ENERGETIC EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Energy Efficiency is an approach that aims to reduce energy consumption. To use energy efficiently production processes must be optimized so that less energy will be required to produce more goods and services. Energy Efficiency is an inextricable part of Smart Cities and is therefore of vital importance to the evolution of the cities of tomorrow.
Sustainability refers, by definition, to the satisfaction of current needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet them, ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental conservation and social welfare. This is the basic idea of Sustainable Development, its aim is to maintain this delicate balance today, without endangering the resources of tomorrow. It will not be possible for our cities to evolve towards Smart Cities if their Sustainability and Sustainable Development are left aside.
Therefore, the researchers that choose this area should seek to focus the attention of their papers on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability and the benefits that these contribute to the city. This area includes proposals on Smart Buildings, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs), examples of sustainable projects, energy and food sustainability in cities, etc.
INFRAESTRUCTURES, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Intelligent Infrastructures are the pillar of development for modern cities. The improvements offered by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can only be implemented if buildings, transport and basic services are provided with the appropriate physical structures, facilitating the adaptation, implementation and development of the technologies encompassed in the Smart City paradigm. Infrastructure is therefore an overarching requirement for the growth and urbanization of cities. With the aim of developing sustainably, Smart Cities have adapted new intelligent infrastructures which enable them to take a giant step towards the digital age.
Although developed under the Smart City paradigm, cities continue being major consumers of energy. According to European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, cities consume the greatest amount of electricity, accounting for approximately 30% of the total CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In this context, only 32% of the electricity we use is generated from renewable energy sources and around 14% of the energy supplied is lost during its transmission in urban distribution networks. Therefore, the serious energy challenges faced by XXI century Smart Cities are evident:
- Achieve greater energy efficiency in the transmission and distribution of electricity grids in a Smart City.
- Obtain greater integration of renewable energies in the electricity grid.
- Reduce the emission of CO2 and other gases into the atmosphere as a result of energy consumption.
- Involve the final consumer in the Intelligent Use of Energy (IUE) and its transformation into a producer-consumer (prosumer).
The concern for the future of cities is not only due to the increase in population, but also to the impact that this growth has on the Environment. According to the United Nations (UN), urban centers consume between 60 and 80% of the planet's energy, but they also generate 75% of polluting gas emissions. In other words, if we take no measures to stop polluting our atmosphere, the growth of an already large population will have devastating consequences. Therefore, the Smart City concept aims to create more habitable urban spaces and care for the environment. One area that is experiencing considerable progress is urban waste management. It has become more common to use sensors to detect when containers are full and to help plan waste collection according to the real needs of the city. Moreover, the use of irrigation automation systems is possible through controllers and timers. Together with information provided by rain gauges, irrigation can be suited to needs and a lot of water will be saved on the cities' green areas.
Therefore, the researchers that choose this area should seek to focus the attention of their papers on Intelligent Infrastructures, Energy and Environment and the benefits that these contribute to the city. This area includes proposals on the integration of renewable generation sources in cities, interaction between infrastructures, environmental regulation in cities, climate change and cleaner urban environment.
MOBILITY AND IOT
According to the UN more than half of today's world population lives in urban areas, a figure that is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. In addition, cities currently generate 70% of global wealth. Since central governments see cities as the main engines of economic growth, many countries have drawn new policies regarding their cities and undertook budgetary efforts. If we solely focus on the present situation of the European Union, 60% of the population lives in cities, generating 85% of the wealth according to the Green Paper on Urban Mobility (EC, 2007).
A fundamental prerequisite that will help foster the economic strength of cities are efficient and sustainable Mobility schemes, which will ensure the efficient exchange of people and goods while limiting negative environmental and social externalities. Not only is it important to reduce environmental impacts, but also to ensure that the quality of life in this environment is as high as possible, so that cities are places where social and economic activity is attractive.
Under this framework the Smart City concepts is seen as a tool, which by means of innovative technologies helps develop efficient and sustainable cities. The objective of this paradigm is to achieve sustainable development and quality of life in the city in an efficient way, based on the organized cooperation of different agents. In the field of Urban Mobility, Smart Cities play an important role in solving the above-mentioned problems. Thus, new technological advances facilitate a cooperative environment in which road users, transport systems, infrastructure and other external agents are connected. The new Intelligent Mobility solutions offer a great opportunity to optimize and improve planning and to increase the efficiency of transport systems operation, as well as contribute to reducing their main externalities.
Traffic Management and Asset Location are some of the applications associated with Mobility. However, the purpose of Mobility can also be looked at form another aspect, such as culture, sports, etc.; and this is where, once again, ICT plays a pivotal role.
Clearly, it is necessary to implement policies which will support, strengthen and promote Electric Mobility. This is the first and a key step towards changing the energy model and towards energy sustainability. Although global changes should be led by the private sector: for cost savings, efficiency, technological progress, change and innovation, in this time of crisis these changes must be implemented by the public administration. Consequently, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the main players in Electric Mobility and they must make their way into cities.
Smart Cities are no longer a promise of the future but a growing priority for governments of all sorts ("local, regional and state") and a thriving area of business for technology companies and operators in the area of Internet of Things (IoT). As the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) states in its reports, IoT is the fundamental paradigm for the Smart City concept. The development of Smart Cities comes third in the ranking of paradigms that propel the growth of the IoT market. This is because smart city projects based on this technology will generate 129 billion euros in 2020, a figure predicted by the MarketsandMarkets consulting firm.
Therefore, the researchers that choose this area should seek to focus the attention of their papers on Mobility and IoT and the benefits that these contribute to the city. This area includes proposals on citizen mobility, electric vehicles, alternative mobility (cycle lanes, pedestrianization, etc.), cybersecurity, communications and systems in Smart Cities.
GOVERNANCE AND CITIZENSHIP
The potential to extend the scale of the current projects and to create spin-offs in other cities and areas must be supported by strong Governance and leadership, sustainable sponsorship and an adequate presence and combination of relevant groups and participating agents. Thus, the local Public Administration should be part of and take part in the projects that regard Smart Cities.
Digital technologies do not, by themselves make cities “intelligent”, it is the way in which people use them. The majority of these intelligent technologies function as a basis for new ways of collaboration ( restaurant reviews, shared vehicles, traffic data and incidence reports, etc.). Although these data can be collected automatically, a minimum level of involvement is necessary, the issuing of a consent to use the generated data and a higher degree of participation. Hence, the digital technologies that make cities more intelligent are those that are sustainable and can be seen reflected in the urban movements of social, cultural and artistic nature.
Although this data can be collected automatically, a minimum level of involvement, the issuance of consent for the use of the generated data and higher levels of participation are necessary. Therefore, the digital technologies that make the city more intelligent are those that are sustained and reflected in committed urban movements of a social, cultural and artistic nature. In other words, a Smart City is based on active citizen participation. To this end, it is necessary to promote awareness among the Citizens and get them involved in this type of project. The information issued by Citizens is part of the value generated by other actors such as urban service providers, entrepreneurs, and the city itself.
Citizens demand new types of services that will make their lives easier, improve their security and, above all, save their time. Thus, the digital environment must provide citizens with a sense of well-being in their physical environment and must allow them for greater efficiency.
Therefore, the researchers that choose this area should seek to focus the attention of their papers on Governance, Management and Citizenship and the benefits that these contribute to the city. This area includes proposals on community management, citizen participation, etc.