"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Buckminster Fuller, philosopher, futurist and global thinker (1895 - 1983)

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Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

"If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life."

Kenyan proverb

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Almost 1100 abstracts received!


PANEL: Sustainable development in smart cites and smart islands for faster energy transition and democratization of public utilities

Moderator: Prof. Goran Krajačić

Smart islands and smart cites are becoming places with advanced technological solutions and complex integration of energy, water and environmental systems. Widespread use of the best available ICT solutions provides many opportunities to collect, analyse in interpret large amounts of data which further opens up space for use of many tools based on AI and machine learning. On the one hand the tools are used  for forecasting  and planning of systems development, their operation and maintenance while on the other they are supporting development of future markets, new services and most important the tools could speed up energy transition and democratization of production, distribution and storage systems for the many of public utilities. The panel will discuss current projects, applied solutions as well as future developments and barriers in application of  sustainable solutions in smart cites and smart islands.

Prof. Davide Astiaso Garcia
Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Davide Astiaso Garcia is Assistant Professor of Thermal Sciences, Energy Technology and Building Physics at Sapienza University of Rome and General Secretary at Italian Wind Energy Association (ANEV). He is currently involved as coordinator of research team in two H2020 projects (GIFT - Geographical Islands FlexibiliTy - and ODYSSEA - Operating a network of integrated observatory systems in the Mediterranean Sea), one EEA project ( YENESIS - Youth Employment Network for Energy Sustainability in ISlands) – and one Erasums+ project (SIMULWIND - Maintenance simulator for the sustainability of European wind farms). He is contracted by the European Commission Research Executive Agency (REA) as expert for the evaluation of the project proposal under H2020 calls “FET OPEN (Future Emerging Technologies)”. He is Editor at Journal of Energy Research and Reviews and Guest Editor at Applied Science and Frontiers in Energy Research. He is author of more than 70 scientific publications mainly concerning energy themes (H index 20 in Scopus database).
Dr. Yee Van Fan
Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic
A key Researcher in the "Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory – SPIL”, NETME Centre, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology (VUT Brno). This research has been supported by the EU project “Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory – SPIL”, project No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000456 funded by EU “CZ Operational Programme Research, Development and Education”, Priority 1: Strengthening capacity for quality research. Graduated from -Brno University of Technology in Process and Design Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Bioprocess Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering. - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Bachelor Degree in Science, Industrial Chemistry. Her field of study is solid waste treatment and management with the extension to environmental/sustainability assessment and Process Integration. The other research interest including the emissions assessment particularly from transportation. She is the Associate Editor of Journal of Cleaner Production (JCLEPRO), Managing Guest Editor and Guest Editor (JCLEPRO, CTEP, Energies, Energy and Sustainability). Awarded by three outstanding reviewing awards from different journal publishers (Journal of Cleaner Production (JCLEPRO), Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy (CTEP), Energy). Finalist of ECR Reviewers' Choice Award by PUBLONS and Brno PhD talent 2018
The Challenges in the Development of Smart Cities and Smart Islands
show abstract

ICT solutions supported by AI and machine learning provide opportunities to collect, analyse, and improve system development planning. It plays a role in speed up energy transition and facilitates future development and improved efficiency.
The advantages of “smart” are generally known; however, the benefits are not absolute in all cases. Several challenges associated with Smart Cities and Smart Island have to be considered in tackling the potential cons.
These include (i) waste generation and (ii) the rebound effect of the rapid development, as well as the security issues. The short introduction intended to highlight the challenges of Smart Cities and Island from these three aspects, with examples given. It leads to the discussion of
(a) Is smart technology sustainable – enhancing recycling rate, increase waste generation?
(b) Would smart cities and smart islands reduce energy consumption?
(c) Is smart technology making us smart (improve the quality of life) or dumb?

Dr. Julian Wang
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, United States
Associate Professor in Architectural Engineering and Materials Science Institute
Prof. Goran Krajačić
University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Goran Krajacic, Ph.D., ( received Ph.D Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Zagreb in 2012. Since 2004 he has been working as researcher at Department of Energy, Power Engineering and Environment at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb. In 2007 he spent 6 months as a guest researcher in the Research Group on Energy and Sustainable Development, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal where he investigated application of small decentralized power generation and energy storages. From 2004 to 2007 he worked on the FP-6 project ADEG - “Advanced Decentralised Energy Generation Systems in Western Balkans”. The most of his work on the ADEG project was connected to development of H2RES computer program for energy planning. From 2007 to 2010 he was involved in the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) project STORIES – “Addressing barriers to storage technologies for increasing the penetration of intermittent energy sources”. He also helped preparation and implementation of the FP-6 project WEB-MOB, five IEE projects (GERONIMO, STORIES, SMART, BIOSIRE, FLICK THE SWITCH), two FP-7 projects JoRIEW and DISKNET and 4DH project coordinated by AAU. In 2011 he helped the team of Prof. Joško Deur in the successful preparation of HRZZ project ICT-aided integration of Electric Vehicles into the Energy Systems with a high share of Renewable Energy Sources. Since 2007 he has been working on the national scientific project: Smart Energy Storage for Sustainable Development of Energy Systems, financed by Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of Republic of Croatia. Results of his work have been published in 14 papers in CC/SCI database and have been cited more than 100 times. He reviews papers for Energy Policy and Applied Energy. He participates in teaching the courses Introduction to Energy Management and Energy Planning.
Prof. Aleksander Zidanšek
Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Aleksander Zidansek is Professor of Physics at University of Maribor, researcher at Jozef Stefan Institute, and Secretary General of the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School. Dr. Zidansek holds Ph.D. in Physics and Master Degrees in Physics and Business Administration, with specialization in sustainable development management. Prof. Zidansek is active in both solid state experimental physics and in research of renewable energy. He has been involved in a number of national and international research and education projects in solid state physics, security and in sustainable development. He received a Fulbright Grant for research at Montana State University with Prof. V. H. Schmidt in 1995/1996. He became associate member of tt30 in 2001 and associate member of the Club of Rome in 2005 ( He is Fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science since 2012 and Trustee since 2021.
ICT Competence Development for Sustainable Development in Smart Cites and Villages
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The contemporary development is causing numerous crises, such as economic, health, environmental, social etc. Among these, the crisis in education is the most important for assuring long-term sustainable development of the human civilisation. Therefore, this contribution focuses on educational opportunities that address the urgent need to transform human settlements into smart settlements, cities, villages, islands etc.

Recent progress demonstrated that new technologies alone are not sufficient for this transformation. They need to be accompanied by a cultural transition, which is only possible by significant improvement of ICT competences among the general population. In this presentation, options for efficient improvement of the most relevant ICT competences are presented. They are analysed in terms of the expected advances in the ICT technologies, in particular by the fast 5G and 6G telecommunications and new applications of artificial intelligence that are based on the deep learning convolutional neural networks.

Recommendations for efficient implementation of the most relevant ICT competences in cities, villages, and islands are presented that enable these communities faster development into Smart Cites, Smart Villages, and Smart Islands.


Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.