by Theo Tryfonas and Ioannis Askoxylakis

The old Chinese curse of “may you live in interesting times” has never been more relevant than in the field of urban development. For some time now, the global urban population has exceeded the global rural population. Cities and city regions have therefore emerged as the only growth models capable of meeting the increased demands and strains facing global supply systems, which are seriously affected by population growth, climate change, globalization and international security issues. Given these constraints, urban development is becoming a tough challenge.

by Martina Ziefle, Christoph Schneider, Dirk Vallée, Armin Schnettler, Karl-Heinz Krempels and Matthias Jarke

Urban Future Outline (UFO), is a project funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German states and federal governments at RWTH Aachen University (2013-2015). It aims at developing a holistic approach, in which energy needs, mobility demands, ecological and climatological requirements and human demands are addressed, against the background of socially responsible technology development in urban areas.

by Valérie Issarny

The Inria Project Lab CityLab@Inria which is currently under creation, studies information and communications technology (ICT) solutions that promote social and environmental sustainability and facilitate the transition to Smart Cities. The Lab places a strong emphasis on multi-disciplinary research, integrating relevant scientific and technology studies from sensing up to analytics and advanced applications. The idea is that the research environment will mirror the predicted Smart City Systems of Systems. A central concern of the Lab is running experiments so that we are able to investigate proposed approaches in real-life settings.

by Luca Frosini and Fabio Paternò

The current evolution of pervasive technologies in our cities means that traditional access modalities are not always suitable for a particular service. Consequently novel solutions are needed. Freely moving citizens in urban environments would often like to be able to better exploit available devices to access services. In such cases, a multi-device user interface in which interactive components can be dynamically distributed over devices would be extremely useful: unfortunately, this is not currently supported by available development toolkits. Here, we propose a solution that extends existing Service Front Ends for Smart Cities and supports multi-device interaction by exploiting personal devices and public displays.

by Gregor Schiele, John Soldatos and Nathalie Mitton

The objectives of the European FP7 VITAL project are to overcome Internet-of-Things (IoT) silos in Smart Cities and enable the deployment and integration of Internet-Connected-Objects (ICO) independently of the underlying IoT architecture. In achieving these goals, the project assists in the transition towards smart, secure and cost-effective cities.

by Mark Vinkovits, Marco Jahn and René Reiners

Information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming a key factor to develop green and sustainable applications within Smart City scenarios. Effective management of resources, gathering and interpreting data as well as ecological considerations are prerequisites for realizing the vision of smart cities. The two European FP7 projects ALMANAC and DIMMER address these issues by providing a generic, flexible and quickly customizable platform for application development.

by Joan Fons, Daniel Gaston, Christophe Joubert and Miguel Montesinos

Smart Cities enable the physical and virtual worlds to merge, based on Internet Of Things (IoT), data and services. Through Web of Things (WoT), IoT is realized by using the existing web architecture as a platform, thus making smart things directly accessible as web services on the Internet. This approach simplifies object and application deployment, commissioning, maintenance, operation and service composition within both city and building infrastructures. In this work, we focus on cooperative objects to develop an open smart neighbourhood.

by Charles Consel and Milan Kabac

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a reality with the emergence of Smart Cities, populated with large amounts of smart objects which are used to deliver a range of citizen services (e.g., security, well being, etc.) The IoT paradigm relies on the pervasive presence of smart objects or “things”, which raises a number of new challenges in the software engineering domain.

by Sergio Ilarri, Dragan Stojanovic and Cyril Ray

Smart Cities depend on information regarding moving objects (e.g., people, vehicles, assets, etc.) being processed. We propose a framework to enable a fully-fledged semantic management of moving objects that can be efficiently and flexibly exploited in Smart Cities.

by Roberto Yus, Eduardo Mena, Sergio Ilarri and Arantza Illarramendi

Citizens can access a variety of computing services to get information, but it is often difficult to know which service will offer the best information. Researchers in the SHERLOCK (System for Heterogeneous mobilE Requests by Leveraging Ontological and Contextual Knowledge) project, from the University of Zaragoza and the Basque Country University, address this by providing mobile users with interesting Location-Based Services (LBSs).

by Marie-Laure Watrinet, Gérald Arnould, Hedi Ayed and Djamel Khadraoui

Integrating public transport systems with individual car-and-ride sharing concepts is considered as an attractive, convenient and emissions reducing mobility concept in the frame of Smart Cities. The pooling of mobility services is considered to be an important enabler of the Smart Cities’ concept, especially with regards to achieving flexibility and integration with existing transport modes (mostly public transport). Even if the levels of user acceptance towards new smart sustainability concepts are still challenging their uptake, it is important to address ICT-related challenges to ensure adaptive solutions are found to reduce complexities. This is especially relevant in the case of electro-mobility related systems.

by Marcell Fehér and Bertalan Forstner

Worldwide, the one billion cars in use emit enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. Potentially these emissions could be drastically reduced if people shared their daily commutes. The idea of carpooling has been around for a long time and already, millions of gallons of gas have been saved, but the widespread adoption of this strategy is yet to come. Here, we introduce a carpooling service which is easy to use and aims to minimize user effort, thus encouraging the switch to this smart, environmentally friendly transportation option.

by Enrique Moguel, Miguel Ángel Preciado and Juan Carlos Preciado

Smart Parking is based on a software system that links hardware and software, with support from Augmented Reality technologies, to provide an enhanced solution in the query of information regarding parking spaces. Smart Parking responds to the need of people with disabilities who have to know the availability of adapted parking spaces.

by Maurice ter Beek, Luca Bortolussi, Vincenzo Ciancia, Stefania Gnesi, Jane Hillston, Diego Latella and Mieke Massink

It’s smart to be fair. Researchers from the Formal Methods and Tools group of ISTI-CNR are working on scalable analysis techniques to support smart applications for the efficient and equitable sharing of resources in the cities of our future. The research is being carried out under the European FET-Proactive project, QUANTICOL.

by Stamatis Karnouskos

Cyber-physical systems underpin modern Smart Grids and Smart Cities. New approaches are required to enable efficient, secure and decentralized use of the huge amount of generated data in value-added applications. The SmartKYE project ( is investigating such directions for query-driven integration of Smart Grid City Systems.

by Giuseppe Anastasi, Paolo Bruschi and Francesco Marcelloni

Air quality has a serious impact on public health, the environment and, ultimately the economy of European countries. In this article we present U-Sense, a cooperative sensing system for real-time and fine-grained air quality monitoring in urban areas. U-Sense allows for monitoring to occur in places where people spend the majority of their day-to-day lives.

by Balázs Csanád Csáji, Borbála Háy, András Kovács, Gianfranco Pedone, Tibor Révész, and József Váncza

The concepts of smart cities and self-sustaining renewable energy systems are revolutionizing the world of public lighting. This paper presents the architecture of a novel, adaptive and energy-positive outdoor lighting system, as well as the IT solutions that control and monitor the operation of the whole system.

by Talbi El-Ghazali

With the smart grid revolution, the energy consumption of houses will play a significant role in the energy system. Indeed, home users are responsible for a significant portion of the world’s energy needs but market prices for this energy remain inelastic (i.e., energy demands do not follow energy prices). Thus, the performance of the whole energy generation and distribution system can be improved by optimizing the management of household energy use. There are a number of challenges associated with this goal including cost, the environmental considerations, user comfort and the presence of multiple decision makers (e.g., the end users and energy operators).

by Giampaolo Fiorentino and Antonello Corsi

A new overlay network which runs on top of the electricity grid, puts together old and new renewable energy sources, giving life to the Internet of Energy. A coordinated and controlled Internet of Things will optimize the Distribution Grid Control and the Demand Side Management (DSM) based on business, comfort and occupancy dynamic, introducing the autonomous intelligent Commercial Prosumer Hub.

by Vincenzo Gulisano, Magnus Almgren and Marina Papatriantafilou

Sharing information is a key enabler in the transition of a city becoming smart. Information, generated by the ICT backbone of a city, and maintained by distinct public and private entities, comes with processing challenges that must be addressed in order to increase citizens’ quality of life and make their cities sustainable. In CRISALIS and SysSec, we investigate such challenges from a security perspective in order to protect and enhance smart cities’ sensitive infrastructures.

by Alessandro Bozzon, Claudia Hauff and Geert-Jan Houben

As we race towards fully connected living environments at full speed, urban stakeholders and decision makers are demanding analytic solutions that are able to provide actionable insights about citizens and their interactions with these environments. The Web Information Systems group at Delft University ofTechnology responded to this challenge by developing cItyAM, an integrated platform that supports the analysis and modelling of urban data. This data is received from a wide range of sources including social media, (social) sensors, open government data and a multiple knowledge repositories.

by Mathieu Razafimahazo, Nabil Layaïda, Pierre Genevès and Thibaud Michel

The TyReX research team at the Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes Research Centre, France is working on the design of a high-accuracy localization system. This key technology allows for a smooth integration of vision-based techniques in augmented reality applications [1].

by Nicolas Anciaux, Philippe Bonnet, Luc Bouganim and Philippe Pucheral

The Smart City concept is founded on the collection, sharing and analysis of data that is either about citizens or produced by them, with the view to enhancing efficiencies and the social sustainability of cities. The current Web model which is fully centralised is not appropriate for managing such data as it raises potential privacy abuse and misuse issues. In the Trusted Cell project, we propose the addition of a personal dimension to the Web model: each citizen would possess their own personal data server which would provide tangible privacy and security guarantees and help individuals to share and disseminate their data properly.

by Filippos Gouidis, Theodore Patkos and Giorgos Flouris

The delivery of Public Services to citizens is becoming a challenging task, as urban populations increase and the related networks are becoming more complex and entangled. In this article, we present a platform designed for the optimal coordination of a city's public agencies and emergency response teams. Such coordination is particularly relevant in emergency situations when the infrastructures are pushed to their limits.

by Christophe Ponsard, Robert Viseur and Jean-Christophe Deprez

The Smart City concept is actively being discussed in many places across Europe. However, turning this ideal vision into a practical roadmap is challenging because it requires effective coordination and cooperation between the range of organizations involved in the city operations. In this article, we discuss the use of co-innovation techniques in a number of Belgian cities which gather people with complementary skills for collaborative projects, thus enabling a range of potential projects to be considered. In these projects, information and communication technologies (ICT) would play a key role.

Next issue: January 2018
Special theme:
Quantum Computing
Call for the next issue
Image ERCIM News 98 epub
This issue in ePub format
Get the latest issue to your desktop
RSS Feed