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The portfolio of CAP4CITY courses and knowledge areas is rich and, unlike most educational programs discussed earlier, directly focused on developing competencies that are required for future SSC professionals. It seeks to cover the broad spectrum of SSC-related domains, from fundamental, such as philosophical rationales behind making the cities smarter and more sustainable, to strictly technical ones, such as adapting highly specialized pieces of knowledge, such as data-driven projects to the SSC context. While the future SSC professionals are likely to occupy positions associated with various dimensions of smartness and sustainability and will play various associated roles, from individual to intra-organizational, we believe that such a versatile grasp of topics can bring tangible benefits to students.

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Business and Economics

The course teaches students how to understand the principles of Economic Sustainability, how to align such principles with the new urban agenda and sustainable development, and how to integrate them into the economic agenda of a city. As a result, they are expected to be able to formulate business models oriented towards the fourth industrial revolution and apply the principles of Economic Sustainability within the framework of SSC initiatives.

The Innovation for Urban Transformation course aims to deliver an overview of the nature of innovation, different types and forms of innovation and innovation systems. What enables innovation, and what challenges innovators may encounter will be discussed. In addition, the course explains the interactive nature of innovation and the importance of collaboration in the innovation process, including innovation ecosystems and the collaboration between academia, private and public sector, and users. Students will acquire the knowledge of different approaches and methodologies to promote innovation for urban transformation. These topics are addressed in the form of lectures (first part of the course), workshops and group assignment. A workshop to explore different tools to promote creativity and innovation will be conducted, and the students will then apply the latter when presenting their innovative idea for urban transformation (group assignment).


The course delivers soft skills such as communication (including effective use of social networks in the successful promotion of SSCs), personal development, negotiation, leadership, and marketing. The students will also learn strengthened communication skills targeting right audiences and purposes, use of marketing tools to improve SSC citizens’ quality of life, etc. 

Information Systems

It is designed for students to understand the concepts of data, information and knowledge and their value in organizations. Information is an essential asset in smart organizations, so the managerial and methodological issues within this domain are carefully addressed, including problems of information governance, operations, security and quality. Also, new, and emerging technologies such as Data Warehousing, Big Data or Business Intelligence shall be discussed and analysed.  

This course is designed to give a sense of the range of topics associated with the field of Systems Theory and Information Systems (IS), of how the scope of the field has expanded over the past half-century or so, and of the range of research approaches used to study information systems and related phenomena. The scope of the field now encompasses aspects of globalization, and societal and ethical issues more generally. This is in addition to the development of organizational information systems, and the use made and impact of information and communication technologies within and between organizations that had been the core of the (management) information systems (MIS) field previously.


It is designed to equip its students with competencies such as understanding what it means to be a citizen in society, being familiar with the concepts of e-participation and e-democracy, knowledge of tools and projects oriented towards citizen engagement, etc. One of the lead topics is the problem of digital inclusion, which is essential in building a healthy SSC community.  

The course aims for students to “understand the complex relations involved in governance-related subjects in order to establish evidence-based and multi-stakeholders decision-making governance processes” through topics such as governance, public governance, collaborative governance, decision-making processes, etc. 

It is focused on governance within SSC, thus meant to develop competences within the “Smart Governance” dimension by introducing concepts such as SSC governance frameworks and mechanisms, governance in municipal operations centres, etc. The students are expected to achieve skills in dealing with SSC stakeholders, territorial actors, establishing strategic partnerships, etc.

It develops the skills of service design, e.g. delivery, channels and strategies for public service delivery, and program design, e.g. human-computer interaction and design of interfaces. Students will learn how to “analyse diverse information about SSC” and “make decisions about different methodologies for designing SSC services”. The emphasis is also on co-creating public value with citizens, understanding the needs of vulnerable groups, and improving the urban space and welfare of citizens.  

Socio-Technical ICT

The course introduces the data-driven approach to handling SSCs. The course is centred on applying DDMA projects in the SSC context, including scoping, methodologies, metrics, assessment, and tools. 

The course prepares students to understand the theory, the current state, and issues associated with urban infrastructure planning. These issues are discussed in the context of accelerating urbanization processes, including “how to plan in order to address the unforeseeable problems that cities will face”. 

The course presents and discusses modern technological solutions that significantly alter the way people (and cities) operate. Thus, the program is centred on the issue of emerging technologies and their potential users. Technologies and technological phenomena such as the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning, etc. will be examined along with reference to building and functioning of SSC initiatives.  

The course deals with ICT aspects of SSCs while merging technical issues with human orientation, i.e., social computing. The students attending this course will learn the basics of software development, sociotechnical ICT levels, IT development methodologies such as waterfall or agile, and IT model prototyping for SSCs.

The courses will familiarize its students with the issues related to the implementation of IT in government environments. SSC-connected issues covered include IT in delivering public value, adoption of technology, knowledge management, IT governance and society, etc.  

The courses apply the concept of Open Government in the SSC context. Various aspects of Open Government will be analysed, e.g., the key characteristics, benefits, challenges, legal factors, privacy, design principles, prototyping, etc. 


Public Administration/Management

The course will equip the students with competencies such as: conducting local level restructuring of smart cities, rethinking and reformulating local organization, simplification of procedures, etc. The course is centred on the topics of organizational management in SSC, organizational restructuring, legal management, and business processes in SSC, etc.  

The course is about strategic management and problem solving essential for SSC decision-makers. It will teach students how to diagnose problems and select the right methods of their description, how to prepare a long-term vision and mission, how to choose and prioritize projects in the strategic plan, how to manage the digital change in the urban environment, etc. Essential skills include problem-solving, strategic thinking, analytical thinking, and strategic planning.  

The course aims at presenting innovative methods to be applied in the management of SSCs. Students will learn how to identify problems and use tools to find innovative solutions-oriented on improving city management. The topics include dimensions and areas of SSC management, Design Thinking, Lean Thinking, Agile, technologies for city management, etc. 

The course is about monitoring and assessment in the SSC context. Students shall acquire the knowledge of methodologies, frameworks, tools, indicators, and practical issues involved in the assessment of SSCs.   

The course teaches students how to formulate multidisciplinary strategies and solutions in SSCs, how to evaluate SSC performance, integrate and coordinate interdisciplinary teams, etc. It is centred on the issues of project management, project planning, and coordinating projects in public administration. 

SSC-related Project Planning: The Smart Sustainable City (SSC) Related Project Planning course aims to highlight the importance of planning when tackling SSC projects. Different aspects regarding planning will be presented throughout the course. Students will acquire knowledge of a variety of approaches for planning; tools to analyse local context and project management skills such as WBS and resource management; an overview on strategy planning; data-driven planning and the importance of identifying citizens and stakeholders. Some of the topics will be presented alongside SSC case studies.

Legal and Ethical Implications of SSC

The students on this course will learn about ethical, privacy and cybersecurity implications in development and deployment of SSC solutions. They will be able to identify threats and vulnerabilities and propose mitigation and prevention solutions. Some of the topics covered include information ethics, design of digital services for SSC, cybersecurity environment, infrastructure, and technical solutions, etc. 

The course is oriented towards legal and juridical aspects of SSC development. Its lead topic is “understanding the environmental, social, and economic dynamics of the territories and cities… in regard to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda”. Among competencies taught are juridical aspects of technology contracts in SSCs, legal and contractual mechanism for SSCs, citizens privacy protection, regulatory and contractual frameworks, etc.  

Smart City Foundations

The course will develop several competencies including the ability to analyse different smart city-related problems, e.g., transport or waste management, designing mobile services, understanding mobile applications, analysing actual solutions for SSCs, making decisions about adding intelligence to mobile applications, etc. In general, the course will raise the issues of software systems for SSCs, with emphasis on mobile devices and applications.  

The course introduces foundational issues for SSCs, analysed in the historical, legal, managerial, and even psychological context. Problems such as SSC history, data, funds, trends, actors and their roles, management, as well as some fundamental decisions, e.g., whether to build an SSC at all and what role technology should play, will be covered. 

The course examines the contribution of SSCs to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The courses tackle opportunities and challenges for urban growth and ways to build and manage inclusive and resilient smart sustainable cities.  

Urban Studies and Sustainability

The course will teach students how to understand and assess various issues of climate, biodiversity, and energy. The authors will map these problems to the context of SSCs, e.g., explaining bioclimatic-urban territory relationships.  

The course will present and discuss various issues related to social sustainability, e.g., corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, etc. Among the competencies developed, considered essential to the SSC context, is “Responsibility to realize your role as a citizen”.

While sustainability is the multidimensional concept, the course deals with technical sustainability. The students will “gain a comprehensive view of designing the technical sustainability in terms of its environmental and social quality, resources, emissions and other aspects as part of the lifecycle”. Among the topics covered are the impact of buildings (energy, water, materials, site, biodiversity, etc.), assessment methods, sustainable building strategies, etc. 

The course will familiarize its students with the issues of rational, sustainable, and citizen-engaging urban development. Among others, issues such as key concepts of planning, indicators, impact on the quality of life, adaptation to the local context, etc. will be introduced. Also, various specialized topics, e.g., street planning, green corridors, promoting walking and cycling, will be presented as well.