Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Call for Proposals and Papers | New Challenges and New Solutions: The Dawn of Smart Cities Law

The IUS Publicum Network Review invites short proposals for papers to be included in a special issue on Smart Cities. Proposals should be sent by May 31, 2021. Proposals will be reviewed and applicants will be notified by June 15, 2021. Fully developed papers will be expected by July 31, 2021. Further details follow below.


Cities are increasingly on the front lines in the battle to address our most pressing global challenges, from climate change to population growth, and from economic downturns to public health emergencies. Cities are the beating heart of human society. According to the United Nations, two-thirds of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. Cities are therefore not only the venue where the solutions to our challenges may be found, cities are also themselves part of the solutions.

Enter the concept of a smart city. A smart city implies the use, in an urban area, of the latest information and communication technologies (ICT), aimed at collecting data from users of city services. The overarching objectives are to improve governance, to deploy the teachings of science and technology, and to improve the lives of all individuals.

The idea of a smart city raises several interesting questions in the field of public law.

Some of the questions involve personal data management by public administrations (or private partners providing ICT services), namely the need to balance privacy protection and access to public information, or the possibility for public authorities to base their decisions on algorithmic processing of digital data. Other questions emerge, more broadly, from the use of new technologies, such as the digitalization of public administration, the relevance of innovation in public procurements, and the desirability of rethinking conventional municipal services, including transportation, health care, education, and waste management, to name only a few. Further challenges concern the relation between smarts cities and their inhabitants, or smart cities and other levels of government. On the one hand, the use of ICT might add a new category of inhabitants to the conventional ones of residents, commuters, tourists, and new residents, for instance the technological and the non-technological “citizenry.” Scholars are also rightfully reconsidering the constitutional status of the cities, including their autonomy and relation to other levels of government. And, of course, smart cities entail new opportunities for sustainable development, safety and welfare, as well as inclusive and ecologically sound environments.

Contributions devoted to this special issue of IUS Publicum should focus on these and related subjects on the idea of smart cities. The objective is to collect papers from different countries in order to highlight the challenges, best practices, and open questions in law and government for understanding and successfully implementing the concept of smart cities.


To submit your proposal, please email: Proposals are due by May 31, 2021. Please submit a title and abstract no longer than 500 words.

Full papers will be due by July 31, 2021. The word limit for final papers is 12,000 words. The Co-Editors for this special issue of IUS Publicum are Richard Albert, Mara Demichelis, Luca Galli, and Gabriella M. Racca.


One response to “Call for Proposals and Papers | New Challenges and New Solutions: The Dawn of Smart Cities Law”

  1. Adriana Bell Avatar
    Adriana Bell

    Very useful and interesting. I’ll take a few ideas for myself in this one. I am opening a new project. I think it will be very profitable and interesting for many.

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