Smart Cities: what they are, international experiences, where they are

Amsterdam, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Seattle: the foundation Cittalia - ANCI Searches an overview of the international experience of smart cities, or cities that are experiencing, often in collaboration with leading ICT companies, a way towards a more balanced urban development and that guarantees citizens a better quality of life. But there are early attempts in Italy ...

And interconnected, but also sustainable, comfortable, attractive, safe, in a word "smart": This is the identikit of smart cities, such as have been renamed in recent years, the city on them in Europe and in the world to ensure you bet balanced urban development and keeping up with the demand for well-being that comes from the more populous middle class international.

Focusing on new technologies to improve the management of urban processes and the quality of life of citizens was the line taken by the local authorities who are signing agreements with major companies to redesign their cities.

Amsterdam, Seattle, Singapore and Curitiba (Brazil) are some of the best examples in this field even though it is increasingly becoming established as a driving force from the central government, who intend to sit with new resources and regulatory tools the realization of innovative and intelligent city .

The EU and the smart cities

The European Commission adopted in October, a recommendation urges regional governments and local authorities to make better use of information and communication technologies to improve energy efficiency and the training of professionals in the construction, transport and logistics.

As part of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan, the European Union provides for the creation of a network of thirty smart cities to be selected by 2020. These cities champions of energy efficiency will embark on a path to minimize the impact of emissions through the implementation of building systems and intelligent transport. Electric cars that can be recharged with the energy produced in the buildings, areas of low-carbon and networking energy produced from renewable sources: the city chosen by the Commission will adopt original solutions to urban problems due to an unusual mix of technologies.

Examples of Amsterdam and Stockholm

A preview of the smart cities of the future is given by Amsterdam, which has launched an ambitious project in 2009 in collaboration with IBM and Cisco with the aim of creating innovation and reduce the cost of energy bills. By 2012 it will be completed the first round of investment in the Dutch capital realizing, also through the direct efforts of large financial institutions and insurance local measures designed to make the city greener and more competitive. Over three hundred charging points for electric cars will be installed on city streets, while a general improvement in private infrastructure enable it to produce and to sell energy from mini wind turbines and solar panels.

Over sixty thousand homes will be energetically interconnected thanks to the work of a great computer operator, that will monitor in real time the energy consumption of buildings through a network of private household meters that will be installed by your local energy (Alliander) over the next five years.

The local administration and the business sector in the program will invest over 1.1 billion euro, of which 300 million allocated dall'Alliander for the installation of smart grid technologies. Boost the local economy through public-private partnership and 40% reduction in emissions by 2025 are the objectives of this plan that will call people directly to action. Owners of bars and shops are in fact involved in the implementation of the 'Climate street', ie a city street with zero environmental impact that will see the light in the popular Utrechtsestraat artery.

The use of new technologies has led to a significant improvement in quality of life and traffic in Stockholm, which since 2006 has introduced a system of road pricing used by over 60 thousand people every day.

In collaboration with IBM, was made a plan which provides for the detection of tolls charged at the time of passage of vehicles through eighteen control points placed by the roadside, on the streets of input or output from the center of Stockholm during peak hours on weekdays. The system uses laser technology and camera to detect and identify vehicles, charging tolls at different rates depending on the time of day. A study conducted three years after the entry into operation of the initiative, reveals a decrease in traffic of 18%, with a 12% cut in emissions.

New technologies and local services in Edinburgh

The use of ITC was not promoted at the local level only to help reduce emissions, but more generally to improve the liveability and administrative capacity. This is the case of Edinburgh, which launched its Smart City Vision to improve the functioning of the local administration through the use of ICT.

The Scottish city has computerized social services and childcare, improving the exchange of information within the entity and the relationship with citizens. Through the electronic database e-HR, the City aims to improve the matching between demand and supply of labor and an innovative secure payment system on the net allows you to pay municipal taxes online.

The technology lab in Seattle

Saving energy through a partnership between the giants of the computer industry, and local government: this is what is making Seattle, which sees the use of the most advanced technology programs, a novel tool for local participation.

Thanks to the partnership with Microsoft, the Seattle City Light has extended the use of Hohm users, application created by the corporation in Redmond (twenty kilometers from the city center) to draw online energy use and provide custom information energy saving.

The company's public lighting has combined this post to a number of incentives for the purchase of neon lights, and tax deductions for recycling of old appliances, while it has entered into an agreement with the University of Washington for the installation of electricity meters intelligent on the university campus.

And in Italy?

Numerous projects in Italy that combine technological innovation and improvement of urban services. A pioneer in the field is Parma, which has signed an agreement with IBM for the creation of video branches, stations installed on city streets where citizens can connect to a remote operator and perform normal administrative practices.

Improve the relationship between citizens and public bodies through information technologies is the objective of the Smarter City, which will also involve other Italian cities. Among these Reggio Emilia, that the pilot project Classroom 2.0 will offer to students, families and local businesses a digital platform for exchange of information to improve the management of classroom activities and to better connect the world of education to the company.

Even Salerno, Venice and Bolzano have signed memoranda of understanding with the American company for the supply of innovative technology services. The city bell realize an experimental sensor to make the Teatro Verdi accessible to the blind, through the interaction of the sticks with intelligent sensors installed in the pavement.

In Venice, the mobile technology will help tourists to discover the hidden corners of the city, turning on their mobile TagMyLagoon, that application will receive an information sheet of the monuments photographed.

Common, IBM and TIS Innovation Park in Bolzano signed an agreement for the construction of a system of tele-monitoring and tele-assistance for the elderly, based on the exchange of data in real time through a network of sensors.

04/03/2010

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Translated via software

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Source:

Italian version of ReteIngegneri.it

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