Call for Papers: Special Issue JeDEM 10(1)

JeDEM 1/2018:
Collaborative Governance for Smart Sustainable Cities

 Guest Editors

  • Gabriela Viale Pereira, Department for E-Governance and Administration, Danube University Krems, Austria
  • Tomasz Janowski, Department for E-Governance and Administration, Danube University Krems, Austria and Department for Applied Informatics in Management, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland
  • Elsa Estevez, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Universidad Nacional del Sur and Institute of Computer Science and Engineering (UNS–CONICET), Bahía Blanca, Argentina


With cities around the world facing unprecedented sustainability challenges including “growing numbers of slum dwellers, increased air pollution, inadequate basic services and infrastructure, and unplanned urban sprawl” (United Nations, 2017), UN-Habitat (2016) recently called for a new generation of national urban policies that reach “beyond the traditional boundaries of the city and fosters stronger horizontal and vertical linkages, and creative partnerships in order to tackle complex urban problems in a coordinated way”. By May 2017, 149 countries responded to this call by developing their own national urban policies (United Nations, 2017).

At the center of such policies is citizen participation, which entails various forms of citizen engagement, from one-way Public Dissemination, through Public Education, Public Input and Public Interaction, to two-way Public Partnership (UN-Habitat, 2016). In Public Partnership, also called Collaborative Governance, “public agencies directly engage non-state stakeholders in a collective decision-making process that is formal, consensus-oriented, and deliberative and that aims to make or implement public policy or manage public programs or assets” (Ansell & Gash, 2008). As Collaborative Governance is based on public engagement, which is the “key characteristic of decision-making for sustainability” (Kemp, Parto, & Gibson, 2005), this form of urban governance is also appropriate for building and managing Sustainable Cities.

The transition to Sustainable Cities and the governance of this transition are both affected by digitization processes that take place within cities, city governments and city populations. For digital transformation of cities, such processes lead along the series of Digital Cities, Intelligent Cities, Smart Cities and Smart Sustainable Cities, depending on the depth of technology integration into city operations and the lives of its populations (Estevez, Lopes, & Janowski, 2016). Smart Sustainable Cities focus on “a continuous transformative process, based on stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and building different types of human, institutional and technical capacities” to improve quality of life and pursue sustainable socio-economic development in a city (ibid.).

According to (Meijer & Bolívar, 2016), “smart city governance is about crafting new forms of human collaboration through the use of ICTs to obtain better outcomes and more open governance processes”. Such governance could be measured through the digital government evolution model (Janowski, 2015) that identifies Digitization, Transformation, Engagement and Contextualization as four evolution stages. Collaborative Governance of Smart Cities fits the Engagement stage of the model, where the use of digital technology by city administrations transforms these administrations and their relationships with citizens. Collaborative Governance of Smart Sustainable Cities fits the Contextualization stage of the model, where the use of digital technology by city administrations aims at creating better development conditions for its citizens and businesses and pursuing sustainable development (Estevez & Janowski, 2013). However, few countries achieved the contextualization stage so far (Janowski, 2016).

Call for Papers

This special issue aims at stimulating discussion on the problem how Collaborative Governance can further the vision and practice of Smart Sustainable Cities.

We welcome submissions of research articles, review articles, case studies, and commentaries that advance such discussion. We expect that research articles advance the understanding of the problem, review articles organize existing knowledge about the problem, case studies share practical experience about the problem, and commentaries present personal view/critique of existing approaches to the problem.

Submissions can represent a range of disciplinary perspectives including information systems, urban studies, development studies, public administration, public policy, political science, communication, management, law and others. Submissions that adopt a multidisciplinary perspective on the problem are particularly welcome.

The topic of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Building and managing networks of smart sustainable cities
  • Building relational and social capital for urban sustainability
  • Citizen education and empowerment and impact on urban sustainability
  • Coproduction of public services and public value for urban sustainability
  • Contextualizing digital government for smart sustainable cities
  • Data science, citizen science and urban informatics for smart sustainable cities
  • Disruptive technologies and innovations for smart sustainable cities
  • Government-led versus citizen-led participation for urban sustainability
  • Infrastructure and services for smart sustainable cities
  • Innovation promotion and innovation systems for smart sustainable cities
  • Integrating human, collective and artificial intelligence in smart sustainable cities
  • Integrative leadership for collaborative governance and urban sustainability
  • Lessons learnt and best practices in smart sustainable cities
  • Managing benefits, risks, projects and portfolios for smart sustainable cities
  • Measuring network performance towards urban sustainability goals
  • National urban policies, smart sustainable cities and multi-level governance
  • Participation and inclusion in smart cities for sustainability
  • Public-private-people networks for urban sustainability
  • Reconciling individual and network/collective goals for urban sustainability
  • Smart digital communities and coordination for urban sustainability
  • Smart public administration for smart sustainable cities
  • The dark side of digital government and impact on smart sustainable cities
  • Top-down versus bottom-up city transformation for sustainability
  • Urban digital government for sustainable sectoral development
  • Using open government data to advance smart sustainable cities

Author guidelines

Manuscripts must be between 7,500 and 12,000 words in length, double-space. They must be submitted in the Word format. After submission, all manuscripts will undergo a double-blind peer review process. Detailed author guidelines can be found at

Important Dates

Call for Papers: 15.01.2018
Submission Deadline: 01.06.2018
Peer Review Deadline: 15.07.2018
Notification of Acceptance: 01.09.2018
Revision Deadline: 21.09.2018
Publication: 15.10.2018


Ansell, C., & Gash, A. (2008). Collaborative governance in theory and practice. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(4), 543–571.

Estevez, E., & Janowski, T. (2013). Electronic Governance for Sustainable Development — Conceptual framework and state of research. Government Information Quarterly, 30(1), S94–S109.

Estevez, E., Lopes, N. V., & Janowski, T. (2016). Smart Sustainable Cities: Reconnaissance Study. Retrieved from

Janowski, T. (2015). Digital Government Evolution: From Transformation to Contextualization. Government Information Quarterly, 32(3), 221–236.

Janowski, T. (2016). Implementing Sustainable Development Goals with Digital Government – Aspiration-capacity gap. Government Information Quarterly, 33(4).

Kemp, R., Parto, S., & Gibson, R. (2005). Governance for Sustainable Development : Moving from Theory to Practice. Alternatives Journal, 8, 12–30.

Meijer, A., & Bolívar, M. P. R. (2016). Governing the smart city: a review of the literature on smart urban governance. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 82(2), 392–408.

UN-Habitat. (2016). National Urban Policy: A Guiding Framework, 61.

United Nations. (2017). Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Report of the Secretary-General, E/2017/66(May), 19.

Journal Information

The eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government (JeDEM) is a peer-reviewed open access publication encouraging articles from different disciplines including informatics, economics, political science, sociology, media and communication, political science, philosophy, law, policy, legislation, and ethics.

JeDEM publishes ongoing and completed research, case studies and project descriptions  that are selected after a rigorous blind review by experts in the field.

JeDEM is indexed with EBSCO, DOAJ, Google scholar, and the Public Knowledge Project metadata harvester.


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