Smart Cities MOOC

Based on the successful experience of the MUI MOOC, we are happy to announce the release of our second free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), in February 2017, on the Management of Smart Cities. This course is offered by EPFL, and diffused through the Coursera platform. The Smart Cities MOOC provides an introduction to the principles of management of smart urban infrastructures.



Smart Cities is a Massive Open Online Course that offers an introduction to the principles of management of smart urban infrastructure systems. It addresses the main challenges in management of Smart Cities during the transition and operation phases in the life-cycle of a Smart City. The course is structured into 5 blocks. In the first three blocks, general principles of management of Smart Urban infrastructures are covered. The last two blocks of the course focus on the management of Smart Urban Energy and Smart Urban Transportation systems as concrete cases.

Introduction and Learning Outcomes

Learn about Smart Cities within the context of management of urban infrastructures. The introduction of Smart urban technologies into legacy infrastructures has resulted in numerous challenges and opportunities for contemporary cities and will continue to do so. This course will help you to understand how to make the best of these smart technologies in your cities’ legacy infrastructures.

Over the past few years, advances in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have significantly challenged the traditionally stable land scape of urban infrastructure service provision. This has resulted in increasing interest from both technology vendors and public authorities in the transition of cities towards so-called “Smart Cities”. Although such “Smart technologies” can provide immense opportunities for citizens and service providers alike, the ICTs often act as disruptive innovators of urban infrastructure service provision.

In this MOOC, you will gain a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with the Smart urban infrastructures, namely Smart urban transportation and Smart urban energy systems. Over the journey of this 5-week online course you will learn about the most important principles for the management of Smart urban infrastructures as well as the applications of these principles in the transportation and energy sectors.

This course does not have any prerequisites. However, to take the most away from of this MOOC, we strongly encourage you to enroll in our other MOOC on the Management of Urban Infrastructures, which has been widely appraised by learners.

Learning Objectives

Through this course, you will:

  • Gain a deep understanding of the nature of disruptive innovations (smart technologies) in urban infrastructure systems;
  • Learn about state-of-the-art strategies for effectively managing the transition from legacy infrastructures to smart urban systems;
  • Study the management of the transition phase from legacy infrastructure systems to smart cities by supporting innovations while avoiding early lock-in; and
  • Understand potential applications of the materials learned in this course within the context of the management of smart urban transportation systems as well as smart urban energy systems.

Requirements and Evaluation

In order to obtain a certificate for this course, participants must pass all five graded quizzes, complete the mandatory assignments, and successfully complete a final exam. Participants will also have the possibility to write an optional 7-10 page case study about the management of Smart Urban Infrastructures in their home cities . The case will be reviewed by our jury and authors of the 3 best papers will be granted a tuition waiver scholarship to enroll in our professional Executive Training Program on the Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems.

Structure of the course

The course is structured into five blocks of one-hour lectures. Each of the five blocks is subdivided into five, 12-minute, self-contained video lectures.  At the end of each learning block, you will have a reading that will provide you with a detailed summary of the main topics that were covered in that block and a relevant case study, and at the end of each block, you may also complete a graded quiz in order to assess your learnings throughout the section.

The blocks are structured as follows:

Block 1 – Introduction to Smart Urban Infrastructures and Smart Cities

Block 2 – Principles of Management/Governance of Smart Urban Systems – Part 1: Transition Phase

Block 3 – Principles of Management/Governance of Smart Urban Systems – Part 2: Operation Phase

Block 4 – Management of Smart Transportation Systems

Block 5 – Management of Smart Energy Systems

Questions and Contact

A live Q&A session for the Smart Cities MOOC took place on the 10th of March 2017, 3 PM CEST. Further Q&A sessions will be announced on this page.

Questions ?

If you have any questions, you can write to us at During the course, you will be supported by a team of TAs from EPFL, and our lecturers will periodically attend the forums to answer some of your most common questions directly.  To take full advantage of the course, please also consider liking our Facebook page, joining the Linked-In group and following us on Twitter.

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Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week


Subtitles: English, French, Persian

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4.6 out of 5 Ratings

Active Learners

This course gives you a basics of Smart City ideas what are components are pertaining for implementation. There is good understanding elaboration and dependable interrelationship of layers level of communication.

“Prof. Finger does a fantastic job. This is my second course from him though his institution and about my 6th or 7th on Coursera. The class is structured nicely and IGLUS gets great speakers from relevant elds of work with great insight. Thanks for the learning experience!”

Curso excelente. Claro, prático e simples. Os exemplos dos executivos ajudam muito a compreender os desafios e os conceitos mais complexos de Smart Cities.

Great course! Facilitators were great in brininging out the concepts in an easy to understand manner, and i very much enjoyed and appreciate the interviews from industry leaders on the topics being taught.

“Many thanks. Excellent MOOC Please keep me informed of any further initiatives in this field. I have been working in the area of energy regulation from some time I am particularly interested in the coordinated regulatory approach across different services (e.g. energy, transport, water etc).”