Participants Completed Master Thesis

How are urban social and affordable housing practices affected by EU policies? Two case studies.

The European Union does not have a housing policy; however, it has managed to exert influence over national housing policies of its Member States, apparently showing bias for market-oriented approaches and residualist social housing systems. This research attempts to bring an update as to the current state of discussions concerning housing in the European Union. It will also look into how urban social and affordable housing financing strategies have been affected by EU policies, and particularly, what effect European Union State aid regulation had on provision of social and affordable housing based on the case studies of the Netherlands and Sweden. Both countries had universalist social housing models that have been challenged before the European Commission leading to policy changes in the respective countries as of 2011. This research analyzes the consequences of these cases for the Netherlands and Sweden from a policy and housing provision perspective, as well as changes of behavior of public housing providers. It shows the different forces at play, the variety of opinions according to the EU body and other compatible options of State aid that can to a certain extent be an alternative to SGEI.

Keywords: State aid, social and affordable housing, European Commission, Sweden, the Netherlands

Angela Bertini Schuldt

A Proposal for a Practical Definition and
Execution Framework For Smart Cities

There is abundance of literature describing what a smart city is. These definitions, however, can be very diverse, depending on the motivation of each stakeholder. Reviewing literatures related to smart cities show that the concept of smart city can be largely categorized into 3 main categories: (i) Academia (ii) Government bodies, public sector, regulators (iii) Industry (specifically private entities including service providers, hardware / software providers, private town planner, etc). The literature review further reveals that: (i) there is still a wide disparity in what actually constitutes a smart city (ii) there are nonetheless several keywords that regularly appear in these literatures. This paper evaluates the ingredients that make up smart cities based on a review of selected available literature. Based on this, the ingredients are studied against 4 cities: Selangor, Malaysia; Seoul, South Korea; Istanbul, Turkey; and Moscow, Russia, to test whether those ingredients are accurate. At the end of this paper, a summary recommendation is made for smart city practitioners to consider when building their own version of smart city, comprising a practical executable framework that smart city practitioners can use as a guideline when embarking on smart city projects.

Keywords: State aid, social and affordable housing, European Commission, Sweden, the Netherlands

Ezatul Faizura Mustaffa Kamal Effendee

Government as a Platform (GaaP):
A New Model for Public Service Delivery

Can availing the public services be as easy as ordering on Amazon? Every citizen, in their day to day life, needs to use services, like transportation, roads, water & sewerage, communication, power, education, health, both in the public and private sectors. In the private sector, in the recent times, the adoption of platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, in a host of online services has revolutionised the way we live, work and play. Citizens compare the quality of services delivered by the private sector to that of the governments’ and expect the same degree of choice, convenience, flexibility, and personalisation. However, till recently, in public services, the adoption of modern-day technology was done more to the existing organisational structures, manuals, and processes rather than rethinking, redesigning and optimising the governments’ operations and services, leaving the users with less than optimal satisfaction level.

Keywords: Government as a Platform, GaaP, Public Service Delivery, Digital Government, Platform

Padmini Singla

Exploratory Study on Digitalization of Malaysian Water Services

Water sector around the globe is struggling against many issues, particularly on water demand management and operational efficiency. This is evidence as the average of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is reported at 35% globally which means more than 1/3 of world treated water are lost during distribution. In Malaysia, while the average is improving at around 33%; one third of its Water Operators has recorded up to 46% of NRW yearly. The new target was set by the Malaysian government to reduce this figure to 31% by 2020.

Funding is the major issue within this sector and as such, water companies have to rely heavily on federal fund to replace aging infrastructure. At the same time, the low water tariff has not been reviewed for years giving financial pressure to the government to provide more subsidies. Operational cost has also increased with more than RM300 Million spent yearly on energy to manage water treatment processes. The efficiency improvement of water services management is therefore imperative, especially in addressing the loss of valuable water resources that is vital for life.

Azman Ali

Thermal Urban Energy Efficiency

The urban energy world is extremely dynamic. In the cities, energy infrastructure will cover a higher importance in few years because of the great density of the services. Energy efficiency policies will be, as a consequence, fundamental in order to develop an innovative governance of the urban systems from the energy perspective.

In this work, Turin’s case has been considered. A statistical study was realized from the users’ perspective, the ones consuming energy. An analysis of the thermal energy production is also performed in order to have a general and precise idea of the energy infrastructure: performances, challenges, and characteristics.

It has been focused on the thermal energy production in the residential sector. Targets have been found and innovative policies are recommended which will decrease the overall energy consumption and increase the energy efficiency. Those solutions can be used in different urban context, because the methodological framework is scalable.

Keywords: energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, policies

Lorenzo Rubino

Energy Engineer

Metropolitan Region Airport Accessibility System A Systematic Comparative Analysis Between 5 European Cases

Airports are redesigning the geography of the urban territory in a similar way to how the railway stations did in the previous centuries. As new intermodal hubs, airports have a strong appeal for users who are not directly related to air transport. Te huge investments in access infrastructures are justified in guarantee terrestrial access and provide adequate support to carry the growth of airport and airport city trafc and provide appropriate means of public transport to serve the tendency to establish poly-centric metropolitan areas. Te current airport is a rapidly changing system that requires careful planning. Tis is a step above pure “airport technical planning” and must aim towards an urban planning process and in particular towards the integration of diferent types of transport. It represents a highly complex task to create an airport city without interference with the operation and development of the airport. An airport city can no longer be considered as another “business park” superimposed on an airport platform; it generates and promotes activities in areas located far beyond the boundaries of the airport, participating in the creation of a new pole of territorial development.

Niccolò Alessandri


Urban utilities in Switzerland: Current situation and opportunities for the private sector

Local governments in Switzerland are very relevant actors in the governance scheme of the country. The delivery of local services related to water and energy is one of the local governments’ main tasks and has a long tradition of public provision. In the last few decades, a shift from in-house production to the corporatization of the utilities has emerged, although the public sector is still predominant. This thesis explores the current situation of urban utilities in Switzerland and if there are opportunities for the private sector in the provision of energy services.

Carmen Araquistain Portela

Civil Engineer

Safe, Attractive, and Sustainable Cities: A mobility oriented approach

Cities are complex systems which shape and are shaped by their transportation networks. Many cities have become dependent on cars as their principal mode of mobility. The consequences have been expensive, environmentally destructive, and deadly. While many acknowledge cars as problematic, they have become entrenched. This dissertation examines what alternatives cities have, the advantages of the alternatives, and the difficulties in implementing them.

James Speirs

Pedestrian Consultant

Analyzing drivers, fostering megaregional growth and assessing their role in urban enlargements

This study examines a particular set of drivers and triggers that inevitably lead to the transformation of pre-integrated urban areas into coalesced polycentric megaregions, and key actors, by analyzing three different cases of the Boston-Washington (BosWash) Corridor, Central Economic Core and Greater Pearl River Delta.

The objectives are to contribute to scientific literature on megaregional studies and, in each case above, give an assessment reporting transport development, socio-economic issues and policy both at national and international levels.

Keywords: Megaregion, BosWash, RPA, Blue Banana, Central Economic Core, GPRD, Interreg, CPC, Pearl River Delta

Sergei Maltcev

Head of corporate relations at J’son & Partners Consulting

Economic Sustainability of European Business Aviation Airports

IATA publishes above‐trend air passenger growths and a record load factors. The UN expects the population living in urban areas to increase from 55% to 68% by 2050, which could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas. Considering these trends, the demand for air transport is expected to increase within large, complex and dynamic urban systems, while spaces remain limited. Airports play an important role for urban systems, but they also exploit a comparably wide area. Due to capacity limits, major European cities built new airports slightly outside the city center (in example Paris, Frankfurt, London, Milan or Munich) focusing on the line and charter business. Existing city airports and smaller airfields, then concentrate on general and business aviation. But is this a sustainable use of land – are these airports economically sustainable, who owns and operates them and what are the related success factors? This thesis will answer these questions based on quantitative analyses of nine European airports with a significant amount of general and business aviation aircraft movements.

Dr. Yves Corrodi<br />

Critical Success Factors For Large Urban Regeneration Projects In Waterfront Brownfields: The Case Of Canary Wharf And Abandoibarra

This study examines the critical success factors in Urban Regeneration Projects and tries to explore what are the challenges and difficulties faced in their development by addressing the cases of Canary Wharf in London and Abandoibarra in Bilbao.

The goal is to contribute to the scientific literature on urban regeneration by presenting a list of critical success factors and provide a tool for city managers, advisors and other practitioners working in this field.

Finally, the objective is to assess the case of the Magdalena River Regeneration Project in Barranquilla using the proposed critical success factors and provide recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders.

Keywords: Urban Regeneration, Brownfields, Underutilized plots, Critical Success Factors.

Ricardo Vives<br />

Self-employed (own company) / Advisor for the local city planning office

Metropolitan Governance, Climate Change and Disaster Management in Rio de Janeiro

The city of Rio de Janeiro has 6.6 million inhabitants and is the second metropolitan region in Brazil with 12 million people and 21 municipalities. Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region is trying to be implemented since the 1970’s but with little success, although in 2014 the State Government signed a contract with World Bank to undertake the project RIO METRÓPOLE and in 2015, the Federal Congress approved a Metropolitan Statute. The metropolitan governance is an additional challenge for the urbanization process which is being made towards an ultra-connected society where the ICTs play an important role as a platform that coordinate the urban infrastructure services. Rio de Janeiro City Hall launched in 2010 an Operations Center to deal with crisis and resilience, after a flood and landslide catastrophic event.

Key Words: Metropolitan and Urban Governance, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Resilience and Public Policies.

Lelio Polessa Maçaira<br />

Metropolitan Adviser - Rio de Janeiro City Hall</p> <p>

Bus Reforms in Large Urban Systems: A Comparative Case Study of Seoul and Rio de Janeiro

Cities are becoming the engine of the world. More and more people are moving to urban agglomerates in search of jobs, culture, and entertainment. Such a movement results in an unprecedented pressure upon the infrastructure of urban systems. Within that panorama, mobility is considered one of the major issues, and one of the cornerstones of the mobility-centered discussion is the fact that, among public transport modals, buses are still one of the main options, especially in developing countries. Bearing that in mind, the aim of the present work is to identify the main elements required to develop and implement a successful bus reform. Based on a comparative case analysis of Seoul and Rio de Janeiro, we conclude the dissertation by proposing a framework for bus reforms. We elaborate on the success factors of a good reform and put forth some recommendations for Seoul, Rio or any city looking for mobility solutions related to their bus management system and aimed at improving quality of life in their urban areas.

Jean Carris

Under Secretariat of Chief of staff development in city government of Rio Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</p> <p>

Rural Governance in a Multicultural State – Santa Catarina Road case in Jalisco, Mexico

This document describes the concept of governance generated from conflict in between the indigenous Wixarika community of Santa Catarina Cuexcomatitlán and the Government of the State of Jalisco. It describes actions that have been carried out as part of a resolution of a judicial scentence which obliged the state government to restore a zone damaged by the construction of a highway. This study hopes to emphasize the importance of governance in rural zones, and specifically the importance of aplying governance to the struggle for respect for indigenous communities. It ends with recommendations, stemming from the lived experiences of the author who was a part of this project. These recommendations will serve the stakeholders as well as the academy and government institutions. They will also serve indigenous communities.

Joanna Edith Arana Hernández

Civil Engineer Guadalajara, Mexico</p> <p>

Regulating e-hailing services: the case of Uber Regulation in Mexico City and Bogotá

In recent years, Taxis apps have brought about a significant change in the individual transportation sector having implications for the current regulatory framework that governs this market. Among these taxi applications Uber has been the one application that has without any doubt whatsoever, revolutionized the individual public transportation sector facing legal and regulatory challenges in every city where it initiates operations. These struggles are often due to the fact that Uber does not fit into the legal requirements that regulate the traditional taxi industry, and consequently, this startup has been subject to fierce public debate. Bearing this in mind, the purpose of this work is to identify the main institutional conditions under which Uber and similar companies should be regulated by city governments. Based on a comparative case analysis of Mexico City and Bogotá, we aim to understand the current regulatory framework that governs the traditional taxi market identifying the main actors involved and their relationship thereby helping address governance challenges of Uber in these capital cities, and also offering some recommendations for Mexico City and Bogotá or for that matter, any city looking for appropriate guidelines to govern their City´s Taxi System bearing in mind the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for their respective citizens.

Maria Lorena Puche

Civil Engineer Maracay, Venezuela</p> <p>

Building the Spine of the World’s Largest Urban Agglomeration:
Establishment and Design of a Wayleave for West Africa

There is a string of large cities along the West African coast, and in the next century, considering population growth and urbanization rates, they will achieve urban- level densities. This will create, in effect, one of the largest conurbations, or metroplexes on Earth. The metroplex of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Corridor will need major infrastructure investments, whose cost will be greatly reduced and effectiveness will be increased if the appropriate right- of-ways are established in advance. This thesis looks holistically at the ECOWAS metroplex by reviewing West African land law and custom, economy, society, and taking in to account the technical considerations to create an argument for a unique design of right-of-way land administration. In this conceptual proposal, micro-business becomes the guarantor of the right-of-way tenure before infrastructure is actually built. The results of the study are expected to be useful for related programs and projects of diverse stakeholders from international and regional organizations, public and private sector within the future metroplex.

Peter Samuel Scholz,