2015 is going to begin, and in some cities all over the world, it is possible to live in and to believe in a new concept of “city”, where the concept of “community” plays a great role.
These new cities which I am referring to are the so-called smart cities. And they are changing the way in which we intend the usual urban life.
If we focus on Italy we can see few likely attempts of transforming some municipalities into smart cities.
The city of Milan, which among the other things, will host Expo2015 – the Universal Exposition that will merge the most prominent people who mainly studies social innovation, or works on it, and themes related to it – is making efforts in order to change and become a smart city.
Soon after the politicians have understood what Milan should become, the main tool that is useful to let the civil society enter in this new paradigm is the Internet. And the city of Milan is doing it well.
Actually, a very clear and direct website is online and it answers to lots of questions that may rise.
First of all, what are we talking about? What are the goals of a new kind of city? And, before that, what is, concretely, a smart city?
Milano Smart City is a fact promoted both by the Municipality of Milan and its Chamber of Commerce, whose core aim is to include the main actors in the development of the city, into the realization of the “Milano Smart City” strategy.
On an international level, the Municipality of Milan is already an active member of the biggest European and worldwide networks that work on smart cities.
On the local level, the Municipality and the Chamber of Commerce are building stable partnerships between different realities, in research, social innovation, business and finance.
Secondly, how it is possible to give life to a smart (in the literal sense of the word), green and inclusive city? Simply through a continuous dialogue on and exchange of practises with the communities that are involved in the process.
Actually, Milan can compete on a national or European level, in order to become a benchmark of innovation and sustainability only thanks to collaboration processes between the public sector and the private entities.
Therefore, a way of consultation has been launched and it has networked institutions, private entities, Universities and various associations through the creation of six thematic working group, that are named Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart Mobility, Smart People and Smart Governance.
Moreover, what I was referring to, before in the article, is the process carried on from April 2013 that has had as result the drafting of a document that contains guidelines for Milan Smart City. It was a very useful period of time during which the Administration, along with the citizens, has outlined the seven guidelines, that are:
global city, national and European Lab;
Lab for sustainable urban mobility;
Lab for environmental and energy policies;
Lab for social inclusion and diversity;
Lab of well-being in the city;
Lab for decluttering and simplifying Public Administration;
incubator for business models.
The document can be downloaded at this link, both in Italian and in English.
Finally, MilanoSmartCity’s motto is of importance to me and it is emblematic: “a smart city not only cultivates its technological component, but must combine economic development with social inclusion, innovation with education, research with participation”.
To be updated, for further infos or to gain knowledge of other projects on Italian smart cities, please follow this link.