Special Issue "State of the Art and Future Perspectives in Smart and Sustainable Urban Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tan Yigitcanlar
Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the age of climate, disaster, and pandemic catastrophes, it is of the utmost importance to transform our cities into sustainable, resilient, robust, and livable ones. Simply, smart and sustainable urban development is critical to meet our growing needs for natural resources, industrial products, energy, food, transportation, shelter, and effective waste management, while conserving and protecting environmental quality and the natural resource base essential for future life and development.

This Special Issue will contribute to improving research and practice in smart and sustainable urban development by bringing an informed understanding of the subject to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. This Special Issue seeks contributions—in the form of research articles, literature reviews, case reports, or short communications—offering insights into the smart and sustainable urban development by conducting in-depth conceptual debates, detailed case study descriptions, thorough empirical investigations, systematic literature reviews, or forecasting analyses. This Special Issue will be a repository of relevant information, material, and knowledge to support research, policymaking, practice, and transferability of experiences to address the urbanization and other planetary challenges.

The scope of the Special Issue—that compiles the cutting-edge work of researchers that investigate the state of the art and future perspectives in smart and sustainable urban development—includes the following broad areas, although other relevant topics will also be considered:

  • Theoretical and conceptual underpinnings and analytical and policy frameworks of smart and sustainable urban development;
  • Methodological and technical approaches for the evaluation and forecasting of smart and sustainable urban development;
  • Technological progress, developments, and trials concerning the quadruple bottom-line development of smart and sustainable cities;
  • Global best and good practice smart and sustainable urban development case investigations, demonstrations, and reports;
  • Smart and sustainable urban development planning, design, applications, and governance models to deliver desired urban outcomes;
  • Premises, pitfalls, implications, and impacts concerning the future of urbanization and smart and sustainable urban development.

Prof. Dr. Tan Yigitcanlar
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 papers will be 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 1900 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

The following is a list of relevant keywords for this Special Issue, although papers on other related subjects are also welcome:

  • Smart and sustainable urban development policy, planning, design, and governance
  • Smart and sustainable urban development goals, indicators, and frameworks
  • Smart and sustainable cities, communities, districts, precincts, buildings, and homes
  • Smart and sustainable urban infrastructures, services, amenities, and systems
  • Smart and sustainable urban technologies, data, platforms, and structures
  • Climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, social inequality, and urbanization challenges
  • Post-Anthropocene, post-capitalist, post-pandemic, post-disaster, and future living
  • Artificial intelligence, blockchain, sensors, internet-of-things, and autonomous vehicles
  • Green technologies, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, domotics, and digital twins

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Learning and Teaching Interdisciplinary Skills in Sustainable Urban Development—The Case of Tampere University, Finland
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031180 - 23 Jan 2021
Abstract
Developing the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of urban environments is challenging due to the complex and interconnected nature of the context and objectives. In order to be successful in this challenging environment, professionals working in the urban development arena should have a [...] Read more.
Developing the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of urban environments is challenging due to the complex and interconnected nature of the context and objectives. In order to be successful in this challenging environment, professionals working in the urban development arena should have a holistic understanding of the different pillars of sustainable development, as well as various competencies and skills. This paper looks at sustainable urban development (SUD) from the perspective of the skills and competencies required and identifies effective pedagogic practices that could help educate future professionals. In particular, we explore interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning, reflective thinking, and experiential learning, which are needed for understanding various aspects of a complex phenomenon, collaborating with professionals from different fields and coming up with novel and constructive ways of solving complex problems. We first examine these through reviewing and analyzing relevant literature on education for sustainable development, with a focus on SUD. Then, we explore the application of these approaches in practice by describing and analyzing a newly introduced degree program at Tampere University, Finland. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alternative Governance Model for Historical Building Conservation in China: From Property Rights Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010203 - 28 Dec 2020
Abstract
With the rapid advancement of urbanisation, the adaptive reuse of heritage plays a key role in achieving sustainable development, which is widely recognised by UNESCO and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). In the process of urban renewal, unclear property rights have [...] Read more.
With the rapid advancement of urbanisation, the adaptive reuse of heritage plays a key role in achieving sustainable development, which is widely recognised by UNESCO and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). In the process of urban renewal, unclear property rights have seriously hindered the relocation of old houses, compensation and the adaptive reuse of historical buildings, even causing a series of social contradictions, such as violence. Moreover, forced evictions and controversy in dealing with the rights of residents, particularly the so-called ‘nail households’ have attracted public attention. However, few studies have analysed the problems and countermeasures from the perspective of unclear property rights. This study focuses on analysing the unclear property rights of historical buildings to propose an Alternative Governance Model for Historical Building Conservation in China. Founded on the Coase Theorem of externalities and property rights to examine the existing complex property ownership and rights patterns of 63 historical buildings in the famous Pingjiang Historic Block in Suzhou, China, the model provides reasonable and feasible reconstruction schemes for each situation. The operation model can also provide a symbiosis of new and old building solutions for urban renewal in developing countries, which may encounter a similar challenge of urbanisation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Alternatives for Sustainable Stormwater Management in Small Developments of Polish Urban Catchments
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10189; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310189 - 06 Dec 2020
Abstract
Sustainable stormwater management approaches in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) allow a source control to handle the quality and quantity of the runoff at local level or near the source. The most popular technologies applied in Europe are green roofs, [...] Read more.
Sustainable stormwater management approaches in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) allow a source control to handle the quality and quantity of the runoff at local level or near the source. The most popular technologies applied in Europe are green roofs, porous pavements, retention basins and bioswales/raingardens. In this article, two of these solutions (retention tank with reuse, and rain garden, respectively), applied to single dwelling case studies in a suburban area in the Silesia Region (Poland), are illustrated and analyzed. The selected cases consider technical and economic aspects as the most important factors for decision on the selection of onsite stormwater management approach. Both systems have been operational for approximately two years. The retention tank proved a good solution, reducing stormwater overflows and allowing local water reuse for lawn irrigation; however, investment and maintenance costs in this case are relatively higher. The raingarden proved to work efficiently in this small scale implementation and implied much lower initial investment and costs. The economic sustainability of these interventions at single dwelling scale was analyzed, showing interesting returns, with outcome depending on the degree of possible water reuse (lower water bills) and availability of fiscal or fee incentives. Introduction of financial incentive schemes will encourage homeowners and developers to implement stormwater control solutions, allowing rapid amortization of investment costs with additional benefits to the community, such as reduced environmental impact of stormwater overflows and possible economies in the construction and management of stormwater systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Healthy Power: Reimagining Hospitals as Sustainable Energy Hubs
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208554 - 16 Oct 2020
Abstract
Human health is a key pillar of modern conceptions of sustainability. Humanity pays a considerable price for its dependence on fossil-fueled energy systems, which must be addressed for sustainable urban development. Public hospitals are focal points for communities and have an opportunity to [...] Read more.
Human health is a key pillar of modern conceptions of sustainability. Humanity pays a considerable price for its dependence on fossil-fueled energy systems, which must be addressed for sustainable urban development. Public hospitals are focal points for communities and have an opportunity to lead the transition to renewable energy. We have reimagined the healthcare energy ecosystem with sustainable technologies to transform hospitals into networked clean energy hubs. In this concept design, hydrogen is used to couple energy with other on-site medical resource demands, and vanadium flow battery technology is used to engage the public with energy systems. This multi-generation system would reduce harmful emissions while providing reliable services, tackling the linked issues of human and environmental health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Co-Production: A Social Practice Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7511; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187511 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
To address the challenge of achieving social learning in support of transformative change to sustainability, this paper develops an analytical framework that applies a social practice theory (SPT) lens to illuminate the constituent elements and dynamics of social learning in the context of [...] Read more.
To address the challenge of achieving social learning in support of transformative change to sustainability, this paper develops an analytical framework that applies a social practice theory (SPT) lens to illuminate the constituent elements and dynamics of social learning in the context of transdisciplinary coproduction for sustainability transitions. Adopting an SPT approach affords a means of interpreting concrete practices at the local scale and exploring the potential for scaling them up. This framework is then applied to a real-world case at the urban neighbourhood scale in order to illustrate how social learning unfolded in a grassroots transdisciplinary coproduction process focused on climate action. We find that a social practice perspective illuminates the material and nonmaterial dimensions of the relationship between social learning and transdisciplinary coproduction. In decoupling these properties from individual human agency, the SPT perspective affords a means of tracing their emergence among social actors, generating a deeper understanding of how social learning arises and effects change, and sustainability can be reinforced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In-Between ‘Smart’ Urban Growth and ‘Sluggish’ Rural Development? Reframing Population Dynamics in Greece, 1940–2019
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156165 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Multifaceted demographic dynamics have shaped population growth in Mediterranean Europe, reflecting a metropolitan cycle from urbanization to re-urbanization. To assess the distinctive impact of economic downturns on population dynamics, the present study illustrates the results of an exploratory analysis that assesses urban expansion [...] Read more.
Multifaceted demographic dynamics have shaped population growth in Mediterranean Europe, reflecting a metropolitan cycle from urbanization to re-urbanization. To assess the distinctive impact of economic downturns on population dynamics, the present study illustrates the results of an exploratory analysis that assesses urban expansion and rural decline at various temporal scales in Greece, a peripheral country in southeastern Europe. Statistical analysis based on multivariate exploratory techniques outlined the persistent increase of regional populations, evidencing the distinctive role of agglomeration/scale with urbanization and early suburbanization phases (1940–1980) and accessibility/amenities with late suburbanization and re-urbanization phases (1981–2019). Recession accompanied (and, in some way, consolidated) the decline of agglomeration economies, leading to counter-urbanization in some cases. As an indirect result of counter-urbanization, the population increased more rapidly in low-density coastal areas with moderate accessibility and tourism specialization. Consistently, settlement expansion has altered the persistent gap in central and peripheral locations. A polarized urban hierarchy centered on the capital city, Athens, was replaced with a more diffused growth of medium-sized cities and attractive rural locations, depicting a new development path for lagging countries in the European Union and other socioeconomic contexts worldwide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Social Network Analysis of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5219; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125219 - 26 Jun 2020
Abstract
This paper explores the relations of centrality and hierarchy between cities and firms implementing Smart City strategies in the context of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI). While the literature has usually focused on the global dimension of cities and firms networks, [...] Read more.
This paper explores the relations of centrality and hierarchy between cities and firms implementing Smart City strategies in the context of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI). While the literature has usually focused on the global dimension of cities and firms networks, exploring a national case offers interesting insights about the presence of multinational firms in these contexts and the role played by medium-sized cities in their market expansion. The analysis is based on a two-mode network of cities and firms participating in Smart City projects with the usual measures of betweenness, in-degree and closeness, as well as computing the Gini index for each of them to assess the levels of inequality. We then explore whether the structural advantages of participating in these networks have a leveling effect or rather reinforce existing hierarchies of cities. Second, we explore how firms are intertwined in Smart City projects and whether medium-sized local firms have a relevant presence. Our findings suggest these networks become a regional gateway for multinational firms to expand their presence in Smart City national markets, rather than empowering medium-sized cities and small national firms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New Town Development and Sustainable Transition under Urban Entrepreneurialism in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5179; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125179 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
New towns are a major form of urban growth in China. In recent years, increasing numbers of large new town projects have been planned and built in and around existing cities. These new town projects have frequently been employed by city governments as [...] Read more.
New towns are a major form of urban growth in China. In recent years, increasing numbers of large new town projects have been planned and built in and around existing cities. These new town projects have frequently been employed by city governments as central elements of pro-growth strategies, based on ideas of urban entrepreneurialism, which seek to promote economic growth, project a dynamic city image, and increase urban competitiveness. This article studies how the pro-growth, urban entrepreneurial approach affects the planning and development of Chinese megacities. A conceptual framework focusing on land-leasing revenue and new town development strategies is employed to explore the linkages between urban growth mechanisms and urban outcomes. Empirical material from four cities in the Pearl River Delta—Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, and Zhuhai—is presented. The analysis indicates that new town developments in these cities have different levels of dependency on spatial expansion and land revenue, and emphasize different issues of sustainable development in their plans. Cities with a lower dependency on physical and economic growth are be more likely to emphasize the quality of the built environment and address issues of sustainable urban development more closely when planning and implementing new town projects. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Social Inclusion Indicators for Building Citizen-Centric Smart Cities: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010376 - 04 Jan 2021
Abstract
Despite the rhetoric of “citizen-first,” which has been tokenized in recent years by the smart city administrations, what it means has long been unclear to many, including the public at large. Put simply, this rhetoric concerns the mindset of the members of a [...] Read more.
Despite the rhetoric of “citizen-first,” which has been tokenized in recent years by the smart city administrations, what it means has long been unclear to many, including the public at large. Put simply, this rhetoric concerns the mindset of the members of a local community and places them at the heart of the smart city initiatives. In order to bring further clarity to this issue under the current neoliberal urbanism, this study aimed to identify the key indicators of citizen-centric smart cities from the perspective of participative governance practices and citizens’ responsibilities. To achieve this aim, this study involved a systematic literature review of the social inclusion indicators for building citizen-centric smart cities. The social inclusion indicators that were formed were verified by practitioners to suit the local contexts of an emerging and developing country, in this case, Malaysia. The findings of the review revealed that: (a) the acceptance of social inclusion indicators was mainly limited to the realm of democratic developed countries, leaders’ understanding of citizenship, the delegation of decision-making power in governance practices, the participative culture of societies, and individual citizens’ self-discipline; (b) the social inclusion indicators may not be welcomed in emerging and developing countries; (c) in the long term, these indicators would shed light on the rise of self-organizing cities that will gain popularity in potential city developments, be it in developed or developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Framework for Stormwater Quality Modelling under the Effects of Climate Change to Enhance Reuse
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10463; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410463 - 14 Dec 2020
Abstract
Water scarcity, which is exacerbated by climate change, is a major challenge to ensure human well-being. Therefore, it is equally important to protect conventional water resources from degradation and at the same time to identify cost-effective alternatives with a low carbon footprint. In [...] Read more.
Water scarcity, which is exacerbated by climate change, is a major challenge to ensure human well-being. Therefore, it is equally important to protect conventional water resources from degradation and at the same time to identify cost-effective alternatives with a low carbon footprint. In this regard, stormwater plays a key role as it is a largely under-utilised resource for both, potable and non-potable use. However, stormwater carries substantial loads of pollutants to receiving waters such as rivers. Unfortunately, the lack of comprehensive stormwater quality modelling strategies, which account for the effects of climate change, constrains the formulation of effective measures to improve the quality of stormwater. Currently, there is a significant knowledge gap in the merging of stormwater quality modelling and climate modelling. This paper critically reviews current stormwater quality modelling approaches (quantity and quality) and the role of climate modelling outputs in stormwater quality modelling. This is followed by the presentation of a robust framework to integrate the impacts of climate change with stormwater quality models. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Strategizing Smart, Sustainable, and Knowledge-Based Development of Cities: Insights from Florianópolis, Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218859 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Unarguably, smart, sustainable, and knowledge-based development is critical for securing a livable future for our rapidly urbanizing world. The aim of this study is to generate insights into determining effective and efficient strategies to increase sustainability and innovation capabilities of cities to achieve [...] Read more.
Unarguably, smart, sustainable, and knowledge-based development is critical for securing a livable future for our rapidly urbanizing world. The aim of this study is to generate insights into determining effective and efficient strategies to increase sustainability and innovation capabilities of cities to achieve long-term desired urban outcomes. This paper places the city of Florianópolis (Brazil) under the smart, sustainable, and knowledge-based urban development microscope. The methodological approach of the study involves a qualitative analysis through surveys (100 submitted forms, 55 responses received) and interviews (12) with key experts and stakeholders from Florianópolis. The findings of the study reveal that Florianópolis’ innovation ecosystem has high potential to thrive, but the city still has structural issues to deal with first, related to the gap between the potential to grow, and acknowledgement from key actors of the city to support the overall territory development considering the complex dimensions. This issue suggests amplifying the ecosystem’s vision, including different sectors and, especially, addressing innovation for the common good. The insights generated from the investigation of Florianópolis’ case are also invaluable to other cities’ planning for strategizing their transformation, and seeking smart, sustainable, and knowledge-based development pathways. Full article
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Open AccessViewpoint
The Sustainability of Artificial Intelligence: An Urbanistic Viewpoint from the Lens of Smart and Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8548; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208548 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
The popularity and application of artificial intelligence (AI) are increasing rapidly all around the world—where, in simple terms, AI is a technology which mimics the behaviors commonly associated with human intelligence. Today, various AI applications are being used in areas ranging from marketing [...] Read more.
The popularity and application of artificial intelligence (AI) are increasing rapidly all around the world—where, in simple terms, AI is a technology which mimics the behaviors commonly associated with human intelligence. Today, various AI applications are being used in areas ranging from marketing to banking and finance, from agriculture to healthcare and security, from space exploration to robotics and transport, and from chatbots to artificial creativity and manufacturing. More recently, AI applications have also started to become an integral part of many urban services. Urban artificial intelligences manage the transport systems of cities, run restaurants and shops where every day urbanity is expressed, repair urban infrastructure, and govern multiple urban domains such as traffic, air quality monitoring, garbage collection, and energy. In the age of uncertainty and complexity that is upon us, the increasing adoption of AI is expected to continue, and so its impact on the sustainability of our cities. This viewpoint explores and questions the sustainability of AI from the lens of smart and sustainable cities, and generates insights into emerging urban artificial intelligences and the potential symbiosis between AI and a smart and sustainable urbanism. In terms of methodology, this viewpoint deploys a thorough review of the current status of AI and smart and sustainable cities literature, research, developments, trends, and applications. In so doing, it contributes to existing academic debates in the fields of smart and sustainable cities and AI. In addition, by shedding light on the uptake of AI in cities, the viewpoint seeks to help urban policymakers, planners, and citizens make informed decisions about a sustainable adoption of AI. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: New Town Development and Sustainable Urban Transition under Urban Entrepreneurialism in China

Authors: Yun Song 1*, Dominic Stead 2 and Martin de Jong 3

Abstract: New towns are a major form of urban growth in China. In recent years, increasing numbers of large new town projects have been planned and built in and around existing cities. These new town projects have frequently been employed by city governments as central elements of pro-growth strategies, based on ideas of urban entrepreneurialism, which seek to promote economic growth, project a dynamic city image and increase urban competitiveness. This article studies how the pro-growth, urban entrepreneurial approach affects the planning, development and sustainable transition of Chinese megacities. Empirical material from four cities in the Pearl River Delta – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Zhuhai – is presented. The analysis indicates that new town developments in these cities have different levels of dependency on spatial growth and land revenue, and emphasize different issues of sustainable development. Cities with a lower dependency on physical and economic growth are be more likely to emphasize the quality of the built environment and address issues of sustainable urban development more closely when planning and implementing new town projects.

Keywords: new towns; urban entrepreneurialism; land-driven development; China; sustainable urban transitions

 

2. Title: Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Co-Production for Sustainability Transitions: a Social Practice Approach

Authors: Kim Slater and John Robinson

Abstract: To address the challenge of achieving social learning in support of transformative change to sustainability, this paper develops an analytical framework that applies a social practice theory (SPT) lens to illuminate the constituent elements and dynamics of social learning in the context of transdisciplinary co-production for sustainability transitions. Adopting a SPT approach affords a means of interpreting concrete practices at the local scale and exploring the potential for scaling them up. This framework is then applied to a real world case at the urban neighbourhood scale in order to illustrate how social learning unfolded in a grassroots transdisciplinary co-production process focussed on climate action. We find that a social practice perspective illuminates the material and nonmaterial dimensions of the relationship between social learning and transdisciplinary co-production. In decoupling these properties from individual human agency, the SPT perspective affords a means of tracing their emergence among social actors, generating a deeper understanding of how social learning arises and effects change, and sustainability can be reinforced.

 

3. Title: BIM-GIS Integration in Smart Cities: Progress, Challenges, and Prospects

Authors: Kaveh Deilami 1,*, Behzad Abbasnejad 2, Kamal Akbari 3

Affiliations: 1. Centre for Urban Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia; [email protected]; 2. School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia; [email protected]; Tel. +61 3 9925 3643; 3. PhD Candidate, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3052; [email protected]

Abstract: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Geographic Information System (GIS) have been identified as the most prevalent tools and terminologies to develop smart and sustainable cities. In recent years, this field has experienced significant advancement with advent of BIM-GIS integration. While this is yet at early stages, however, tremendous works have been conducted in both academia and industry. This paper thus explores the extant literature on various domains to develop an integrated BIM-GIS framework. The framework highlights and maps how these two terms have been applied in smart cities and what are the shared features and differences among them. To address this the following steps will be followed: (1) to synthesize the key functions and aspects of BIM and GIS in the extant literature by using open coding approach (2) to develop a taxonomy for the synergies between them; and (3) to develop a strategy for the integration of these two terms/tools. We believe the findings will deliver substantial benefits to both researchers and practitioners.

 

4. Title: Learning Interdisciplinary Skills to Tackle Wicked Problems in Sustainable Urban Development

Authors: Liisa Häikiö, Salla Jokela, Pekka Jokinen, Markus Laine, Antti Lönnqvist, Juho Rajaniemi and Jonathon Taylor

Abstract: Developing the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the living environment is challenging due to the complex and interconnected nature of the context and objectives. In order to cope with this challenging environment, the professionals working in the urban development arena need various skills. This paper looks at sustainable urban development from the perspective of knowledge and skills required and identifies effective pedagogic practices that could help educate future professionals. Particularly, we explore two perspectives: interdisciplinary collaboration and problem-solving skills. They are needed for understanding various aspects of a complex phenomenon, collaborating with professionals from different fields and coming up with novel and constructive ways of solving wicked problems. We first examine these through reviewing and analyzing relevant literature. Then, we explore the application of these approaches in practice by analyzing a case of a newly introduced degree programme in a Finnish university.

Keywords: education, interdisciplinarity, learning, sustainability, urban development, wicked problems

 

5. Title: A Framework for Stormwater Quality Modelling under the Effects of Climate Change to Enhance Reuse

Authors: Buddhi Wijesiri1, Erick Bandala2, An Liu3, Ashantha Goonetilleke1*

Affiliation: 1Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia; 2Desert Research Institute, Nevada, USA; 3Shenzhen University, China

Abstract: Water scarcity, which is exacerbated by climate change, is a major challenge to ensure human well-being. Therefore, it is equally important to protect conventional water resources from degradation and at the same time to identify cost-effective alternatives with a low carbon footprint. In this regard, stormwater plays a key role as it carries substantial loads of pollutants to receiving waters such as rivers. Further, it is a largely underutilised resource for both, potable and non-potable use. However, lack of comprehensive stormwater quality modelling strategies, which account for the effects of climate change, constraints the formulation of effective measures to improve the quality of stormwater. Currently, there is a significant knowledge gap between stormwater quality modelling and climate modelling. This paper initially reviews current stormwater quality modelling approaches (quantity and quality) and climate modelling approaches which predicts future changes in dry and wet weather patterns. This is followed by the presentation of a robust framework to integrate the impacts of climate change into stormwater quality models.

 

6. Title: A Social Network analysis of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities

Authors: Ivan Serrano1*, LauraCalvet-Mir2, Ramon Ribera-Fumaz1, Isabel Díaz3& Hug March1.

Affiliation: 1. Open University ofCatalonia, IN3; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; 2. AutonomousUniversity of Barcelona; 3. *[email protected] Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) Parc Mediterrani de laTecnologia (Edifici B3) Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss, 508860 Castelldefels (Barcelona) Tel: +34 93 450 52 00

Abstract: This paper explores the relations of centrality and hierarchy between cities and firms implementing Smart City strategies in the context of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI). While The literature has usually focused on the global dimension of cities and firms networks,exploring a national case offers interesting insights about the presence of multinational firms in these contexts and the role played by medium-sized cities in their market expansion. Building on a two-mode network of cities and firms participating inSmart-city projects we first explore whether the structural advantages from participating in these networks have a levelling effect or rather reinforce existing hierarchies of cities. Second, we explore how firms are intertwined inSmart City projects and whether medium-sized local firms have a relevant presence. Our findings suggest these networks rather become a regional gateway for multinational firms to expand their presence in Smart City national markets, rather than empowering medium-sized cities and small national firms.

 

7. Title: Risk, Resilience, and Recessions

Authors: Bharman Gulati 1 and Stephan Weiler 2

Affiliation: 1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523 USA; [email protected]; 2. Director, Regional Economic Development Institute ([email protected]); Honorary Professor, City-REDI, Birmingham Business School, UK; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523 USA; [email protected]

Abstract: Local labor market environment has shown to have a significant impact on the survival of a business establishment. The characteristics of the local labor market are likely to influence the survival of new businesses, the level of entrepreneurship, and the Resilience of the regional economy. We apply the portfolio theory to evaluate the employment-based and income-based measures of risk-and-return tradeoff in local labor markets in the United States. Our results show that volatility in local labor markets has a positive impact on new-business survival, especially in Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The results are robust across different timeframes, including during economic downturns, thus highlighting the contribution of new businesses in developing Resilience of the local economy and further promoting sustainable regional economic development.

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