Designs (MDPI AG)

“ETHICAL STRATAGEM – innovations in the design and planning of smart cities”

Guest Editors:

Dr. Petra (Stieninger) Hurtado

Technische Universität Wien; Vienna, Austria; The research collaborative and advisory group Urban Breezes; Chicago, IL, USA

Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee

CSEF, Institute of Energy Futures, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Brunel University, London, UK


Within the multi-disciplinary practice of engineering, design trade-off analyses and design-based practical decisions are critically important for energy-efficient buildings (EeB), the penetration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in power grids, and smart cities. These data are arguably what underpins tomorrow’s technology towards solving the decarbonized urbanization roadblocks. With the proliferation of building information modelling (BIM) to support EeB and ecodistricts, many questions arise that have to be considered using both life-cycle cost analysis (LCA) and life cycle cost (LCC) thinking. Effective design supports long-term vision realization, when it comes to all aspects of engineering (e.g., environmental, civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.).

Such engineering design-oriented issues arising during both planning and operational phases of projects include but are not limited to: usability versus accessibility or usefulness; customizable interfaces versus minimalist design and simplicity of use; pervasive technologies and ubiquitous computing versus quality of life; personalization versus privacy; one-size-fits-all versus tailored solutions (e.g. standardization versus flexibility); involving end users as designers (e.g., participatory design) versus participation overload; consumer cultures versus cultures of participation; tools for living versus tools for learning; independence versus over-reliance or scaffolding; facilitation versus instruction; and independence versus the need for human involvement in case the technology breaks down.

The engineering design process is a series of steps that differ from the scientific method (i.e., less about making observations and doing experiments), that engineers follow to come up with a solution to a problem such as a product or system or environment that meets certain criteria and/or accomplishes a certain task, a machine, or computer code. Many times, the solution involves designing. When it comes to designing, building, and testing something, the engineering design process is an ideal methodology.

Sectoral domains include but are not limited to field such as: Deep energy retrofitting, resource efficiency and architecture technologies, computer-supported cooperative work and learning, cultural heritage sites and public buildings, data curation and data libraries, human–computer interactions and participatory design, land restoration and urban planning, etc.

Keywords include but are not limited to:

  • Component & high-performance material design;
  • Circular economy innovations of energy-efficiency;
  • Design-performance tradeoff in urban regeneration;
  • Ecodistricts & societies in energy transition design;
  • Facilities management & infrastructure planning;
  • Geothermal energy & thermodynamics in design;
  • Holistic & deep energy retrofitting strategy design;
  • Process improvements & value interaction design;
  • Technological products/services & market design;
  • Optimization for local sharing & eMobility design;
  • Biophilic design (city, land, buildings, systems); etc.
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