About Smart Cities Learning: A revision of an Special Issue



It has been recently published at the Interaction Design & Architecture(s) online Journal a special issue entitled “Smart City Learning – Visions and practical Implementations: Towards Horizon 2020”. A part from other publications, this issue contains some of the publications that were presented, discussed and revised at the Workshop held on February this year at the Alpine Rendez-Vous conference 2013 with the same name, where I had the honor to participate (see the contribution that I presented there in a previous post). One of the main discussions that we carried out during the WS was about the definition of the concept “Smart City Learning”. It will be false if I said that we arrived an agreement about the definition of this concept because we didn’t. However I was really interesting to see how the complex is to define a concept related to another concept “smart city”, which is constantly changing and evolving. After a long discussion, and taking the definition of Smart city by Giffinger et al in the document “Smart Cities – Ranking of European Medium-Sized Cities” (2007) we all agreed with the idea pointed out by Carlo Giovannella (the WS organizer) at the beginning of WS in which he states that the Smart City Learning has to do with:

“The theme of the transformation of the learning modalities that may be induced by the transformation of living places in smart territories, cities and villages is a new theme whose relevance will grow more and more in the near future.” (Carlo Giovannella)

This issue contains a complete overview of the understanding of this concept according to some of the researchers, mainly European, and their approaches for advancing on the relation of how to learn from and in the Smart City. I would organize the papers in this special issue into three main groups according to the nature of their proposals: (1) Technological Developments, proposing technological tools or advances for supporting learning scenarios in the city (see for example the papers by Kalz et al, Zhang et al or Del Fatto & Dodero, (2) Intercultural Approaches, papers focusing on how the smart city can be used as a platform for peoples to learn in a intercultural exchanges and (3) Frameworks, papers proposing methodologies and models of scenarios and technologies for supporting learning in the smart city. I also include in this post a presentation with a summary of the papers that were presented in this WS and that are now available in this special issue and that I prepared for an internal meeting of my research team.