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Governance of Technology in Smart Cities

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 2021) | Viewed by 40703

Special Issue Editors

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Interests: Governance of technology, Transport Policy, Technology Policy, Public policy; Socio-technical systems; Policy design, analysis, and analytics; Sustainable development; Smart cities, Energy and Environment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Rotterdam School of Management & Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2. Institute for Global Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Interests: urban development; eco cities; inclusive cities; smart cities; city branding; public policy; governance; policy transfer
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decade, amidst the acceleration of competition among cities for businesses and talent, which has resulted in a focus on economics and provision of engineering solutions, the concept of “Smart Cities” has emerged, in which the emphasis is on the use of innovative information and communication technology to serve the needs of people (De Jong et al. 2015, Trindade et al. 2017; Lim and Taeihagh 2019). The push for “Smart Cities” is driven by the development of smart infrastructure in the cities thought the use of connected sensors and devices that can collect, store, and transmit data through the internet, which allows different devices to interact and synchronize their actions in different domains, such as electricity distribution (smart grid), transportation (smart mobility), and community developments (Höjer and Wangel 2015, Suziki 2017). Due to its emphasis on connectivity as the main source of growth, the ‘smart city’ tends to shift attention away from environmental considerations and more towards infrastructure and information use (Lim and Taeihagh 2018). However, scholars argue that a city can only be smart if technological solutions are utilized in a holistic fashion addressing social and environmental sustainability issues and not just focusing on economic efficiency (Lim and Taeihagh 2018, 2019; Yigitcanlar et al. 2019).

One key aspect is to establish governance frameworks for technologies (e.g., autonomous vehicles, smart health solutions, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics, 3D printing, sharing economy, blockchain, virtual reality, and augmented reality) that would guide the development of these Smart Cities. In this Special Issue, we are especially interested in articles that explore governance challenges of technologies that are being adopted in smart cities and solutions to them. Key issues to be covered in the Special Issue include:

  • The new risks, uncertainties and unintended consequences of the adoption of emerging and/or disruptive technologies (e.g., autonomous vehicles, smart health solutions, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics, 3D printing, sharing economy, blockchain, virtual reality and augmented reality) in Smart City developments to our social, economic, environmental, and political systems;
  • The opportunities and challenges for the governance of technologies that can be adopted in smart cities and smart city developments as a whole;
  • The diverse types of regulatory and governance responses to address the risks posed by novel technologies and the Smart City developments;
  • The impacts of these rapid technological adoptions and smart city developments on stakeholders and society as a whole;
  • The pros and cons of the heavy involvements of the private sector (particularly tech companies) in these smart city developments;
  •  The consequences of these developments for concepts such as inequality, discrimination, bias, accountability, transparency, responsibility, and liability;
  • And finally, how the hype around smart cities matches the reality of smart city developments now and in the coming decades.

It is these and similar questions which a new Special Issue of Sustainability is aiming to address. Araz Taeihagh (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore) and Martin de Jong (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam) invite their peers around the world to contribute high-quality articles on these pertinent topics.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Araz Taeihagh
Prof. Dr. Martin de Jong
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

  • Smart City
  • Governance
  • Technology
  • Governance of technology
  • Built environment
  • Low carbon innovation
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Intelligent systems
  • Internet of Things
  • Autonomous systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 572 KiB  
Article
Inclusive Smart Cities: Beyond Voluntary Corporate Data Sharing
by Julien Mercille
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158135 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3381
Abstract
Smart cities mobilise technologically driven solutions toward urban governance and service delivery. The profitable opportunities and abundance of data made available by cities attract ICT corporations that possess the resources and knowledge to make cities smart. However, this often leads corporate actors to [...] Read more.
Smart cities mobilise technologically driven solutions toward urban governance and service delivery. The profitable opportunities and abundance of data made available by cities attract ICT corporations that possess the resources and knowledge to make cities smart. However, this often leads corporate actors to monopolise the data collected and generated. This poses risks for privacy and the ways in which personal data are used and commercialised. Existing work on business-to-government (B2G) data sharing and data collaboratives has explored the technical and organisational issues involved in corporate data sharing with public authorities. However, many studies remain focused on voluntary corporate data releases. This paper argues that the option of compelling companies to share data should be considered more attentively; it is one channel (among many) that has the potential to make cities more inclusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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19 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
How Transboundary Learning Occurs: Case Study of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN)
by Si-Ying Tan, Araz Taeihagh and Kritika Sha
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116502 - 7 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4473
Abstract
While policy study of smart city developments is gaining traction, it falls short of understanding and explaining knowledge transfers across national borders and cities. This article investigates how transboundary learning occurs through the initiation and development of a regional smart cities network: the [...] Read more.
While policy study of smart city developments is gaining traction, it falls short of understanding and explaining knowledge transfers across national borders and cities. This article investigates how transboundary learning occurs through the initiation and development of a regional smart cities network: the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). The article conducts an in-depth case study from data collected through key informant interviews and document analysis. Spearheaded by Singapore in 2017, ASCN is seen as a soft power extension for Singapore, a branding tool for ASEAN, and a symbiotic platform between the private sector and governments in the region. Most transboundary knowledge transfers within the ASCN are voluntary transfers of policy ideas. Effective branding, demand for knowledge, availability of alternative funding options, enthusiasm from the private actors, and heightened interest from other major economies are highlighted as facilitators of knowledge transfer. However, the complexity of governance structures, lack of political will and resources, limited policy capacity, and lack of explicit operational and regulatory mechanisms hinder transboundary learning. The article concludes that transboundary learning should go beyond exchanges of ideas and recommends promoting facilitators of knowledge transfer, building local policy capacity, encouraging collaborative policy transfer, and transiting from an information-sharing platform to tool/instrument-based transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
32 pages, 1191 KiB  
Article
Governance of the Risks of Ridesharing in Southeast Asia: An In-Depth Analysis
by Charles David A. Icasiano and Araz Taeihagh
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116474 - 7 Jun 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 9145
Abstract
Smart and sustainable cities rely on innovative technologies to cater to the needs of their constituents. One such need is for sustainable transport. Ridesharing is one of the ways through which sustainable transport can be deployed in smart cities. Ridesharing entered Southeast Asia [...] Read more.
Smart and sustainable cities rely on innovative technologies to cater to the needs of their constituents. One such need is for sustainable transport. Ridesharing is one of the ways through which sustainable transport can be deployed in smart cities. Ridesharing entered Southeast Asia in 2013, changing the nature of transportation in the region. As with other disruptive innovations, the introduction of ridesharing comes with risks particularly to employment relations, data privacy, road congestion, and distribution of liability. Regulators across various countries have applied different strategies to govern these risks. We present a case study of five Southeast Asian countries, namely Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and examine how government authorities in these countries have governed the risks of ridesharing. Smart cities can effectively provide the sustainable transport needs of their constituents by taking a consistent and unified regulatory approach with new technologies and cooperating with regulators across different jurisdictions. Stakeholders should also be involved in the regulatory process to increase the acceptance of new technologies for transport. Smart cities can also deploy regulatory sandboxes and take a proactive governance approach to encourage the development of these new technologies and at the same time control their undesirable risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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24 pages, 787 KiB  
Article
The Governance Conundrum of Powered Micromobility Devices: An In-Depth Case Study from Singapore
by Devyani Pande and Araz Taeihagh
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6202; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116202 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4501
Abstract
With the widespread adoption of powered micromobility devices like e-scooters for transportation in recent times, there have been many associated and potentially unknown risks. While these devices have been beneficial for commuters, managing these technological risks has been a key challenge for governments. [...] Read more.
With the widespread adoption of powered micromobility devices like e-scooters for transportation in recent times, there have been many associated and potentially unknown risks. While these devices have been beneficial for commuters, managing these technological risks has been a key challenge for governments. This article presents an in-depth case study of Singapore, where these devices were adopted but were eventually banned from footpaths and public paths. We focus on identifying the technological risks and the governing strategies adopted and find that the Singaporean government followed a combination of governing strategies to address the risks of safety, liability, and switching to another transportation mode. The strategy of banning the devices was undertaken after active regulation and prudent monitoring. Based on the Singapore case, we offer policy recommendations for robust infrastructure and policy capacity, government stewardship and inclusive participatory policymaking for safe deployment, and simultaneous adoption of governing strategies to adopt these devices. The regulatory lessons from the case of Singapore can be insightful for policy discussions in other countries that have already adopted or are considering the introduction of powered micromobility devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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20 pages, 434 KiB  
Article
Advanced Technologies and Their Use in Smart City Management
by Josef Vodák, Dominika Šulyová and Milan Kubina
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105746 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4444
Abstract
Building Smart City management concepts is based on the implementation and use of advanced technologies. The primary impulse for writing the article was the ambition to identify the current advanced technologies of Smart City management. The aim of the article is to propose [...] Read more.
Building Smart City management concepts is based on the implementation and use of advanced technologies. The primary impulse for writing the article was the ambition to identify the current advanced technologies of Smart City management. The aim of the article is to propose a general model for the implementation of advanced technologies for Smart City management, based on the knowledge gained from the analysis of literature and case studies. In order to fulfill the set goal, it is necessary to obtain answers to two research questions. The findings were obtained through a secondary analysis of the literature, i.e., relevant articles from the scientific databases Web of Science and Scopus analysis of case studies of the best Smart Cities practices. According to the Smart City Index 2020 and IESE Cities in Motion, the leaders among the Smart Cities are Singapore and London, followed by Helsinki. In addition to the analyses, the article also uses methods of summarization, comparison, creativity, logic, induction and deduction. Smart Cities use 12 identified advanced technologies in their practice. Strategic management in Singapore, London and Helsinki adapts technology to the needs and requirements of its citizens, thus connecting the technological aspect with the managerial and social aspects. The contributions of the work include results for fellow researchers and a model for strategic management of new Smart Cities. The results of the article provide fellow researchers with the findings of a secondary analysis of relevant articles, from which they can draw when writing their own publications without the need for time-consuming search of the articles about this topic in databases. The general model of implementation of advanced technologies serves as a basis for strategic management of new Smart Cities that want to implement a technological base and at the same time do not want to forget the managerial and social aspects. Testing the model in practice with a new Slovak Smart City is part of future research activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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24 pages, 1531 KiB  
Article
Classifying Pathways for Smart City Development: Comparing Design, Governance and Implementation in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi
by Negar Noori, Thomas Hoppe and Martin de Jong
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104030 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 66 | Viewed by 10238
Abstract
The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) as the new paradigm of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and rapid changes in technology and urban needs urge cities around the world towards formulating smart city policies. Nevertheless, policy makers, city planners, and practitioners [...] Read more.
The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) as the new paradigm of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and rapid changes in technology and urban needs urge cities around the world towards formulating smart city policies. Nevertheless, policy makers, city planners, and practitioners appear to have quite different expectations from what smart cities can offer them. This has led to the emergence of different types of smart cities and pathways of development. This paper aims to answer the research question: When comparing a selection of smart city projects, can we classify pathways for their implementation? We do this by using a cross-case research design of four cities to explore commonalities and differences in development patterns. An input-output (IO) model of smart city development is used to retrieve which design variables are at play and lead to which output. The four cases pertain to the following smart city projects: Smart Dubai, Masdar City, Barcelona Smart City, and Amsterdam Smart City. Our analysis shows that Amsterdam is based on a business-driven approach that puts innovation at its core; for Masdar, technological optimism is the main essence of the pathway; social inclusion is the focus of Barcelona Smart City; and visionary ambitious leadership is the main driver for Smart Dubai. Based on these insights, a classification for smart city development pathways is established. The results of the present study are useful to academic researchers, smart city practitioners, and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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Review

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25 pages, 1711 KiB  
Review
Are We Satisfying the Right Conditions for the Mobility Transition? A Review and Evaluation of the Dutch Urban Mobility Policies
by Mylène van der Koogh, Emile Chappin, Renée Heller and Zofia Lukszo
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212736 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2527
Abstract
Global climate agreements call for action and an integrated perspective on mobility, energy and overall consumption. Municipalities in dense, urban areas are challenged with facilitating this transition with limited space and energy resources, and with future uncertainties. One important aspect of the transition [...] Read more.
Global climate agreements call for action and an integrated perspective on mobility, energy and overall consumption. Municipalities in dense, urban areas are challenged with facilitating this transition with limited space and energy resources, and with future uncertainties. One important aspect of the transition is the adoption of electric vehicles, which includes the adequate design of charging infrastructure. Another important goal is a modal shift in transportation. This study investigated over 80 urban mobility policy measures that are in the policy roadmap of two of the largest municipalities of the Netherlands. This analysis consists of an inventory of policy measures, an evaluation of their environmental effects and conceptualizations of the policy objectives and conditions within the mobility transitions. The findings reveal that the two municipalities have similarities in means, there is still little anticipation of future technology and policy conditions could be further satisfied by introducing tailored measures for specific user groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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