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Special Issue "Smart Cities 3.0: Citizens, Space and Sustainable Mobility for the Future City"

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 (31 December 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chiara Garau
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: smart cities; urban and regional planning; participatory processes; cultural heritage; smart tourism; urban governance; urban policies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Claudia Yamu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, University of Groningen, Landleven 1, 9700AV Groningen, the Netherlands
Interests: urban analytics and modeling; computation; space syntax; decision support; sustainable cities and regions; fractal cities; urban morphogenesis.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Vicenza Torrisi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
DICAR, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 64, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: sustainable mobility; transport planning and management; Smart mobility and MaaS; Intelligent Transport Systems; dynamic traffic assignment and real-time network analysis; shared mobility; accessibility; vulnerable users; microsimulation; traffic data analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Michela Tiboni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
DICATAM, Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brescia, via Branze, 43 - 25123 Brescia, Italy
Interests: Urban planning; Land-use dynamics; Environmental hazards; Urban policies and techniques towards a safer town; Urban spaces and mobility
Prof. Dr. Margarida Coelho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Centre for Mechanical Engineering and Automation, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: sustainable mobility; road transportation impacts; intelligent transportation systems; active transportation modes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concept of smart cities has seen its evolution over the years in three generations, in which the approach of the latest, coined Smart City 3.0, is characterized by predictive tools in both technological and human-centric relations. The Smart City 3.0 concept is geared toward facing the future challenges of society. The main aim of smart city initiatives is to better manage resources and to improve the quality of life of citizens. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, this becomes even more relevant as we see a multifaced environmental, social, economic, and political crisis arising globally. For the future Smart City 3.0, a transformation of cities is needed with regard to their development principles, urban management, and new mobility patterns of their citizens. These should be redefined, underpinned by smart technologies to face current challenges related to transport and land use, including network optimization, urban environmental requalification, and reducing externalities, such as air and noise pollution and traffic congestion. However, to create the future democratic cities, we have to empower citizens, and the co-creation of citizens for cities will benefit the future smart, sustainable city.

Herein, innovative solutions allow integrating data from multiple sources, including stakeholders and the built environment, using a wide range of smart devices. All this can be a challenging task. Particularly from the standpoint of transport planning and management, smart mobility encompasses a set of elements for modeling, analysis, and optimizing: real-time data from sensor networks for monitoring, estimating and forecasting, or infomobility services. To create solutions for a just society, integrated solutions are a necessity taking into consideration vulnerable and marginalized users. In this view, smart mobility aims to offer a seamless mobility experience, from the first to the last mile, which is flexible, integrated, secure, on demand, and convenient. However, transport planning is always interlinked with land use and people’s behavior in the built environment.

This Special Issue will consist of articles that analyze how to make smart cities work in this new era of Smart Cities 3.0, focusing on enabling technologies that can support resilient solutions fostering sustainable mobility and for smart, sustainable future cities.

This topic will be of interest to scholars who deal with smart and sustainable cities, transformational cities, urban planning management, as well as innovative and sustainable transport planning and management and applied technologies, but also technologies as tools for tackling in an efficient and effective manner environmental, economic, and social problems, serving citizen needs, and measuring and enhancing the effectiveness of urban governance and policymaking in this new era of Smart Cities 3.0.

Other important areas of concern regarding smart cities and sustainable mobility include but are not limited to:

  • Smart and sustainable cities;
  • Smart Cities 3.0;
  • Smart mobility;
  • Information and communication technologies and intelligent transport systems;
  • Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Big data analysis;
  • Sensors and actuators;
  • Traffic flow and dynamic network modeling;
  • Simulation and optimization of transportation systems;
  • Control and management of transportation systems;
  • Vehicle routing and route planning;
  • Human factor and travel behavior;
  • Land use and transport interactions;
  • Systems for the reduction and management of energy consumption and for energy monitoring;
  • Energy production and distribution systems;
  • Urban planning models, decision support, and administrative management.

Prof. Dr. Chiara Garau
Prof. Dr. Claudia Yamu
Dr. Vicenza Torrisi
Prof. Dr. Michela Tiboni
Prof. Dr. Margarida Coelho
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 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 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Smart cities
  • Sustainable urban planning
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Transport planning and management
  • IoT
  • Sensors
  • Maas
  • Vulnerable users
  • Urban planning
  • Shared mobility and autonomous vehicles
  • Big data
  • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)
  • Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs)
  • Space syntax
  • Covid-19

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Smart Urban Mobility System Evaluation Model Adaptation to Vilnius, Montreal and Weimar Cities
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020715 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 111
Abstract
To date, there is no developed and validated way to assess urban smartness. When evaluating smart city mobility systems, different authors distinguish different indicators. After analysing the evaluation indicators of the transport system presented in the scientific articles, the most relevant and influential [...] Read more.
To date, there is no developed and validated way to assess urban smartness. When evaluating smart city mobility systems, different authors distinguish different indicators. After analysing the evaluation indicators of the transport system presented in the scientific articles, the most relevant and influential indicators were selected. This article develops a hierarchical evaluation model for evaluating a smart city transportation system. The indicators are divided into five groups called “factors”. Several indicators are assigned to each of the listed groups. A hybrid multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method was used to calculate the significance of the selected indicators and to compare urban mobility systems. The applied multi-criteria evaluation methods were simple additive weighting (SAW), complex proportional assessment (COPRAS), and technique for order preference by similiarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS). The significance of factors and indicators was determined by expert evaluation methods: the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), direct, when experts evaluate the criteria as a percentage (sum of evaluations of all criteria 100%) and ranking (prioritisation). The evaluation and comparison of mobility systems were performed in two stages: when the multi-criteria evaluation is performed according to the indicators of each factor separately and when performing a comprehensive assessment of the smart mobility system according to the integrated significance of the indicators. A leading city is identified and ranked according to the smartness level. The aim of this article is to create a hierarchical evaluation model of the smart mobility systems, to compare the smartness level of Vilnius, Montreal, and Weimar mobility systems, and to create a ranking. Full article
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Article
Citizen Science for Traffic Monitoring: Investigating the Potentials for Complementing Traffic Counters with Crowdsourced Data
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020622 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 107
Abstract
Traffic counts are among the most frequently employed data to assess the traffic patterns and key performance indicators of next generation sustainable cities. Automatised counting is often based on conventional traffic monitoring systems such as inductive loop counters (ILCs). These are costly to [...] Read more.
Traffic counts are among the most frequently employed data to assess the traffic patterns and key performance indicators of next generation sustainable cities. Automatised counting is often based on conventional traffic monitoring systems such as inductive loop counters (ILCs). These are costly to install, maintain, and support. In this paper, we investigate the possibilities to complement and potentially replace the existing traffic monitoring infrastructure with crowdsourcing solutions. More precisely, we investigate the capabilities to predict the ILC-obtained data using Telraam counters, low-cost camera counters voluntarily employed by citizens and freely accessible by the general public. In this context, we apply different exploratory data analysis approaches and demonstrate a regression procedure with a selected set of regression models. The presented analysis is demonstrated on different urban and highway road segments in Slovenia. Our results show that the data obtained from low-cost and easily accessible counters can be used to replace the existing traffic monitoring infrastructure in different scenarios. These results confirm the prospective to directly apply the citizen engagement in the process of planning and maintaining sustainable future cities. Full article
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Article
Border Tourism Development Strategies in Kaleybar Compared to Regional Rivals
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11400; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011400 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 383
Abstract
A richness of tourism attractions has given Iran global importance within its border. Iran is a country with a huge cultural heritage, and is rich in historical monuments from different eras. The variety and diversity of cultural symbols allows tourists traveling in Iran [...] Read more.
A richness of tourism attractions has given Iran global importance within its border. Iran is a country with a huge cultural heritage, and is rich in historical monuments from different eras. The variety and diversity of cultural symbols allows tourists traveling in Iran to experience the cultures of other countries. The border areas of the country are therefore becoming increasingly attractive for tourism due to their distinctive social, economic and political position and the presence of many historical and natural attractions. This study analyzes border tourism in Kaleybar city using a descriptive–analytical method with a Meta-SWOT model (new strategic planning tool), with the final goal of economic development and the improvement of the welfare of the people. Through a literature review, the current and future capabilities and challenges of the county of Kaleybar as a border city are examined, and future goals and ways to achieve them have been developed using the opinions of experts and scholars via the Delphi technique. For this purpose, the Meta-SWOT model has been used. Meta-SWOT is based on resource-based theory (RBV). Data collection has been done several times using the opinions of 39 experts. After analyzing the conditions and recognizing and determining the capacities and skills of Kaleybar and its regional rivals, the results of the research show that the most important advantage of Kaleybar city concerns the existence of many attractions of a natural character. A higher strategic suitability is also ensured by the presence of parks and coastal sidewalks that attract important internal and foreign investments in this region. On the other hand, the component of political and governmental factors in attracting foreign tourists has the highest effective power, and the component of attention to integrated management in the field of tourism in the country has the highest degree of urgency. Full article
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Article
A Methodological Model to Evaluate Smart City Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11214; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011214 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 577
Abstract
This study aims to identify the key elements that should be included in a methodological model to evaluate the sustainability of smart cities and examines the case of Medellín, Colombia, from 2020 to 2021. For this purpose, it adopted a qualitative descriptive methodology [...] Read more.
This study aims to identify the key elements that should be included in a methodological model to evaluate the sustainability of smart cities and examines the case of Medellín, Colombia, from 2020 to 2021. For this purpose, it adopted a qualitative descriptive methodology divided into three stages: (1) reviewing existing methodologies for smart city evaluation; (2) designing, validating, and administering information collection instruments; and (3) systematizing and analyzing in-depth interviews. The results indicate that the said model should focus on six key variables: government, mobility, sustainability, people, economy, and quality of life. Smart cities should generate synergies, ensuring the interoperability of their services so that their inhabitants have a better quality of life. The added value of the model proposed here is that it incorporates social and political dynamics, which is noteworthy because most tools in this field do not prioritize them and focus on technical, environmental, transportation, planning, and technological factors. Full article
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Article
Internet of Things and Long-Range-Based Smart Lampposts for Illuminating Smart Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6398; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116398 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Intelligent and resilient infrastructure is necessary for smart cities for contributing flexible and smart amenities to the citizens. Concerning the United Nations (UN) estimation, the global population residing in urban cities will reach 68% by 2050. Additionally, the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) [...] Read more.
Intelligent and resilient infrastructure is necessary for smart cities for contributing flexible and smart amenities to the citizens. Concerning the United Nations (UN) estimation, the global population residing in urban cities will reach 68% by 2050. Additionally, the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) report suggests implementing energy efficiency technologies in smart cities to meet the rising urban population requirement. Internet of Things (IoT) technology empowers to achieve the goal of energy efficiency by integrating sensors, wireless technology, and renewable energy sources in the lighting system. At present, the IoT-based lighting system in urban cities is implemented with streetlamps and lampposts. In this study, we are focusing on lampposts, as it has the flexibility of establishing and implementing a multitude of applications on a single system. Due to technological advancement, the lamppost is embedded with multiple sensors, communication protocols, and energy distribution infrastructure for delivering smart and affordable amenities to the citizens residing in the smart cities. This motivates us to implement a smart lamppost that provides a multitude of applications such as smart light, digital signs, environmental monitoring conditions, electric vehicle (EV) charging port, wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) hotspot, etc., on a single lamppost. This study proposed the IoT-assisted fog and edge-based smart lamppost for the smart cities to realize the smart infrastructure. Further, this smart lamppost is integrated with low power and long-range communication, i.e., Long Range (LoRa), enabling the smart lamppost to communicate the sensory data to a long-range. Additionally, LoRa is integrated with a Wi-Fi module for establishing the interconnection between the smart lamppost and IoT server. Generally, the proposed architecture is broad perspective; however, we have developed and implemented the hardware models of three components including lighting system, environmental parameters and image sensing in real time. Lighting system and environmental parameter monitoring are integrated on same hardware model for sensing and logging the real-time values of temperature, humidity, CO and light intensity on the IoT server. The developed image sensing prototype based on ESP 32 controller is also evaluated in real-time scenarios, and the performance of the prototype is efficient. The proposed system delivers reliable performance in terms of sensing and communicating environmental parameters and images to the IoT server. Moreover, in future, we will complete the development of other components of the smart lamppost for enhancing the smarter infrastructure in smart cities. Full article
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Article
Universal Mobility in Old Core Cities of India: People’s Perception
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084391 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
In this research, users’ perception towards Universal Mobility in old core cities of India has been critically analyzed. Despite Universal Design guidelines from the United Nations and Union Government of India, old cities in India seldom have Universal Mobility, in effect endangering the [...] Read more.
In this research, users’ perception towards Universal Mobility in old core cities of India has been critically analyzed. Despite Universal Design guidelines from the United Nations and Union Government of India, old cities in India seldom have Universal Mobility, in effect endangering the lifestyle of senior citizens and differently-abled people. The core of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in Kolkata, India, has been considered a case example for this research. This research has considered three types of datasets for analysis. First, the authors interviewed 310 respondents from the Indian design fraternity, with the objective of understanding their opinions on the concept of Universal Design. In the next investigative study of 125 respondents from different wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the purpose was to comprehend people’s perception regarding walkability and mobility in an old Indian city. In the last visual survey of a stretch in Central Kolkata, the focus was on identifying hindrances in Universal Mobility in an old city core of Indian origin. Significant dissatisfaction was found regarding walkability amongst all user groups, which is linked to poor infrastructural conditions. Furthermore, accessing public transportation is difficult due to improper waiting facilities. However, the design fraternity in India suggests the need of separate accessibility guidelines for old and new cities in India. The design fraternity also recommends a customized rating system for accessing Universal Design. The result of this study indicates a need of recognizing the difficulty in imparting Universal Mobility in old core cities in India. This information can be used for preparing an access audit checklist through Architectural Planning, which is the first step in proposing a framework for Universal Mobility in old core cities in India. Full article
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Article
Urban Policies and Planning Approaches for a Safer and Climate Friendlier Mobility in Cities: Strategies, Initiatives and Some Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1778; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041778 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
How can urban policies and planning approaches help in achieving a safer mobility and carbon reduction in the transport sector? The attention of planners and policy makers towards the promotion of sustainability and reduction of environmental impacts has grown in recent years. This [...] Read more.
How can urban policies and planning approaches help in achieving a safer mobility and carbon reduction in the transport sector? The attention of planners and policy makers towards the promotion of sustainability and reduction of environmental impacts has grown in recent years. This paper investigates the role that Urban Planning plays in the long term towards a safer and climate friendlier mobility, highlighting the need for integrated approaches gathering spatial planning and mobility management. After a review of several urban policies and planning strategies, initiatives, and approaches, mainly based on the urban scale, the paper presents an urban regeneration case study leading to an increase of pedestrian accessibility at the neighborhood level. This can be seen as a support tool to foster sustainable, safe, and climate friendly mobility in cities. The results of the performed analysis show a dependency of accessibility from two different factors: the distribution of services and the capillarity of the soft mobility network, which can contribute to creating a more walkable space. Full article
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Article
Supporting Children’s Independent Activities in Smart and Playable Public Places
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208352 - 11 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
The global process of urbanization, and the modification of social interaction determined by the pandemic crisis, poses the issue of the place of vulnerable users and, in particular, children, within the contemporary city. This research aimed to elaborate a theoretical and methodological framework, [...] Read more.
The global process of urbanization, and the modification of social interaction determined by the pandemic crisis, poses the issue of the place of vulnerable users and, in particular, children, within the contemporary city. This research aimed to elaborate a theoretical and methodological framework, based on the concepts of affordance and capability, for analyzing the potential of public spaces to enable and support children’s independent activities. This potential, or meaningful usefulness, is expressed by the Index of Meaningful Usefulness of public Urban Spaces (IUIS). The latter is calculated via the tool ‘Opportunities for Children in Urban Spaces’ (OCUS). This methodology is applied to the analysis of significant public spaces within the historic center of the city of Iglesias in Sardinia, Italy. The results reveal adequate usefulness of the selected spaces, while underlining criticalities related to intrinsic spatial and physical attributes. The application to the case study confirms the validity of the theoretical and methodological framework embodied in the OCUS tool for supporting urban design and planning by orienting place-shaping processes towards the acknowledgement of children’s needs. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Contribution of Mobile Apps to the Improvement of Walking/Cycling Behavior Considering the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910580 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
More than one hundred and fifty cities around the world have expanded their emergency cycling and walking infrastructures to increase their resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the role of mobile apps is prominent in respect to developing a [...] Read more.
More than one hundred and fifty cities around the world have expanded their emergency cycling and walking infrastructures to increase their resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the role of mobile apps is prominent in respect to developing a smart city during this pandemic, which raises the questions of how mobile apps contribute to the improvement of walking/cycling behavior and how such a relationship is influenced by the situation imposed by COVID-19. The role of mobile apps in the three relevant fields of physical activity, transport, and urban planning are reviewed. Next, the associations between walking/cycling behaviors and their contributing factors and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these relationships are reviewed. Studies on physical activity have emphasized the role of motivational social factors in improving the function of mobile apps. In regard to transport, mobile apps have the potential to facilitate data collection in macroscale environments. In addition, mobile apps may facilitate people’s recognition of positive/negative environmental aspects, and this may in turn lead to greater pedestrian/cyclists’ awareness and better organization of their walking/cycling behavior. Moreover, based on a participatory approach, the classification of current mobile apps and certain suggestions on the development of future mobile apps are presented. Finally, complementary suggestions are provided for maintaining and improving the use of mobile apps to improve the level of walking/cycling. Full article
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