenges deriving from the transformations currently underway;
  • identification of the various challenges of an ethical nature which present themselves in the transformation to intelligent energy systems including but not restricted to overall environmental sustainability of such systems;
  • impacts on the density of urban population concentration and related health challenges in the aftermath of Covid pandemic;
  • impacts on and implications for individual freedom of movement and design;
  • strategic solutions regarding the management of intelligent systems and smart energy communities at organizational and systemic level;
  • accounting and governance systems for intelligent systems and smart energy communities;
  • technological innovation and co-production methods of public services in intelligent systems and smart energy communities;
  • planning, financing and promotion of sustainability policies;
  • accountability, reporting and sustainability;
  • analysis, financing and evaluation of the effectiveness of public investments.

Theoretical and empirical contributions, as well as qualitative and quantitative methods, will be equally appreciated.


Prof. Paolo Esposito
Prof. Paolo Ricci
Prof. Patrick O'Sullivan
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. Smart Cities 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 1200 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.


  • sustainable development
  • sustainability
  • accountability
  • smart energy
  • smart cities
  • popular financial reporting

Published Papers (1 paper)

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The Dual Role of Artificial Intelligence in Developing Smart Cities
Smart Cities 2022, 5(2), 728-755; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities5020038 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1878
Defining smart city pillars, and their nature and essence, continues to be debated in the scientific literature. The vast amount of information collected by electronic devices, often regarded merely as a means of rationalizing the use of resources and improving efficiency, could also [...] Read more.
Defining smart city pillars, and their nature and essence, continues to be debated in the scientific literature. The vast amount of information collected by electronic devices, often regarded merely as a means of rationalizing the use of resources and improving efficiency, could also be considered as a pillar. Information by itself cannot be deciphered or understood without analysis performed by algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence. Such analysis extracts new forms of knowledge in the shape of correlations and patterns used to support the decision-making processes associated with governance and, ultimately, to define new policies. Alongside information, energy plays a crucial role in smart cities as many activities that lead to growth in the economy and employment depend on this pillar. As a result, it is crucial to highlight the link between energy and the algorithms able to plan and forecast the energy consumption of smart cities. The result of this paper consists in the highlighting of how AI and information together can be legitimately considered foundational pillars of smart cities only when their real impact, or value, has been assessed. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence can be deployed to support smart grids, electric vehicles, and smart buildings by providing techniques and methods to enhance their innovative value and measured efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Level Smart Energy System)
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