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Creating Smart City Ecosystems to Address Problems of Urbanization in the Global South

​Solar Panels on University of Delaware Field House

Symposium dates: November 28 – 29, 2017

Abstracts due: June 16, 2017

Notification of Abstract Acceptance: July 14, 2017

Extended abstracts due: October 15, 2017

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Conference Venue: Clayton Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, United States of America.


To promote principles of democratic governance as essential elements of smart city ecosystems and sustainable energy solutions in the global South.


Well-governed cities have long advanced human civilization in their role as hubs of innovation, economic growth, improvements in health, and general well-being of communities. Since the beginning of the 20th century, cities have experienced unprecedented growth. Today, they account for more than 70% of global energy consumption and about 80% of carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, rapid urbanization, especially in the global South, has been accompanied by inadequate physical infrastructure and social services, unemployment, and vulnerability to climate change, to name a few. In recent years, solutions to these challenges have been guided by the idea of a ‘smart city’. Several cities across the world (e.g. Barcelona, Masdar, Copenhagen, London, Seoul, Singapore, among others) are claiming smart city status, having deployed urban development strategies, policies and financial incentives generally associated with smart city initiatives. A growing number of cities in the global South — spanning Latin America, Asia, Africa and Small Island Developing States — are pursuing their own smart city visions and road maps. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change provided an impetus in this direction by emphasizing the importance of eco-polycentric and diffused governance actions at the city level, where smart buildings, smart transportation and mobility, and smarter energy distribution play critical roles.


The symposium will: a) raise awareness of dominant concepts guiding smart city initiatives; b) assess the roles of existing and emerging technologies such as big data, internet of things and sustainable energy systems; c) deepen understanding of factors that determine the adoption of smart city and sustainable energy concepts, policies and practices; and d) build consensus around the essential features of democratic smart city governance.


Lawrence Agbemabiese, Energy and Environmental Program, University of Delaware

Nii Attoh-Okine, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware

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Cities account for more than 70% of global energy consumption and about 80% of carbon dioxide emissions.

Solutions to these challenges have been guided by the idea of a ‘smart city’.

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University of Delaware 2017 Symposium on Smart Cities & Sustainable Energy
  • Energy and Environmental Policy Program
  • 278 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-0950