UNU-EGOV researchers have participated and contributed to the 3rd International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Technologies (SpliTech 2018), which took place in the coastal city of Split (Croatia), between 26-29 June 2018. The conference is organised annually by the University of Split.
Fellow Nuno Lopes delivered a keynote, which purpose was to enhance the understanding of what is a smart city, to provide an approach on how it could be achieved, discuss on how it could be evaluated, and give some key policy recommendations. This presentation addressed the researcher’s maturity model, as well as the specific definition and framework of smart cities. The keynote was framed under the umbrella of the global challenges of the 2030 United Nations Agenda and analysed the urbanisation trends until 2100, highlighting as the world urban population is predicted to grow around 63% between 2014 and 2050, and the number of megacities is predicted to increase from 28 to 41 by 2030. A set of sustainability challenges for cities are higher every day, and there is a need to use technology-enabled solutions for cities to become sustainable in the long run.
Nuno also chaired a session on Smart Cities Software that included five papers. Two of them were particularly relevant: the first one highlighted the use of social media for incident and emergency management in smart cities, with a particular focus on social media in the Arabic language; the second paper was presented by UNU-EGOV fellow Soumaya Ben Dhaou, and it focused on analyzing the transformative effect of emerging technologies on smart cities, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. The paper introduces a framework to better understand the transformation of urban centres into smarter cities. It also highlights the emerging technologies in compliance with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This paper is also to be published in a Special Issue of the Future Generation Computer Systems journal.