Sustainable and Smart Cities (SSC)
Cities need to address the challenge of consuming less materials and energy, and of creating less waste, applying the principles of Lean and Cleaner Thinking as a key role for competitiveness, growth and quality of life. To address energy sustainability, economic, technical, social and environmental challenges of the problem must be considered. The improvement of global efficiency, the increase of renewable energy production integration, the improvement of electrical power quality, the creation of Smart Grids, and the optimization of transportation systems, are key issues to overcome this challenge.
Embedded and cyber-physical systems are important actors to make smarter our homes, offices, public spaces, means of transportation, etc, taking into account cyber security, privacy and trust, and energy efficiency. Therefore, safety, security, and multicore-convergence are needed to promote a unified design approach for today’s embedded systems.
In this context, safety, reliability and maintenance have a strategic importance to cities administration since they have a key role in operational efficiency, service quality, and financial sustainability.
Mobility has become an important value of modern societies; however it also contributes for excessive energy consumption, air pollution and the congestion of cities. Therefore, the way to sustainability passes through optimizing accessibility factors of mobility, multi-modality (and inter-modality), and planning of different and more efficient modes of transport. They need to be interconnected in spatial- temporal dimensions, taking into account their differences and categories, and exploring the integration of available transportation information services with digital information about the urban space and its dynamics to provide innovative ubiquitous services for mobility and transports. Organizing mobility for sustainability also means promoting electric mobility.
The analysis of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) of Complex technological systems used in cities is important in equipment selection, and all stages of equipment life cycle. Also, the design and use of performance indicators is crucial to assess the efficiency of technological and management systems for controlling and improving their performance. Well-informed and participative citizens will promote increasing awareness and discussion on fundamental problems that affect a city, such as urban resource management, planning and usage. All these goals can be achieved on the basis of empowering communities with the means to collect, analyse and disseminate data of relevance to them, their neighbourhoods, and the environment, through the use of modern technology for monitoring, collaborative and participatory urban sensing, data collecting, gathering, analysis and optimization. Promoting this view raises a number of scientific and technological challenges for improving data collection, processing, integration and dissemination, making data more immediate, simple and effective. This way, it contributes for a wisely use of natural, human and financial resources, turning them into quality of life for citizens, since local governance strategies of various sectors and departments can be taken based in integrated management supported by optimization models and statistical analysis.
Such strategy results in huge amounts of spatio-temporal data collection. Useful information extraction needs to be enhanced with frameworks, methodologies or tools capable of dealing with big data sets. The characteristics of spatio-temporal data, complex by nature, require specific data models, data bases, indexing structures and processing tools, able to deal with the position of the objects and their spatial and temporal semantic.
Analysis of such multi-dimensional big data sets by human experts in order to infer higher level knowledge and overall trends, requires the development of data reduction and visualization techniques well-grounded on data compression, scientific visualization and visual analytics theory and practices. The sheer volume of the data set due to the ubiquity of sensors, such as wearable, portable devices and video cameras, require further image data analysis techniques. Additionally, effective communication and interaction among citizens, institutions and local government within this highly non-linear system demands (i) resorting to content generation and delivery techniques, such as 3D imaging technology and interactive computer generated imagery, as researched by the computer graphics community, and (ii) adopting the well-established geo-referenced data standards proposed by OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium). The huge volume of data and associated processing, together with the overwhelming number of involved users, require the efficient use of heterogeneous and highly parallel, scalable and cost-effective computing systems, built with integrated many-core units, paying special attention to the impact on the environment, as prescribed by green computing practices.
Addressing the sustainability of urban areas requires a multidisciplinary approach, including the design for their specific use and the associated human factor aspects, such as, for example, the way people interact with city information systems, such as outdoors and maps. Urban areas are also geographical domains with some pollution problems to be mitigated and managed, such as noise emission, which seems to be each time more relevant due to the increasing noisy activities there developed. Overall, sustainable cities projects need to effectively manage resources, costs, quality, scope, while keeping the risks controlled. As such, project and portfolio management techniques will assist on dealing with different interests and stakeholders.