Call for Papers

CfP Special Issue on "Smart Cities - Smart Governance Models for Future Cities"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors


As of 2010 half of the world population lived in urban areas and 150 metropolitan urban regions across the world generated almost 50% of the global GDP. In other words, from then on, cities became more and more the places, where a process of deep societal and economic reform should start from, where global issues may be addressed locally, where smart technology may be discussed. Definitively, cities have a sufficient critical mass in both demographic and economic terms to ignite a planetary revolution.

The concept of a smart city is understood as the specific use of advanced information and communication technologies for a sustainable, social, ecological and economic development of urban space. The focus of a smart city is on the access, processing and use of information to improve existing urban processes. The acquisition, collection and analysis of urban (real-time) data and the coordination of data use with Internet- and web-based services has opened up new possibilities for increasing economic, social, natural and infrastructural resource efficiency and improving the quality of life. 

However, the technology-focused perspective excludes two essential aspects that are of high importance for a "future city": Preservation of knowledge and involvement of the citizens in the design process. Solutions (e.g., digital platforms, civic (tech) events) designed by and with citizens promote transparent and participatory collaboration that enables the development of a smart living environment. In this respect, it is important that civil society is willing to cooperate and that public administrations take these efforts seriously. With regards to aspects of the socio-technical approach, it is important that technical and human factors have equal weight in the design process of new smart city models. This citizen-centered approach makes it possible to develop new socio-economic and participatory models that promote, for example, solidarity, social inclusion and communities. This becomes particularly relevant in the field of governance (D’Onofrio et al. 2019).

With this in mind, in this special issue, we intend to help cities better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the governance of their infrastructures. On that account, with a focus on cities efficiency, sustainability, and resilience (see Portmann & Finger 2016; Portmann et al. 2019), we invite researchers to submit their paper addressing an innovative handling of societal challenges, presenting novel economic models to govern them as well as technological prototypes and frameworks to have an impact.

Central issues and topics

This special issue of the Electronic Markets Journal will focus on new, innovative approaches to smart governance models for future cities that may improve existing processes and models of governance and will change/improve the interaction and communication between citizens and representatives of the public sector. They should discuss how their approaches and solutions enable enhanced ways of information exchange and communication between citizens and representatives of the public sector, how new models can improve existing government models and thus how urban knowledge can be preserved and be used for future cities.

This special issue is not only intended for academics and researchers but will also be valuable for executives, managers, innovators and project leaders who would like to implement smart methods to govern urban systems. To this end, it intends to present a set of state-of- the art method boxes, case studies and web-based tools that together make it possible to design, implement, and test smart cities strategies-to-be. The (non-exclusive) list of topics includes:

  • Smart governance of urban systems and networked business models
  • Complexity theory for smart governance of urban systems
  • Collective city intelligence for implementation of smart cities
  • Learning and cognition theory for implementation of smart cities
  • Application of human-centered artificial intelligence for smart cities
  • Integration of smart citizens into the development of smart governance models
  • Smart participation and smart voting
  • Digital platforms and ecosystems for smart cities
  • Data mining for smart city applications
  • Application of smart open gov data
  • Sustainable, social, ecological and economic issues in smart governance models for future cities
  • Trust, privacy, and security issues in smart governance models for future cities


collective intelligence, digital platforms, ecosystems, governance, open gov data, privacy, security, smart citizen, smart city, smart participation, trust


Electronic Markets is a Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)-listed journal (IF 3.553 in 2018) in the area of information systems. We encourage original contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research. Please also consider position papers and case studies for this special issue. All papers should fit the journal scope (for more information, see and will undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions must be made via the journal’s submission system and comply with the journal's formatting standards. The preferred average article length is approximately 8,000 words, excluding references. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this special issue, you may either contact the guest editors or the Editorial Office.


D’Onofrio S., Habenstein A., Portmann E. (2019). Ontological Design for Cognitive Cities: The New Principle for Future Urban Management. Ahuja K., Khosla A. (eds.) Driving the Development, Management and Sustainability of Cognitive Cities. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA.

Portmann E., Finger M. (2016). Towards Cognitive Cities: Advances in Cognitive Computing and its Applications to the Governance of Large Urban Systems. Studies in Systems, Decision and Control, 63. Springer, Cham.

Portmann E., Seising R., Tabacchi M., Habenstein A. (2019). Designing Cognitive Cities. Springer.