Research & Innovation Institute and metropolis: Smart Cities & Migration
navigating issues and challenges through ict-enhanced tools and approaches
Athens, Greece, 27-28/09/2019

Smart cities, seen as a concept and policy-strategy, have firmly established themselves as a key tenet of contemporary academic and political debates; this is similarly the case for migration which has also consolidated its position in contemporary narratives and discourses. Interestingly, the centrality of both issues in contemporary research and debates notwithstanding, the smart cities-migration nexus has not acquired the attention it is due. The objective of this workshop is to explore this connection from a variety of inter- and multidisciplinary perspectives.

Smart cities research is maturing, and — increasingly — the so far distinct and distant communities examining smart cities through the lens of, e.g., computer science, engineering, urban geography, politics, sociology, communication studies and many more, are engaging in dialogue. Smart cities research is driven by there cognition that advances in information and communication technology (ict) may be effectively employed in city/urban spaces to pre-empt, address, and/or mitigate nascent risks, threats, challenges, and thereby to contribute to the well-being of cities’ inhabitants. In this view, smart cities research locates itself in an areadefined by issues as diverse as governance, mobility, economy, energy, living conditions/architecture, and environment. What brings these issues together is the recognition that — if used in socially and ethically sensitive ways —ict-enhanced tools and approaches may allow addressing challenges cities face effectively.

Migration, following the surge in arrivals to Europe recorded in 2015 and 2016, has reconfirmed its centrality in social and political debates as well as its relevance for the policy-making process. As new generations of researchers started adding to the impressive existing body of work, new avenues of research have been opened. As a result, our understanding of the features and implications of contemporary migration and the challenges it inflicts at national, regional and global levels has been substantially enhanced. Relatively little research has been done to consider in which ways advance inicts might be used to mitigate the challenges and reap the opportunities that migration triggers in cities/urban spaces. As the smart cities agenda is growing rapidly and migration is in the centre of the political debate, it is imperative that the connection between smart cities and migration is explored in depth.

Central in the debate on smart cities is the concept of broadly understood sustainability. Migration is part of that debate. By upholding sustainability in Goal 11, sustainable cities and communities, of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, a momentum was created for new stakeholders to join the discussion. A tacit expectation has arisen that smart cities and migration research will infuse the policy-making process with a very much needed empirical focus, conceptual zeal, methodological discipline and evidence of multiple causal relations that unfold in the ecosystem of a (smart) city. The objective of this seminar is to address this expectation.

The key topics that will be discussed during the seminar include a variety of issues that emerge at the inter-section migration and advances in sophisticated information and communication technology (ict) as experience in (smart) city/urban space.

  1. Migration in (smart) city/urban space: challenges and opportunities
  2. Migration in (smart) city/urban space: strategies and responses
  3. Migration in (smart) city/urban space: questions of inclusion, prosperity and wellbeing
  4. Migration in (smart) city/urban space: new modes of economic collaboration
  5. Migration in (smart) city/urban space: governance and civic participation

Publication Opportunities
Two Special Issues and two edited volumes have been secured to host research presented at the rii international expert seminar on smart cities & migration

Details on Abstract Submission & Registration
Please, contact the organizers at
For details, please, visit the rii international expert seminar website: