Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32726
Embedding the Dimensions of Sustainability into City Information Modelling

Authors: Ali M. Al-Shaery


The purpose of this paper is to address the functions of sustainability dimensions in city information modelling and to present the required sustainability criteria that support establishing a sustainable planning framework for enhancing existing cities and developing future smart cities. The paper is divided into two sections. The first section is based on the examination of a wide and extensive array of cross-disciplinary literature in the last decade and a half to conceptualize the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘smart city’, and map their associated criteria to city information modelling. The second section is based on analyzing two approaches relating to city information modelling, namely statistical and dynamic approaches, and their suitability in the development of cities’ action plans. The paper argues that the use of statistical approaches to embed sustainability dimensions in city information modelling have limited value. Despite the popularity of such approaches in addressing other dimensions like utility and service management in development and action plans of the world cities, these approaches are unable to address the dynamics across various city sectors with regards to economic, environmental and social criteria. The paper suggests an integrative dynamic and cross-disciplinary planning approach to embedding sustainability dimensions in city information modelling frameworks. Such an approach will pave the way towards optimal planning and implementation of priority actions of projects and investments. The approach can be used to achieve three main goals: (1) better development and action plans for world cities (2) serve the development of an integrative dynamic and cross-disciplinary framework that incorporates economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria and (3) address areas that require further attention in the development of future sustainable and smart cities. The paper presents an innovative approach for city information modelling and a well-argued, balanced hierarchy of sustainability criteria that can contribute to an area of research which is still in its infancy in terms of development and management.

Keywords: Information modelling, smart city, sustainable city, sustainability dimensions, sustainability criteria, city development planning.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1107


[1] S. Bibri, and J. Krogstie, On the Social Shaping Dimensions of Smart Sustainable Cities: A Study in Science, Technology, and Society. Sustainable Cities and Society, 2016.
[2] S. M. Beheiry, "Benchmarking Sustainable Construction Technology." Advanced Materials Research, 347: pp. 2913-2920, 2012.
[3] P. Bynum, R. Issa, and S. Olbina, Building Information Modeling in Support of Sustainable Design and Construction, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 139, No. 1, 2013.
[4] J. Whyte, Building Information Modelling in 2012: Research Challenges, Contributions, Opportunities, Design Innovation Research Centre working paper 5, Version Number 1.0, 2012.
[5] J. H. Lee, M. G. Hancock, and M. Hu, Towards an effective framework for building smart cities: Lessons from Seoul and San Francisco, Technological Forecasting and Social Change. November 2012.
[6] H. C. Lingard, T. Cooke, and N. Blismas, Designing for construction workers’ occupational health and safety: a case study of socio-material complexity, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 30, No. 5, pp. 367-382, 2012.
[7] T. Yigitcanlar, and D. Dizdaroglu, Ecological approaches in planning for sustainable cities A review of the literature, Global J. Environ. Sci. Manage., Vol.1, No. 2, pp. 159-188, 2015.
[8] A. Zaman, and S. Lehmann, Challenges and Opportunities in Transforming a City into a “Zero Waste City” Challenges, 2, pp. 73-93, 2011.
[9] A. Manderson, A Systems Based Framework to Examine The Multi-contextual Application of the Sustainability Concept, Environment, Development and Sustainability, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 85-97, 2006.
[10] Climate Summit, The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance Action Statement, 2014, Available at: Accessed on 07/11/2016
[11] G. Zilahy, and D. Huisingh, The roles of academia in Regional Sustainability Initiatives. Journal of Cleaner Production 17: pp. 1057-1066, 2009.
[12] S. Sedlacek, and V. Gaube, Regions on their way to sustainability: the role of institutions In fostering sustainable development at the region al level. Environment. Development and Sustainability 12(1): 117-134, 2010.
[13] RIMAS, Contributions of the regional and local authorities to sustainable development strategies conclusions, Research Institute for Managing Sustainability, European Union.Sedlacek and Gaube, 2010.
[14] S. Convery, T. Carey, G. Clabby, and C. Brennan, Green city guidelines: advice for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity in medium to high-density urban developments, 2008.
[15] G. Davidson, Waste management practices: Literature review, Dalhousie University - Office of Sustainability, 2011, Available at: Accessed on 10/11/2016
[16] A. Kramers, M. , Höjer, N. Lövehagen, and J. Wangel, Smart sustainable cities–Exploring ICT solutions for reduced energy use in cities. Environmental Modelling & Software, 2014. 56: p. 52-62.
[17] Y. Jabareen, Sustainable urban forms: their typologies, models, and concepts, J. Plann. Educ. Res., 26 (1): pp. 38-52, 2006.
[18] E. Rapoport, Utopian Visions and Real Estate Dreams: The Eco-city Past Present and Future, Geography Compass, Volume 8, Issue 2, pages 137–149, February 2014.
[19] S. Wheeler, Planning for sustainability: Creating livable, equitable, and ecological communities, Routledge, New York, 2013.
[20] J. Coplak, and P. Raksanyi, Ecocity: Planning sustainable settlements, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, 2003.
[21] K. Williams, E. Burton, and M. Jenks, Achieving sustainable urban form, Routledge, London, 2000.
[22] B. Drumheller, A. Quaid, M. Wyman, J. Liljenwall, and A. Young, Sustainable transportation options for protecting the climate, a guide for local governments, ICLEI, New York, 2001.
[23] M. Wackernagel, J. Kitzes, D. Moran, S. Goldfinger, and M. Thomas, "The Ecological Footprint of cities and regions: comparing resource availability with resource demand". Environment and Urbanization, 18, 1, 103-112, 2006.
[24] J. Harris, Basic Principles of Sustainable Development, Global Development and Environment Institute, Working Paper 00-04, Tufts University, 2000.
[25] A. Mavropoulos, Megacities Sustainable Development and Waste Management in the 21st Century, ISWA world congress, Hamburg, 2010. November 2010. Available at, Accessed on 15/11/2016
[26] J. Agyeman, and T. Evans, Toward just sustainability in urban communities: building equity rights with sustainable solutions, An. Am. Acad. Polit. Soc. Sci., Vol. 590, No. 1 : pp. 35-53, 2003.
[27] A. Spinak and F. Casalegno, Sustainable and Equitable Urbanism: The Role of ICT in Ecological Culture Change and Poverty Alleviation, In: Ercoskun OY (ed.) Green and Ecological Technologies for Urban Planning: Creating Smart Cities. Pennsylvania: IGI Global, pp. 37–58, 2012.
[28] T. Ecimovic, R. Haw, I. Kondrashin, W. Raoul, and GF. Vivanco, Philosophy of the Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Future of Humankind - the Survival of Humanity. Problems of Sustainable Development/Problemy Ekorozwoju. 2014; Vol. 9, No. 2: pp. 7-25. Available at: Accessed on 20/11/2016
[29] J. Nixon, Sustainable economic development: Initiatives, programs, and strategies for cities and regions, Urban Sustainability Associates, New York, 2009.
[30] T. Quendler, and B. Schuh, Sustainability: a challenge for future economic and social policy. In H. Wohlmeyer and T. Quendler, editors. The WTO, agriculture, and sustainable development. Greenleaf, Sheffield, UK, 2002.
[31] H. Chourabi, T. Nam, S. Walker, R. J. Gil-Gracia, S. Mellouli, K. Nahon, T. A. Prado, and H. J. Scholl, Understanding Smart Cities: An Integrative Framework, Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2012.
[32] R. E. Hall, B. Bowerman, J. Braverman, J. Taylor, H. Todosow, and U. Von Wimmersperg, The Vision of a Smart Sustainable City, SciTech Connect: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), 28 Sept. 2009.
[33] T. Nam, and T. A. Pardo, Conceptualizing Smart Sustainable City with Dimensions of Technology, People, and Institutions, The Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, June 2011.
[34] G. Piro, I. Cianci, L.A. Grieco, G. Boggia, and P. Camarda, “Information centric services in smart cities”, The Journal of Systems and Software, Vol. 88, pp. 169-188, 2014.
[35] H. Schaffers, N. Komninos, M. Pallot, B. Trousse, and M. Nilsson, Smart cities and the Future Internet: Towards Cooperation Frameworks for Open Innovation, 2012, Available at: Accessed on 22/11/2016
[36] D. Toppeta, The Smart City Vision: How Innovation and ICT Can Build Smart, "liveable", Sustainable Cities, Think Innovation, Oct. 2010. Available at Accessed on 22/11/2016
[37] M. Batty, K. Axhausen, G. Fosca, A. Pozdnoukhov, A. Bazzani, M. Wachowicz, G. Ouzounis, and Y. Portugali, Smart Cities of the Future, The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis – CASA Working Paper 188 – UCL, 05 Oct. 2012.
[38] A. Townsend, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2013.
[39] I. Azkuna, International Study on the Situation of ICT, Innovation and Knowledge in Cities, City of Bilbao, 2012. Page 21, Available at: Accessed on 24/11/2016
[40] T. Craren, B. Dougher, and K. Wylde, Cities of Opportunity, Analyses the trajectory of 27 cities, 2012, Available at: Accessed on 24/11/2016
[41] M. J. Dixon, How Smart Cities Save Money (and the Planet), Harvard Business Review, HBR Blog Network, 29 Oct. 2012.
[42] A. Wong, Brilliant Life Powered by Smart City, Global Social Media and International Media, 2014, Available at: Accessed on 25/11/2016
[43] P. Lombardi, New Challenges in the Evaluation of Smart Cities, Network Industries Quarterly, Vol. 13, 2011.
[44] J. González, A. Andrés, and A. Rossi, New Trends for Smart Cities, Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, 2011, Available at: Accessed on 11/12/2016
[45] Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Current Activities for Smart Sustainable Cities, Smart Town, Contribution No. FG-SSC-0033, ITU Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, Madrid, September 2013, Available at: Accessed on 10/12/2016
[46] R. Giffinger, C. Fertner, H. Kramar, R. Kalasek, N. Pichler, and E. Meijers, Smart Cities Ranking of European Medium-sized Cities, Centre of Regional Science, Vienna UT, Oct. 2007. Page 10, Available at: Accessed on 11/12/2016
[47] T. Kirby, City design: transforming tomorrow, The Guardian, 18 April 2013, Available online at: http:// Accessed on 01/11/2016
[48] M. Nolberto, Handbook on Urban Sustainability, Springer, 2007, Available at: Accessed on 03/01/2017
[49] N. A. Ashford, ‘Incorporating Science, Technology, Fairness and Accountability in Environmental, Health, and Safety Decisions’, The International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Vol. 5, No. 2/3/4:pp. 112-124, 2005.
[50] S. Lek, A. Belaud, P. Baran, I. Dimopoulos, and M. Delacoste, Role of some environmental variables in trout abundance models using neural networks. Aquatic Living Res. Vol. 9, pp. 23–29, 1996.
[51] M. Hamed, M., Galal, and E. Hassanien, Prediction of Wastewater Treatment Plant Performance Using Artificial Neural Networks, Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol. 19 No. 10:pp. 919-928, 2004.
[52] L. Bourdic, and S. Salat, Building energy models and assessment systems at the district and city scales: a review, Building and Research Information, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 518-526, 2012.