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City 4.0: Urban Planning and Development in the Age of Digital Transformation

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 35885

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Interests: smart technologies, communities, cities and urbanism; knowledge-based development of cities and innovation districts; sustainable and resilient cities; communities and urban ecosystems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
Interests: construction management; green buildings; sustainable development; built environment for ageing in place; sustainable retirement villages

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Guest Editor
Graduate Program in Smart and Sustainable Cities, University Nove de Julho, R. Vergueiro, 235/249, Liberdade, São Paulo 01525-000, Brazil
Interests: resilient and sustainable cities; smart cities; urban planning; environmental law; climate change

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Guest Editor
Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo, R. do Anfiteatro, 513, Butantã, São Paulo 05508-060, Brazil
Interests: cities; sustainable cities; data; entrepreneurship; commons; innovation ecosystems; knowledge-based economic development; city as a platform; living labs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The combination of the computer and distributed networks during the last several decades has led to two ‘Digital Revolutions’ that today allow anyone to create, disseminate, and access any information anywhere, any time and from any smart device. The birth of the ‘Digital Age’ is a result of a research ecosystem that was nurtured by government spending and military–industry–academia collaboration, along with the alliance of community organisers, communal-minded hippies, do-it-yourself hobbyists and homebrew hackers. Strictly speaking, this collaborative creativity that defines the digital age included collaboration between humans and machines. This interaction has changed the way some services are delivered. For instance, today, the world’s largest taxi company, Uber, owns no vehicles; the world’s most popular media owner, Facebook, creates no content; the world’s most valuable retailer, Alibaba, has no inventory; and the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no real estate. In addition, owing to rapid developments in the digital age, technology is widely seen as an effective apparatus to help us solve some of the most challenging problems the world is facing today, particularly when the human element is strongly considered alongside technological capabilities (Yigitcanlar, 2016).

Today, unexceptionally, all parts of the world are confronted with various environmental, social, health and economic crises—e.g., life-threatening natural disasters, the loss of biodiversity, the destruction of natural ecosystems, regional disparities, socio-economic inequity, pandemics and digital and knowledge divides that are mainly caused by rapid population increase and expansion of resource consumption, combined with industrialisation, urbanisation, mobilisation, agricultural intensification, and excessive consumption-driven lifestyles. Rapid advancement in digital technologies give us the hope that the impacts of global-scale environmental, social and economic crises can be eased with the help of appropriate technology (Yigitcanlar, 2016).

Furthermore, in recent years, the expansion of the Fouth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, to cities has disrupted the way cities are planned and developed and has generated a new city conceptualisation—i.e., City 4.0 (Chauhan et al., 2021). This new city blueprint, City 4.0, aims to leverage the power of engaged and connected citizens and digital technology and data to ensure and enhance the quality of urban life, productivity and sustainable development (D’Amico et al., 2020).

This Special Issue invites papers reviewing, empirically exploring or theoretically expanding the City 4.0 concept and practice from the angle or urban planning and development (or in simple terms, urban planning and development in the age of Industry 4.0). We welcome manuscripts that contribute to conceptualisation, policy, strategy, legislation, process or practice or at their interfaces, in the form of empirical research articles, systematic literature reviews, case reports, viewpoints, perspectives and short communication pieces.

Topics:

The topics include but not limited to the following.

  • Artificial intelligence technologies and urban planning and development
  • Big data analytics and urban planning and development
  • Blockchain technology and urban planning and development
  • Cloud, fog, edge and distributed computing and urban planning and development
  • Data-driven and evidence-based governance and urban planning and development
  • Digital technologies and infrastructures and urban planning and development
  • Digital transformation in cities and societies
  • Digital twin technologies and urban planning and development
  • Industry 4.0, Society 4.0, City 4.0, Smart city 4.0 and urban planning and development
  • Participatory and electronic governance and urban planning and development
  • Privacy, safety and security technologies and urban planning and development
  • Regenerative cities and urban planning and development
  • Renewable energies, smart grids and urban planning and development
  • Smart buildings, homes and built environments and urban planning and development
  • Sustainable, autonomous and electric mobility and urban planning and development
  • Technology and the city, region and society
  • Urban and regional planning in the 21st century
  • Urban innovation and distruptive urban technologies and urban planning and development
  • Urban quality of life, wellbeing and mental health and urban planning and development

References

  1. Chauhan, A.; Jakhar, S. K.; Chauhan, C. The interplay of circular economy with industry 4.0 enabled smart city drivers of healthcare waste disposal. J. Clean. Prod. 2021, 279, 123854.
  2. D’Amico, G.; L’Abbate, P.; Liao, W.; Yigitcanlar, T.; Ioppolo, G. Understanding sensor cities: Insights from technology giant company driven smart urbanism practices. Sensors 2020, 20, 4391.
  3. Yigitcanlar, T. Technology and the City: Systems, Applications and Implications; Routledge: New York, NY, USA, 2016.

Prof. Dr. Tan Yigitcanlar
Dr. Bo Xia
Dr. Tatiana Tucunduva Philippi Cortese
Dr. Jamile Sabatini Marques
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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • city 4.0
  • industry 4.0
  • urban technology
  • urban planning
  • urban development
  • sustainable development
  • digital transformation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 147 KiB  
Editorial
City 4.0: Digital Transformation of Urban Settlements
by Tan Yigitcanlar, Bo Xia, Tatiana Tucunduva Philippi Cortese and Jamile Sabatini-Marques
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020671 - 12 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
The combination of the computer and distributed networks during the recent decades has led to two ‘Digital Revolutions’ that today allow anyone to create, disseminate, and access any information anywhere, any time, and from any smart device [...] Full article

Research

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11 pages, 1677 KiB  
Communication
Understanding City 4.0: A Triple Bottom Line Approach
by Tan Yigitcanlar, Bo Xia, Tatiana Tucunduva Philippi Cortese and Jamile Sabatini-Marques
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010326 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Rapid urbanization and population increase, along with remarkable technological advances, have accelerated the speed of digital transformation, or at least the need for it, in our cities. Whilst being smart and sustainable is seen somewhat as an ideal city quality globally, a new [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization and population increase, along with remarkable technological advances, have accelerated the speed of digital transformation, or at least the need for it, in our cities. Whilst being smart and sustainable is seen somewhat as an ideal city quality globally, a new city concept has emerged—the so-called City 4.0—that combines Industry 4.0 and Society 4.0 in the context of smart cities. While there is growing literature on the topic, there is limited understanding of City 4.0. This communication piece aims to bring clarity to City 4.0 by elaborating it from three diverse but interrelated perspectives—namely, societal, environmental, and economic lenses or domains (also know as the triple bottom line approach)—and highlights the key City 4.0 themes—namely, circularity, adaptability, livability, accessibility, authenticity, and responsibility. The methodological approach includes a thorough appraisal of the current City 4.0 literature. This communication paper informs researchers, local and regional authorities, and urban planners on the rising importance of the notion of City 4.0 and its prospective research areas. Full article
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21 pages, 1174 KiB  
Article
Synergy of Patent and Open-Source-Driven Sustainable Climate Governance under Green AI: A Case Study of TinyML
by Tao Li, Jianqiang Luo, Kaitong Liang, Chaonan Yi and Lei Ma
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813779 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Green AI (Artificial Intelligence) and digitalization facilitate the “Dual-Carbon” goal of low-carbon, high-quality economic development. Green AI is moving from “cloud” to “edge” devices like TinyML, which supports devices from cameras to wearables, offering low-power IoT computing. This study attempts to provide a [...] Read more.
Green AI (Artificial Intelligence) and digitalization facilitate the “Dual-Carbon” goal of low-carbon, high-quality economic development. Green AI is moving from “cloud” to “edge” devices like TinyML, which supports devices from cameras to wearables, offering low-power IoT computing. This study attempts to provide a conceptual update of climate and environmental policy in open synergy with proprietary and open-source TinyML technology, and to provide an industry collaborative and policy perspective on the issue, through using differential game models. The results show that patent and open source, as two types of TinyML innovation, can benefit a wide range of low-carbon industries and climate policy coordination. From the case of TinyML, we find that collaboration and sharing can lead to the implementation of green AI, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, and helping to fight climate change and protect the environment. Full article
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20 pages, 3062 KiB  
Article
Does the Digital Economy Promote Coordinated Urban–Rural Development? Evidence from China
by Yue Cheng and Dong Zheng
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5460; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065460 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2776
Abstract
Urban–rural coordination development is a key factor in achieving sustainable development. The research sample consisted of panel data for 30 provinces in China for the period from 2011 to 2020. Our aim was to investigate whether and how the digital economy affects coordinated [...] Read more.
Urban–rural coordination development is a key factor in achieving sustainable development. The research sample consisted of panel data for 30 provinces in China for the period from 2011 to 2020. Our aim was to investigate whether and how the digital economy affects coordinated urban–rural development by using a panel data model, a spatial Durbin model (SDM), and a mediating effects model. The results indicate that (1) the growth of the digital economy has increased the level of coordinated urban–rural development directly and indirectly; (2) the coordinated development of urban and rural areas and the spatial distribution of the digital economy are highly correlated, with eastern regions generally experiencing a high level of agglomeration and central and western regions having a low level of agglomeration; (3) the digital economy can promote coordinated urban–rural development by reducing the income gap between urban and rural areas; and (4) the direct and the spatial promotion effects of digital economy development on coordinated urban–rural development appear to be stronger in the eastern region, insignificant in the central region, and to have a significant direct inhibition, as well as a significant spatial spillover effect, in the western region. This study provides a reference for China and other developing countries similar to China on how to promote coordinated urban and rural development in the development process of the digital economy. Full article
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64 pages, 11009 KiB  
Article
Smarter Sustainable Tourism: Data-Driven Multi-Perspective Parameter Discovery for Autonomous Design and Operations
by Raniah Alsahafi, Ahmed Alzahrani and Rashid Mehmood
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4166; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054166 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6148
Abstract
Global natural and manmade events are exposing the fragility of the tourism industry and its impact on the global economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism contributed 10.3% to the global GDP and employed 333 million people but saw a significant decline due [...] Read more.
Global natural and manmade events are exposing the fragility of the tourism industry and its impact on the global economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism contributed 10.3% to the global GDP and employed 333 million people but saw a significant decline due to the pandemic. Sustainable and smart tourism requires collaboration from all stakeholders and a comprehensive understanding of global and local issues to drive responsible and innovative growth in the sector. This paper presents an approach for leveraging big data and deep learning to discover holistic, multi-perspective (e.g., local, cultural, national, and international), and objective information on a subject. Specifically, we develop a machine learning pipeline to extract parameters from the academic literature and public opinions on Twitter, providing a unique and comprehensive view of the industry from both academic and public perspectives. The academic-view dataset was created from the Scopus database and contains 156,759 research articles from 2000 to 2022, which were modelled to identify 33 distinct parameters in 4 categories: Tourism Types, Planning, Challenges, and Media and Technologies. A Twitter dataset of 485,813 tweets was collected over 18 months from March 2021 to August 2022 to showcase the public perception of tourism in Saudi Arabia, which was modelled to reveal 13 parameters categorized into two broader sets: Tourist Attractions and Tourism Services. The paper also presents a comprehensive knowledge structure and literature review of the tourism sector based on over 250 research articles. Discovering system parameters are required to embed autonomous capabilities in systems and for decision-making and problem-solving during system design and operations. The work presented in this paper has significant theoretical and practical implications in that it improves AI-based information discovery by extending the use of scientific literature, Twitter, and other sources for autonomous, holistic, dynamic optimizations of systems, promoting novel research in the tourism sector and contributing to the development of smart and sustainable societies. Full article
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18 pages, 1224 KiB  
Article
Does Cross-Border E-Commerce Promote Economic Growth? Empirical Research on China’s Pilot Zones
by Min Zhong, Zengtao Wang and Xing Ge
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 11032; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141711032 - 4 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3184
Abstract
Whether the construction of China’s cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) comprehensive pilot zones can promote economic growth and social sustainable development is an important question worthy of discussion. This paper uses the difference-in-differences (DID) method to test the impact of the establishment of CBEC comprehensive [...] Read more.
Whether the construction of China’s cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) comprehensive pilot zones can promote economic growth and social sustainable development is an important question worthy of discussion. This paper uses the difference-in-differences (DID) method to test the impact of the establishment of CBEC comprehensive pilot zones on economic growth and discusses the impact mechanism. The results are as follows. (1) The construction of CBEC comprehensive pilot zones can promote economic growth. After testing with parallel trend, placebo, and other robustness methods, the results are still valid. (2) The economic promotion effect of the construction of CBEC comprehensive pilot zones will be more evident in the coastal and eastern regions. The economic promotion effect of the first, second, and third batch of CBEC comprehensive pilot zones is clear. (3) The main ways that the construction of CBEC comprehensive pilot zones can facilitate economic growth are through urban digitalization, trade openness, and information service industry agglomeration. Full article
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25 pages, 5742 KiB  
Article
Augmenting Community Engagement in City 4.0: Considerations for Digital Agency in Urban Public Space
by Michael G. Hunter, Alessandro Soro, Ross A. Brown, Joel Harman and Tan Yigitcanlar
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 9803; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14169803 - 9 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2772
Abstract
An engaged community that reflects a diverse set of experiences is key to an equitable and livable city. However, maximizing engagement activities is often difficult when competing with residents’ busy schedules and hectic daily lives. To explore new opportunities in this space, we [...] Read more.
An engaged community that reflects a diverse set of experiences is key to an equitable and livable city. However, maximizing engagement activities is often difficult when competing with residents’ busy schedules and hectic daily lives. To explore new opportunities in this space, we developed four augmented reality experiences to learn more about the potential for this technology to transform community engagement practices in the context of City 4.0. City 4.0 utilizes digital technologies to transform public services and the local economy. Its goal is to produce more sustainable urban and societal outcomes. Our findings suggest that augmented reality is least successful when used to recreate existing engagement practices, such as surveys or questionnaires, and more successful when it empowers a sense of agency and ownership over the process in its users. The way augmented reality situates information can aid in making public space feel personal to the individual. In this way, augmented reality’s affordances are less about overlaying digital information in physical space and more about how this can enable individuals to reclaim a sense of control and relevance in the relationship between citizens and councils. We aim to contribute: (a) novel interaction paradigms and an evaluation of their effectiveness and limitation, and (b) new insights into how to support citizens’ sense of agency in public discourse with augmented reality. This paper highlights the value of augmented reality’s affordances to bring to light new interactions between community engagement stakeholders. Full article
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22 pages, 1094 KiB  
Article
Transformation of Industry Ecosystems in Cities and Regions: A Generic Pathway for Smart and Green Transition
by Nicos Komninos
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9694; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159694 - 6 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3292
Abstract
This research paper focuses on pathways towards a digital and green transition. We assess a generic pathway for the transformation of industry ecosystems in cities and regions based on processes of prioritisation, ecosystem identification, and platform-based digital and green transition. We start with [...] Read more.
This research paper focuses on pathways towards a digital and green transition. We assess a generic pathway for the transformation of industry ecosystems in cities and regions based on processes of prioritisation, ecosystem identification, and platform-based digital and green transition. We start with problem definition and hypotheses; review related works on transition pathways, such as digital transition, green transition, system innovation, industry ecosystems, and multi-level perspective of transformation; assess the generic pathway with case studies; and conclude with a discussion of findings, outline of conclusions, and policy implications. Overall, the paper investigates pathways, priorities, and methods allowing public authorities and business organisations to master the current industrial transformation of cities and regions introduced by the twin digital and green transitions as an opportunity for radical change of city ecosystems, innovation leapfrogging, and system innovation. Full article
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21 pages, 1508 KiB  
Article
Automatically Generating Scenarios from a Text Corpus: A Case Study on Electric Vehicles
by Christopher W. H. Davis, Antonie J. Jetter and Philippe J. Giabbanelli
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137938 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Creating ‘what-if’ scenarios to estimate possible futures is a key component of decision-making processes. However, this activity is labor intensive as it is primarily done manually by subject-matter experts who start by identifying relevant themes and their interconnections to build models, and then [...] Read more.
Creating ‘what-if’ scenarios to estimate possible futures is a key component of decision-making processes. However, this activity is labor intensive as it is primarily done manually by subject-matter experts who start by identifying relevant themes and their interconnections to build models, and then craft diverse and meaningful stories as scenarios to run on these models. Previous works have shown that text mining could automate the model-building aspect, for example, by using topic modeling to extract themes from a large corpus and employing variations of association rule mining to connect them in quantitative ways. In this paper, we propose to further automate the process of scenario generation by guiding pre-trained deep neural networks (i.e., BERT) through simulated conversations to extract a model from a corpus. Our case study on electric vehicles shows that our approach yields similar results to previous work while almost eliminating the need for manual involvement in model building, thus focusing human expertise on the final stage of crafting compelling scenarios. Specifically, by using the same corpus as a previous study on electric vehicles, we show that the model created here either performs similarly to the previous study when there is a consensus in the literature, or differs by highlighting important gaps on domains such as government deregulation. Full article
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41 pages, 27731 KiB  
Article
Musawah: A Data-Driven AI Approach and Tool to Co-Create Healthcare Services with a Case Study on Cancer Disease in Saudi Arabia
by Nala Alahmari, Sarah Alswedani, Ahmed Alzahrani, Iyad Katib, Aiiad Albeshri and Rashid Mehmood
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063313 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5815
Abstract
The sustainability of human existence is in dire danger and this threat applies to our environment, societies, and economies. Smartization of cities and societies has the potential to unite individuals and nations towards sustainability as it requires engaging with our environments, analyzing them, [...] Read more.
The sustainability of human existence is in dire danger and this threat applies to our environment, societies, and economies. Smartization of cities and societies has the potential to unite individuals and nations towards sustainability as it requires engaging with our environments, analyzing them, and making sustainable decisions regulated by triple bottom line (TBL). Poor healthcare systems affect individuals, societies, the planet, and economies. This paper proposes a data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) based approach called Musawah to automatically discover healthcare services that can be developed or co-created by various stakeholders using social media analysis. The case study focuses on cancer disease in Saudi Arabia using Twitter data in the Arabic language. Specifically, we discover 17 services using machine learning from Twitter data using the Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithm (LDA) and group them into five macro-services, namely, Prevention, Treatment, Psychological Support, Socioeconomic Sustainability, and Information Availability. Subsequently, we show the possibility of finding additional services by employing a topical search over the dataset and have discovered 42 additional services. We developed a software tool from scratch for this work that implements a complete machine learning pipeline using a dataset containing over 1.35 million tweets we curated during September–November 2021. Open service and value healthcare systems based on freely available information can revolutionize healthcare in manners similar to the open-source revolution by using information made available by the public, the government, third and fourth sectors, or others, allowing new forms of preventions, cures, treatments, and support structures. Full article
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Review

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21 pages, 829 KiB  
Review
Crowdsourcing Public Engagement for Urban Planning in the Global South: Methods, Challenges and Suggestions for Future Research
by El Bachir Diop, Jérôme Chenal, Stéphane Cédric Koumetio Tekouabou and Rida Azmi
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11461; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811461 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2685
Abstract
Crowdsourcing could potentially have great benefits for the development of sustainable cities in the Global South (GS), where a growing population and rapid urbanization represent serious challenges for the years to come. However, to fulfill this potential, it is important to take into [...] Read more.
Crowdsourcing could potentially have great benefits for the development of sustainable cities in the Global South (GS), where a growing population and rapid urbanization represent serious challenges for the years to come. However, to fulfill this potential, it is important to take into consideration the unique characteristics of the GS and the challenges associated with them. This study provides an overview of the crowdsourcing methods applied to public participation in urban planning in the GS, as well as the technological, administrative, academic, socio-economic, and cultural challenges that could affect their successful adoption. Some suggestions for both researchers and practitioners are also provided. Full article
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