The fifteen individual dissertation projects contribute to the overall GEO-C research results, which is the Open City Toolkit. Therefore, all candidates have to apply to one (or to a maximum up to three) of the pre-defined dissertation topics below. Please find also below the secondment plan, which defines the hosts of the “external semesters” and internships.

Individual Research Projects of the Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs)

Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Public displays as integrators of open cities (WP3)(supervised by Kray (WWU), co-supervisor external semester: Painho (UNL), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Belmonte (UJI).
Objectives: Develop, realise and evaluate approaches to effectively use public displays as integrators in open cities; investigate how public displays can (1) help large crowds to have a better experiences and success in specific tasks such as taking part in large events (e.g. concerts) or reacting to dangerous events; (2) help to enable potentially disadvantaged people (villagers, elderly, disabled) to access services of smart city; (3) facilitate opportunistic and ad-hoc participation in decision-making in smart cities.
Expected Results: Approaches and tools to use public displays as integrators of open cities; public display framework; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at Münster City Council, between M10 and M18 (one month), assessing deployment; external semester at UNL, between M19 and M30 (six months), cross-country comparison.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, internship, surveys about citizen participation, a poster on PerDis 2016, summerschool, interviews of urban planners, interdisciplinary courses
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR01 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Guiying Du
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Educating children as citizens of smart open cities (WP3), supervised by Schwering (WWU), co-supervisor external semester: Gould (UJI), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Painho (UNL).
Objectives: Educate school children as smart open citizens, engage them to investigate scientific questions and integrate technology-supported open city education in teaching; develop methods and tools to (1) collect and analyse spatiotemporal data from environment observations, (2) to enable children to build their own sensor stations using a light-weight and low-cost sensor platform, and (3) to share this data with the smart open city.
Expected Results: Approaches, and tools for open city education of children in schools, teaching material, deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at 52 North, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months).
Achievement items: Drop-out
Poster Midterm meeting: Drop-out
Fellow: ESR02 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Sandra Paola Pérez
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Using and adapting open citizen data for different user groups (WP3),supervised by Kray (WWU), co-supervisor external semester: Gould (UJI), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Oliveira (UNL).
Objectives: Teach citizens how to use and benefit from data in smart open city through developing tools from a user perspective; develop tools to (1) support users to develop spatial skills, (2) and determine learning success; examine role of (1) collaborative aspects and group interaction in learning, (2) mobile on-site learning, and (3) gamification for motivating users, in particular children; usability studies to optimize presentation of data in open city for maximal and measurable learning success.
Expected Results: Approaches and tools for interact with open city data, guidelines and tools teach spatial skills and measure learning success, deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at Münster City Council, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months).
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, internship, semi-structured interviews of forced migrants, participatory workshops with refugee students at Hans-Böckler-Berufskolleg
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR03 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Ana Maria Bustamante
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Sensing quality of life (WP4),supervised by Pebesma (WWU), co-supervisor external semester: Mateu (UJI), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Costa (UNL).
Objectives: Assuming that smart cities will have readily available data on environment parameters including noise, traffic, air quality, temperature, but also social activity, the question arises how such data can be transformed into information that end users are interested in, such as cumulative quality of life indicators, and how end users can in return offer their own, potentially qualitative information on the primary parameters, and their assessment of quality of life.
This PhD research will investigate (i) how, from elementary, spatially and temporally dislocated measurements information can be retrieved about an individual instantaneous location or usual areas/periods of preferential residence, (ii) how from this information quality of life can be inferred, and shared with an individual’s network, and (iii) how quantitative measurements and predictions can be integrated with qualitative assessments in order to improve a quality of life sensing network.
Expected Results: Methods to compute quality of life indicators based on available data; publications, prototype system, open source software for analysis methods; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship: Hansa Luftbild, between M10 and M18, 1 month; purpose: familiarise with earth observation workflows, familiarise with company portfolio. External semester: UJI, between M19 and M30, 6 months, work with Prof. Mateu to develop spatial and spatiotemporal statistical models for sensor data.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, survey regarding housing companies' perception of air quality monitoring, preliminary model development
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR08 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Shivam Gupta
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Proximity-based opportunistic information sharing and privacy protection (WP5), supervised by Kray (WWU), co-supervisor external semester: Santos (UNL), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Ramos (UJI).
Objectives: Identify and analyse existing and potential scenarios for proximity-based opportunistic information sharing between citizens and/or infrastructure of smart cities; analyse technological options to realise information sharing; asses privacy threats in smart cities and identified sharing scenarios; design, implement and evaluate approaches to realise proximity-based opportunistic information sharing; derive guidelines for realisation of sharing.
Expected Results: Approaches and tools to realise proximity-based opportunistic sharing; privacy threat model; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at 52 North, between M10 and M18 (one month), assessing deployment; external semester at UNL, between M19 and M30 (6 months), assessing social paradigms for sharing.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, internship, conference paper, completion of credits for all course programs
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR13 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Mehrnaz Ataei
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Volunteered geographic information, integration in public participation and geographic information systems (WP3), supervised by Painho (UNL), co-supervisor external semester: Kray (WWU), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Casteleyn (UJI).
Objectives: 1) To understand citizens that produce Geographic Information, identifying their motivations.; 2) Assess whether the use of neo-geography derived techniques contributes to develop the ability to understand the complexity of geographic space, in two different sets of analysis: a) data production through VGI,and, b) the use of the analytical capabilities of the systems; 3) to investigate the the relationship between PPGIS and VGI and build a use model for VGI in PPGIS.
Expected Results: Approaches and tools to better involve citizens in the life of the city, deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship Lisbon City Council, between M10 and M18 (one month) to participate and be aware of the city planning framework,, external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months).
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, external semester, first prototype of Internet map-survey to spatialize Sense of place and social capital, data collection and extraction of Lisbon decentralized meeting
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR04 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Albert Acedo
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Determinants of ICT for online citizen participation in city/urban contexts: implications of 2nd order digital divide (WP3), supervised by Oliveira (UNL), co-supervisor external semester: Kray (WWU), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Casteleyn (UJI).
Objectives: To understand the drivers of ICT adoption and use for online citizen participation in city/urban context; 2) Narrow the digital divide in city/urban contexts; 3) Development of e-health apps, that are of special important for the elderly; 4) Development of traffic jam apps (public and private transport), that helps the pollution reduction.
Expected Results: Approaches and tools to increase ICT adoption for online citizen participation in city/urban context, this will allow better involve citizens in the life of the city/urban, deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship a Lisbon City Council, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at WWU, between M19 and M30 (six months) to test the framework to understand the reasons for adoption of smart city enabling technologies.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, review paper, electronic surveys
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR05 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Mijail Naranjo
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Climate change and impacts on the quality of life in urban systems (WP4),supervised by Costa (UNL), co-supervisor external semester: Pebesma (WWU), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Granell (UJI).
Objectives: The goal of this project is to investigate the impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure systems of a city that influence the quality of life of citizens, and also identify related adaptation strategies. The research will focus on identifying current and future climate hazards, conducting inventory of infrastructures and assets, characterizing risks of climate change on critical infrastructures, and identifying adaptation strategies.
Expected Results: Inventory of infrastructures and assets; analytical methods and tools to produce future climate hazards scenarios; approaches and tools to assess the impacts of these scenarios on infrastructures and assets; deployment of adaptation strategies; WebGIS for geodatabase integration and deployment of information; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at SAS, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months) to develop the analytical methods tool and WebGIS.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, gained ability to handle climate multi model ensembles, data collected
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR09 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Marek Smid
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Predictive analytics - human mobility patterns investigation from social networks (WP4), supervised by Henriques (UNL), co-supervisor external semester: Torres (UJI), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Pebesma (WWU).
Objectives: The goal of this project is to investigate the possible integration of different sources of data related with urban mobility allowing a better understanding on urban environment dynamics. From the use of predictive analytics analyses on these datasets it is possible to extract social and community intelligence and model urban environment allowing the improve of urban transportation planning. Geospatial data mining tools will be used to define spatial-temporal clusters of similar urban mobility, which will then allow the integration of information coming from different sources. This PhD research will investigate (1) how new data available in the cities can be exploited to understand mobility and location patterns in cities, (2) if different cities share similarities in terms of mobility and location patterns and (3) how to enhance urban transportation models, by integrating the social network data with other sources of information.
Expected Results: Publications, open source software for analysis methods; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at SAS, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months) to develop and test the urban mobility explorer.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, collecting geolocated tweets in Lisbon's metropolitan area and getting the agreement for sharing CDR (Call Data Records) with some Portuguese cellphone
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR10 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Luis Santa
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Use of social paradigms in smart cities mobile context-aware computing (WP5), supervised by Santos (UNL), co-supervisor external semester: Granell (UJI), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Schwering (WWU).
Objectives: Propose a model, inspired in concepts from the theory of organizations and sociology, as the notions of “social role”, “ownership” and “responsibility, which is capable to represent the formal structure of one or several computing system, thinking on what role the device may perform in each system and their relation with other devices.
It is aimed to develop software that could be effectively incorporated in a mobile device, so as to make possible it to be dynamically integrated in those systems in cooperation with other elements belonging to the system. It also wished the model be robust enough to be able to tolerate different kinds of systems, to tolerate performance flaws and to allow structural and ownership alterations to the roles, in a way it becomes resilient to environmental dynamics.
Expected Results: Knowledge on use of social paradigms in mobile context-aware computing, publications, open source software for mobile devices; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at Prodevelop, between M10 and M18 (one month), external semester at UJI, between M19 and M30 (six months) to develop and the mobile app to integrate city sensors.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, conference paper
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR14 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Rustam Kamberov
PhD enrolment: Yes
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Participatory sensing framework (WP3), supervised by Casteleyn (UJI), co-supervisor external semester: Pebesma (WWU), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Henriques (UNL).
Objectives: Participatory sensing applications share common characteristics.
The goal of this project is to first investigate these common characteristics and requirements for participatory sensing applications, and secondly, based on the requirements, design and develop a framework to quickly, efficiently and effortlessly deploy participatory sensing applications. The framework will be deployed and experimented with in the consortium cities, where a key characteristic of the framework is usability by non-expert users.
Expected Results: Knowledge on characteristics and success criteria for participatory sensing frameworks, a participatory sensing framework, deployment and experiments in host cities; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): External semester at WWU, between M19 and M30 (6 months), assessing developments and cross deploying. lnternship at Castellón City Council between M10 and M18 (1 month).
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, participatory sensing framework prototype
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR06 Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Khoi Manh Ngo
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Mobile services for green living (WP3), supervised by Gould (UJI), co-supervisor external semester: Kray (WWU), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Oliveira (UNL).
Objectives: A key part of the smart city concept is mobility, and this is linked to “green behaviour” or green living. It is important to monitor the behaviour in space of a citizen (who opts into the testing), knowing when he/she is walking, riding a bike or driving, and to provide feedback to that user as to the ecological/environmental consequences of his/her actions. Gamification techniques will be used to provide gentle but effective incentives to improve performance on a series of health and green indicators.
Expected Results: New approaches for green living gamification, development of prototype mobile applications, user testing and published papers on results; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): External semester at WWU, between M19 and M30 (6 months), assessing developments and cross deploying. lnternship at City of Castellón Smart City office, test mobile services with city users, between M10 and M18 (1 month).
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, Internship, two worshops with cyclist associations, mobile app prototype
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR07 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Diego Pajarito
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Multi-scale, multidimensional urban information integration, matching and visualization (WP4), supervised by Huerta (UJI), co-supervisor external semester: Henriques (UNL), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Kray (WWU).
Objectives: Contribute to overcome the problem of having several geodata sources and sensors that have disparate resolutions (both spatial and temporal) which need to be allied together in order to extract useful knowledge doing analyses and to display the outcome in a variety of devices, including traditional screens as well as current and coming displays and interaction devices as AR and wearable technologies.
Expected Results: Toolbox for connecting “everything to everything”, following the “linked data” philosophy to extend it to “linked everything” and the “Internet of Everything” trend deliverables according to the objectives; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): External semester at NOVA IMS, between M19 and M30 (6 months), assessing developments. lnternship at ESRI Portugal (1 month) between M10 and M18.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, 140 online surveys, website geodata4opencities.com, a bot to suggest about data quality, koop prototype
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR11 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Manuel Fernando Benítez
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Spatio-Temporal Online Social Network Analysis (WP4), supervised by Mateu (UJI), co-supervisor external semester: Costa (UNL), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Pebesma (WWU).
Objectives: One important component of social networks is the spatial and spatio-temporal interaction that particular network behaviour shows. Human behaviour is at the base of many sociological processes, for example those having to do with criminological attitudes. In addition this phenomenon is closely related to smart cities. This PhD topic is the analysis and modelling of stochastic spatiotemporal interactions of criminological behaviour in view to defining predictive strategies to make cities more liveable and with more quality of life.
This PhD research will investigate (i) how, from spatially and temporally measurements of where and when a particular phenomenon has happened linked with many covariate information having to do with economy, health, social and cultural level, etc. we can build a mathematical model able to mimic reality, (ii) how using such a modelling strategy, we can predict in advance hot criminological spots, and react to them in an appropriate way, and (iii) how quantitative measurements, model and predictions can be integrated in one platform that can be used by relevant institutions, such as Town Hall or Police Department.
Expected Results: Insights on how available data can be used for prediction purposes of criminological data, building prototype software that can be used in a routine way by leading institutions, publications, open source software for analysis methods; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): External semester at WWU, between M19 and M30 (6 months), assessing developments. Internship at Castellon City Council (Police Department), between M10 and M18 (1 month).
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, conference paper, external semester, R functions developed
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR12 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Mohammad Mehdi Moradi
Project Title and Work Package(s) to which it is related: Situational awareness as a service (WP5), supervised by Granell (UJI), co-supervisor external semester: Santos (UNL), 2º co-supervisor external semester: Schwering (WWU).
Objectives: Investigate (1) how sensor data can be stored, enriched, interlinked and made accessible in a uniform way, (2) how such rich, interlinked data can enable situational awareness for the benefit of individual citizens and, (iii) more specifically, how to deliver and develop customised and focused services (i.e. situational awareness services), which are aware of one’s surrounding environment.
Expected Results: Approaches to discern how situational awareness services for individual citizens may be leveraged to meet not only the individual needs, but also those of groups and in extension, the whole city; conceptual framework; developed tools and services; deliverables according to the text above.
Planned secondment(s): Internship at Urbiotica, between M10 and M18 (one month), assessing deployment; external semester at UNL, between M19 and M30 (six months), cross-country comparison.
Achievement items: Dissertation proposal defence, summer school, internship, conference paper, first prototype of chatbot platform commited to open city toolkit, first experiment already developed (personal interviews and UI experience), second experiment already developed (participant observation in urban space)
Poster Midterm meeting: Poster
Fellow: ESR15 PhD enrolment: Yes Start date: M07 Duration: 36 months
Student: Manuel Portela

Secondment plan

ESR hosted by 1-month internship at external semester at
ESR01 WWU Münster City Council UNL
ESR02 WWU 52 North UJI
ESR03 WWU Münster City Council UJI
ESR04 UNL Lisbon City Council UJI
ESR05 UNL Lisbon City Council WWU
ESR06 UJI Castellón City Council WWU
ESR07 UJI Castellón City Council WWU
ESR08 WWU Hansa Luftbild UJI
ESR09 UNL SAS Portugal UJI
ESR010 UNL SAS Portugal UJI
ESR011 UJI ESRI Portugal UNL
ESR012 UJI Castellón City Council WWU
ESR013 WWU 52 North UNL
ESR014 UNL Prodevelop UJI
ESR015 UJI Urbiotica UNL