Mitigating Urban Heat

New paper co-authored with Matthias Tuczek, Kenan Degirmenci, Richard T. Watson, TanYigitcanlar, and Michael H. Breitner published in Urban Climate.

Mitigating urban heat with optimal distribution of vegetation and buildings

The impact of climate change on cities poses a growing global threat, which is exacerbated by the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The optimal distribution of vegetation and buildings in urban areas is critical to control the UHI effect and stabilize long-term temperature changes. In this article, we develop an optimization model to maximize revenue while limiting UHI intensity under several restrictions. We run simulations in two urban areas in Brisbane, Australia to test the model's theoretical predictions. Our results show that a revenue increase by AUD 4.32 billion in Brisbane City and by AUD 1.19 billion in Hamilton involves an increase of the maximum temperature difference between the developed and undeveloped sites from 4 to 5° C through an increase of buildings and thus a decrease of porosity and an increase of population density.

To access the paper [LINK].

A Typology of Chatbots in Public Service Delivery – IEEE Software

New paper co-authored with Tendai Makasi, Alireza Nili, and Mary Tate has been published in IEEE Software.

Chatbots are being used in an increasingly wide range of public services and present several benefits for public service delivery. Our typology contributes to effective chatbot-mediated service delivery in the public service context.

To access the paper, please click [LINK]

Digital Transformation in the Resource and Energy Sectors

New paper co-authored with Parisa Maroufkhani, Robert K.Perrons, and Mohammad Iranmanesh published in Resources Policy.

The forces of digital transformation have delivered significant benefits like sustainable development and economic growth in a range of early adopter industries such as retail and manufacturing but, despite these potential benefits, the resource and energy sectors have been relative latecomers to digitalization simply because they are frequently slower to absorb new technologies. Here we present the results of a systematic literature review identifying the ways in which digital technologies have been applied in the oil and gas, mining, and energy domains. We applied content and descriptive analysis to evaluate and discuss 151 academic articles selected from the Scopus database. Two particularly interesting trends emerge from the analysis. First, over 75% of the papers were about the energy sector excluding the oil & gas industry, and only a small minority were from the mining or oil & gas sectors. Second, the most frequently discussed objective of digital transformation was the reduction of operational expenses. By surveying the different ways in which these innovations have been used in these industries and identifying trends and patterns in how digital technologies have been applied, the findings of this review deepen our understanding of the current state of digital technologies within the resource and energy sectors and, in so doing, shine a useful amount of light on the contributions that digital transformation has made to businesses in these sectors. This paper also highlights for future scholars, practitioners, and policymakers the six research areas that they should focus on in the future to help the resource and energy sectors accelerate the digital transformation process and improve their ability to deliver value with these innovations.

To access the article, please click [LINK]

International Dialogue: Emerging Technology for Response and Recovery

In a post-pandemic world, homeland security and border control agencies are being tasked with transforming how they respond and operate in a highly digitalized environment, while ensuring safety and prosperity of citizens and country.

Critical challenges that agencies face include the increasing volume of incidents and emergencies, overly complex trade and immigration processes, and evolving threats to borders and customs. Governments can leverage data, AI, intelligent automation, and other emerging technologies to address these complex challenges—while also freeing up critical human resources for high value missions.

To address these key issues, the IBM Center for The Business of Government hosted an international dialogue in September 2021 attended by CIOs and IT leaders with the Australia Department of Home Affairs, the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection. These three dynamic leaders engaged in an interactive dialogue, joined by nearly 50 attendees from across the globe.

I draw on this discussion to produce a report providing keen insights about leveraging technologies to improve operations and security across borders. Participants addressed supply chain assurance, opening borders amidst the global fight against COVID-19, and the role of data, AI, and other technologies to support border security. The wide-ranging discussion also touched on addressing the needs of the future, anticipating new threats, and developing response strategies. These strategies—which rest on hybrid, multi-cloud environments—include operational capabilities that can stand up “on demand” to address rapidly shifting threats.

To read the report, please click here.

Interagency Collaboration within the City Emergency Management Network

New paper co-authored with Bo Fan and Zhoupeng Li published in Disasters.

Interagency collaboration within the city emergency management network: a case study of Super Ministry Reform in China

Emergencies continue to become ever more complex; responding to them, therefore, often is beyond the capabilities and capacities of any single public agency. Hence, collaboration among these actors is necessary to prepare for, respond to, and recover from such events. This seldom occurs in an effective or efficient manner, however. Drawing on resource dependence theory and the concept of social capital, this paper reveals that different types of collaborative relationships exist within the collaborative network. Super Ministry Reform of Emergency Management in China serves as a case in point. By evaluating network efficiency and classifying the collaborative relationships of involved government agencies, four types are identified: resource-redundant; resource-complementary; resource-dependent; and resource-isolated. The different influences of collaborative relationships explain why the reform is not that effective, although it has led to the merger of several core departments in the emergency management network. The findings are a reminder to consider network structure and collaboration types when engaging in institutional design.

To access the article: [LINK]
To access a full-text, read-only version of the article: [LINK]


What Explains Governments Interest in Artificial Intelligence?

New paper co-authored with Samar Fatima, Greg Dawson, and Jim Denford published in Economic Analysis & Policy

Since 2015, several countries have shown significant interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and have released national-level AI strategic plans. These plans reflect the country’s rationale for embarking on AI. To identify what factors influence the AI approach of a country, this study employs signaling theory to decode strategic national AI plans and understand each country’s rationale. The study adapts the typology of signals and plots AI information given in national AI plans (AI-enabled public services, research, data, algorithmic ethics, governance) in a matrix of intentionality and veracity considering socio-economic and political conditions. Our findings indicate that countries with high democracy scores are more likely than less democratic countries to prioritize ethical and governance issues of AI, however, this is more pronounced in democratic countries with a lower technology base. The results also suggest that advanced research capability and data accessibility for AI is a precondition to developing a nationwide AI system.

To access the paper, please click [LINK]

Smart Governance in the Contemporary Era: Journal of Urban Affairs

Naim Kapucu (University of Central Florida), Jiannan Wu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), and I have co-edited a special issue of Journal of Urban Affairs on smart governance in the contemporary era.

In the 21st century, we have seen an increase in activity around making cities “smarter” and “intelligent” through the creative application of information systems. In an ideal world, a smarter (and intelligent) city should be able to leverage data in real time to increase its situational awareness, thereby enabling effective and efficient decision-making at the individual, organizational, and collective levels to advance its goals of resilience, sustainability, and livability. From a design, planning, policy, and implementation perspective, however, our theoretical and empirical knowledge on smart cities is limited. One reason for this is the simple fact that the term smart city is nebulous. Some use the term smart city to highlight advances in sustainability and greening of the city, while others use the term to portray infusion of information via technologies to better the lives of citizens that reside in these spaces. Even others consider the presence of a high level of citizen engagement in the design and governance of the space as a key attribute of smarter cities. It is our pleasure to put forth five papers as part of this special issue on smart governance across cities in the contemporary era. The papers provide guidelines for cities to consider for designing and managing smart communities.

To access the issue, please click [LINK]

Urban Heat Islands – Sustainable Cities and Society

Kenan Degirmenci, Walter Fieuw, Richard T. Watson, Tan Yigitcanlar, and I have an article in Sustainable Cities and Society.

Policy and technology responses to increased temperatures in urban heat islands (UHIs) are discussed in a variety of research; however, their interaction is overlooked and understudied. This is an important oversight because policy and technology are often developed in isolation of each other and not in conjunction. Therefore, they have limited synergistic effects when aimed at solving global issues. To examine this aspect, we conducted a systematic literature review and synthesised 97 articles to create a conceptual structuring of the topic. We identified the following categories: (a) evidence base for policymaking including timescale analysis, effective policymaking instruments as well as decision support and scenario planning; (b) policy responses including landscape and urban form, green and blue area ratio, albedo enhancement policies, transport modal split as well as public health and participation; (c) passive technologies including green building envelopes and development of cool surfaces; and (d) active technologies including sustainable transport as well as energy consumption, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and waste heat. Based on the findings, we present a framework to guide future research in analysing UHI policy and technology responses more effectively in conjunction with each other.

To access the article, click [LINK]

Value–Based Guiding Principles for Managing Cognitive Computing Systems in the Public Sector

Cognitive Computing Systems (CCSs) are increasing in prominence in the public sector. This paper develops a framework drawing on public value and information technology service management literature to guide the management of CCSs in the public sector. We draw on academic literature, gray literature, legislation and government reports, and examples on CCS initiatives in the public sector to develop insights for research and practice. We then outline the themes and present the insights in the form of guiding principles and specific (detailed) recommendations. These include guiding principles and recommendations for establishing legitimacy, understanding the required capabilities, executing capabilities, creating and measuring public value.

Journal: Public Performance & Management Review

Co-authors: Tendai MakasiAlireza Nili, and Mary Tate

To access the article, please click here.