CFP: “New literacy and competences for Smart City learning”

special issue of
International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence - IJDLDC



Although the smart city vision has been elaborated to include within the city's capital also the intellectual and social ones, most of the smart city's models aim exclusively to optimize the consumption of resources and to thin the flows (things, people, data).
Very often the present smart cities' models forget that cities are populated by people who act because driven by motivations and expectations, desires, needs; individuals who have their own styles and do not believe that quality of life can be reduced only to optimization of consumption and flows, although it is an important issue for the survival of the eco-system. People that also citizens that over the centuries, with their creative and productive actions, have contributed to the stratification of the cultural DNA that today marks the difference between European cities and those that are quickly developing in the New Worlds.
It follows, then, that public and private stakeholders have to put citizens at the heart of any Smart City project, counterbalancing technocratic visions of cold and inhumane cities, and that technologies will be able to really transform cities in smart ones only when these latter will be populated by 'smart citizens', i.e. individuals who will feel smart not only because they have learned techniques needed to optimize resources' consumption and safeguard the city's capital - that is the environment in which they live and co-evolve to produce further cultural stratifications - but, rather, because, they experience high standard living from all points of view (i.e. all experiential dimensions and personal styles).
For that reason, if the smart cities are to be constructed around people that are also citizens, the “cityzentric” condition for the inhabitants of the intelligent cities is achieved by playing a qualified role in the network of connected individuals, that is characterized by the civic engagement, the territorial commitment and the will of sharing knowledge of creativity.
Connectivity should not be considered only as a urban commodity but, rather, an incredible gift in the hands of individuals and groups that is strengthening their power as agents of change and making them fully aware of the city challenges and vehicles for spreading knowledge and innovation. The “cityzentric” role for active individuals is challenging and gets richer as the citizen itself act, learn and share with others.
Who assumes the responsibility for the education of “smart citizens?

Unfortunately, in the current smart city's models education is not seen as an enabling factor that can affect all aspects of the quality of life, but rather as an infrastructure delivering services: benchmarks, in fact, includes only density of schools, services that can be provided through the 'wide-band', number of students per inhabitant, the ability to produce the 'skills' needed to sustain the functioning of the system ... and so on.
Within a more human-centered vision - and, therefore, the consideration of more human centered city's experiences - horizontal to all themes relevant to a smart city, education should be considered as a pillar of future city smartness and thus it urges to reflect on:

• how the way of learning has changed, is changing and will change because of the smart city, and in particular what are the literacy and competences people need to learn and to live in a smart city environment;
• what places, or more generally environments, have to be designed and developed to answer the education request by citizens in smart cities;
• which transformation will undergone the learning places and, thus, which skills, abilities and competences the educators must have to support the education of future smart citizens;
• which “digital” competencies and skills will characterize the status of “smart citizens” and how to support their continuous acquisition, the integration of those learned in other formal, informal and non-formal contexts within specific urban areas and local situations ;
• how should change skills and competences of those who have to manage smart cities and smart citizens;
• How to integrate skills’ sets and strengthen the cultural profiles of individuals through active partnerships among institutions;
• and last but not least, how all this may depend on the characteristics of the environment and how much room there will be for personalization.

To these and related themes is devoted the special issue of IJDLDC that will be published on April 2013.

The special issue of IJDLDC follows the first workshop on 'Smart City Learning' held in September 2012 in Sinaia (Romania) and represents a parallel, complementary and more focused reflection on literacy and competences, with respect to that proposed by the workshop 'Horizon 2020: smart city learning' which will be held January 28 to 30, 2013 in Villard-de-Lans, Vercors.


• Antonio Cartelli
• Pablo Sanchez Chillon
• Carlo Giovannella
• Antonella Nuzzaci


• November 30, 2012 -> Submission of papers
• December 30, 2012 -> Notification of evaluation results
• January 15, 2013 -> Submission of final version of papers
• April 2013 -> IJDLDC special issue publication


Please refer to the following web page:


Please submit you manuscript in .doc or .docx to
• Antonio Cartelli (Editor in Chief of IJDLDC - antonio.cartelli at and
• Carlo Giovannella (Guest Editor – giovannella at that act also as contact point for information

Located at