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Research on smart grid technologies has been advancing over the last years, producing novel practices concerning mainly the power distribution networks. However, in many countries these networks still operate in their traditional form, without offering the real-time operational characteristics which are essential for the utilization of the aforementioned practices. On the other hand, due to the extent of urban power distribution networks, as well as the substantial cost of medium voltage equipment, the full upgrade of these networks is in most cases not a feasible option. In this work, alternative options of selective automation upgrade in power distribution networks are offered, corresponding to the desired operational status of these networks. More specifically, the essential upgrades are analyzed for the implementation of reliability improvement and loss reduction techniques on such a network.