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Interdisciplinarity in Smart Sustainable City Education: Exploring Educational Offerings and Competencies Worldwide

Magdalena Ciesielska, Nina Rizun, Tomasz Janowski - Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Science (2021).


More and more higher education institutions are offering specialized study programs for current and future managers of Smart Sustainable Cities (SSCs). In the process, they try to reconcile the interdisciplinary nature of such studies, covering at least the technical and social aspects of SSC management, with their own traditionally discipline-based organization. However, there is little guidance on how such interdisciplinarity should be introduced. In order to address this gap, this paper identifies 87 SSC-related study programs from around the world and analyzes their disciplinary and interdisciplinary coverage. The analysis classifies programs and competencies, the former using text mining and clustering algorithms, the latter using Bloom’s taxonomy and correlation analysis.

Interdisciplinary teaching and learning that integrates the issues of sustainability, smartness and urbanization is imperative for any SSC workforce. This paper adds to existing literature the analysis of interdisciplinary in the current SSC education programs offered by HEIs at the bachelor, master and supplementary levels. The analysis uncovered a rich set of SSC study programs from around the world and a unique set of competencies – knowledge and skills – delivered by such programs. The analysis also grouped the identified programs into major thematic clusters, and the identified competencies into categories and cognition levels according to Bloom’s taxonomy. Correlation between categories and the distribution of categories across clusters were also analyzed, providing additional insights into the findings.


Smart and Connected Cities and Communities – Competences- Education Programs- High education- Interdiciplinary- Smart susa¡tainable city