Special Issue "Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation"

A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Christina Kakderi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
URENIO Research, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 GR, Greece
Tel. +30 2310 028615
Prof. Dr. Nicos Komninos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Urban and Regional Innovation Research (URENIO), Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
Tel. +30 2310 995581; Fax: +30 2310 995583
Interests: smart cities; intelligent cities; innovation systems; innovation strategy; urban and regional planning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
URENIO Research, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 GR, Greece
Tel. +30 2310 994279

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present special issue of Systems focuses on a specific aspect of smart cities, smart regions, and smart environments in general: their ability to create systems of innovation, cyber-physical systems, and user-driven systems of innovation in particular.

Smart cities and smart environments sustain the making of systems of innovation in many different ways. First, by enhancing networking. Within smart city environments and regions rich in smart infrastructures and e-services, networking takes place over different types of spaces, physical, social, institutional, and digital spaces. Heterogeneous networks thus created sustain the formation of innovation systems, by connecting people, infrastructures, objects, skills, institutions, and organizations. Second, by enhancing diversity. Cyber-physical systems enable filling the gaps in innovation resources by substituting the physical presence of innovation institutions by a digital presence. This is particularly important for less favored and developing regions in which key components of the innovation supply chain, such as funding, technology intelligence and specialized knowledge, are missing. Smart environments and cyber-physical systems can fill these gaps. Third, by digital tools and simulation environments. Such solutions facilitate new product development, customer engagement, ideas capturing, patent scanning, reducing development costs and enlarging the pool of ideas and resources (see also http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00221?gko=e5ecf ).

Cyber-physical systems of innovation emerge because innovation networks merge with Internet networks and the information flows of the World-Wide-Web. Such systems highlight a model of ‘innovation within smart environments’, which becomes possible thanks to smart technologies, social media, crowdsourcing, cloud computing, software platforms and applications. Innovation becomes more open and inclusive, available to all and attainable by all. Some key features of these hybrid systems are:

  • Multiplication of innovation actors and nodes with the involvement of remote actors and virtual nodes. The number of actants in the innovation system rises geometrically as large numbers of suppliers and users become involved virtually and undertake innovation tasks.
  • Spread of digital identities due to augmented reality and the Internet of Things, which makes all objects hybrid, combining a physical and a virtual identity. A sea of digital identities is redefining markets and marketing; using the web and social media, advertisers are enlarging markets using digital marketing techniques.
  • Co-creation becomes mainstream and consumers turn into mediators of concept-development and co-producers of innovation. From ‘club of experts’ that has specific qualifications to ‘crowdsourcing’ which works with the power of the masses, groups of people with similar interests and goals come together and create commons.
  • Rapid new product launch, creation of prototypes as early as possible; releasing early and often; gathering usage data and giving feedback into product design as often as possible; outsourcing whatever can be found elsewhere.
  • Open intellectual property (IP) or innovation without IP, via free and open licenses. Commons-oriented licenses create goods that can be used universally, sharing licenses, and allowing the use of whatever is placed on commons and open platforms.

All these resources are solutions are to be found within smart cities and regions, where organizations, suppliers, and users interact over broadband networks and digital spaces.

In this framework, the aim of the special issue is to gather papers that discuss aspects of cyber-physical systems of innovation that emerge within smart cities and regions, and their contribution in addressing growth, sustainability, and quality of life problems.

The emphasis on challenges is particularly important for this issue. Instead of discussing the contribution of smart environment to cyber-physical systems of innovation in abstract, we would like to invite papers that discuss how digital networking, heterogeneous networks and online tools can contribute to regional growth and sustainability. For instance, such papers might focus on case studies how smart environments and city systems contribute to local and regional growth; how community awareness platforms promote networking for sustainability; how crowdsourcing extends the horizon of innovation by the engagement of a large number of actors and the wisdom of the crowd.

We welcome case studies, methodology focused papers, mainly papers on platforms applications and smart environments for innovation, as well literature review papers that cover an extended field of the relevant literature.

Dr. Christina Kakderi
Prof. Dr. Nicos Komninos
Dr. Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos
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. Systems is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 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
  • Smart regions
  • Smart environments
  • Systems of innovation
  • Strategies of innovation
  • User-driven innovation
  • Collaborative new product development
  • Community awareness platforms
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Connected intelligence
  • Online platforms
  • Living labs
  • Smart growth
  • Smart specialization

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Regional Innovation System’s Absorptive Capacity: The Approach of a Smart Region in a Small Country
Systems 2017, 5(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems5020027 - 24 Mar 2017
Abstract
Vitality of a smart region depends on the network of closely interconnected actors (individuals and institutions) seeking common goals of development and their capacities to ensure effective knowledge creation and exploitation. This network (a regional innovation system (RIS)) empowers processes of absorptive capacity—knowledge [...] Read more.
Vitality of a smart region depends on the network of closely interconnected actors (individuals and institutions) seeking common goals of development and their capacities to ensure effective knowledge creation and exploitation. This network (a regional innovation system (RIS)) empowers processes of absorptive capacity—knowledge access, anchoring and diffusion, contributing to regional innovativeness and competitiveness. Absorptive capacity is considered an important object of scientific research. However, there is still a lack of research providing specific tools that are adaptable for assessing the regional absorptive capacity in a small country. Existing differences among countries and even regions inside a small country require adjusted and modified methods and instruments. Consequently, the goal of this research is to present and substantiate the methodological approach of assessing the RIS's absorptive capacity giving evidence from a smart region (Kaunas County) of a small country (Lithuania). The mixed-method approach of the research (combining qualitative and quantitative research strategies) was used to substantiate the presented methodological approach. A smart region of a small country can be characterized by a denser institutional infrastructure and higher results (outcomes) of innovative activities. Smartness of the region can be understood as a consequence of the higher level of absorptive capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
The Techno-Politics of Data and Smart Devolution in City-Regions: Comparing Glasgow, Bristol, Barcelona, and Bilbao
Systems 2017, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems5010018 - 22 Feb 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
This paper explores the substantial effect that the critical understanding and techno-political consideration of data are having in some smart city strategies. Particularly, the paper presents some results of a comparative study of four cases of smart city transitions: Glasgow, Bristol, Barcelona, and [...] Read more.
This paper explores the substantial effect that the critical understanding and techno-political consideration of data are having in some smart city strategies. Particularly, the paper presents some results of a comparative study of four cases of smart city transitions: Glasgow, Bristol, Barcelona, and Bilbao. Likewise, considering how relevant the city-regional path-dependency is in each territorial context, the paper will elucidate the notion of smart devolution as a key governance component that is enabling some cities to formulate their own smart city-regional governance policies and implement them by considering the role of the smart citizens as decision makers rather than mere data providers. The paper concludes by identifying an implicit smart city-regional governance strategy for each case based on the techno-politics of data and smart devolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis Matrix for the Assessment of Smart City Technologies: Main Results of Its Application
Systems 2017, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems5010008 - 29 Jan 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
The paper presents the main results of a previously developed methodology to better evaluate new technologies in Smart Cities, using a tool to evaluate different systems and technologies regarding their usefulness, considering each application and how technologies can impact the physical space and [...] Read more.
The paper presents the main results of a previously developed methodology to better evaluate new technologies in Smart Cities, using a tool to evaluate different systems and technologies regarding their usefulness, considering each application and how technologies can impact the physical space and natural environment. Technologies have also been evaluated according to how they are used by citizens, who must be the main concern of all urban development. Through a survey conducted among the Smart City Spanish network (RECI) we found that the ICT’s that change our cities everyday must be reviewed, developing an innovative methodology in order to find an analysis matrix to assess and score all the technologies that affect a Smart City strategy. The paper provides the results of this methodology regarding the three main aspects to be considered in urban developments: mobility, energy efficiency, and quality of life after obtaining the final score for every analyzed technology. This methodology fulfills an identified need to study how new technologies could affect urban scenarios before being applied, developing an analysis system to be used by urban planners and policy-makers to decide how best to use them, and this paper tries to show, in a simple way, how they can appreciate the variances between different solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
New Resource-Wise Planning Strategies for Smart Urban-Rural Development in Finland
Systems 2017, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems5010010 - 07 Feb 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
This article discusses the opportunities and challenges for resource-wise development strategies in regional planning. Spatial planning integrates the key aspects, transportation, housing, and food production which are, on many occasions, stated as the most significant consumption factors causing environmental impacts. In light of [...] Read more.
This article discusses the opportunities and challenges for resource-wise development strategies in regional planning. Spatial planning integrates the key aspects, transportation, housing, and food production which are, on many occasions, stated as the most significant consumption factors causing environmental impacts. In light of the challenges that regions are currently facing in Finland, we are drawing attention to the role of strategic spatial planning as demand-responsive resource management, a theme which is still inadequately addressed within regional development and planning in Finland. In many other fields of society, innovative data-based products and demand- and user-driven services are considered important sources of success in the future. Such strategies combine different types of service providers, like deliveries for groceries or restaurant meals, mobile healthcare services, or public transport with on-demand services. We highlight the fact that a regionally large and sparsely populated country, such as Finland, cannot achieve success solely through centralisation. Instead, smart networking, co-creation, and innovative cyber-physical solutions are vital for the utilisation of the entire country’s resource potentiality. In conclusion, we underpin the need for a framework, which would offer a strategic support scheme for resource-wise development, resource optimization, and closure of yield gaps. In our view it is necessary to begin to envision, strategise, and develop user- and demand-responsive development strategies with a specific aim for sustainable, resource-wise ways of life in northern regions, also outside the growing urban centres, and innovate solutions that help individuals, communities, and the whole society to renew and manage resources wisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation)
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