Cities are changing and are the focal point of the Next Generation EU. The use of new technologies (such as IoT, AI & Advanced Data Analytics, and Blockchain) is increasingly allowing urban environments to become digital ecosystems where Local Authorities not only have the task of responding to citizens' needs but also of anticipating them, guaranteeing efficient and eco-sustainable digital services, as set out in the 2030 Agenda.
Local Public Administrations are well aware of this: 67% of them declare an interest in innovation projects related to security, 54% in initiatives for the digital management of urban traffic, 44% in the Digital Transformation of waste collection, 42% in public lighting, and then in tourist services, local transport and environmental monitoring.*
We are talking about “Augmented Cities” that can improve their ability to serve citizens while respecting the environment, boosting the local economy by supporting businesses, enhancing the cultural and tourism sectors and putting people at the centre without leaving anyone behind. To achieve this, it is necessary to be able to combine expertise and knowledge of new technologies with financial instruments such as public-private partnerships.
"The combination of environmental sustainability, economic and social development objectives is enabled by the digital transformation of the cities and territories in which we live”, according to Stefano De Capitani, Chairman of Municipia, the Engineering Group company that supports municipalities of all sizes in Digital Transformation "Technology is not the end but a tool that enables this transformation of the Augmented City in all its areas: sustainability, security, mobility, interactivity and welfare. We at Municipia aim to simplify our clients' relationship with technology by integrating it into our services to make them effective and efficient."
In the new version of the White Paper "Augmented City", the experts of the Engineering Group explain how digital technology, the Internet of Things and People, the use of interconnected sensors, the interchange of data and information and their simultaneous processing, AI & Advanced Analytics and virtual reality offer concrete solutions to local Public Authorities in terms of simplification, accessibility and acceleration of the economy.
Also with a view to the strategic relaunch that is necessary in the post-Covid19 era, local authorities are called upon to adopt a path that is not only technical but also socially appropriate, inclusive and sustainable, including through public-private partnership formulas. This means being able to count on the private sector as a strategic partner, limiting the impact on public spending without any financial risks on the part of the authority and reducing the time it takes to complete projects.
Engineering Group sees itself as an accelerator of change, investing in skills and transforming individual initiatives into opportunities by acting on the five fundamental pillars of a single technological ecosystem: Financial and Environmental Sustainability, Security, Mobility, Welfare and Interactivity.
The focal point of the White Paper "Augmented City" is also the topic of data-driven governance, i.e. the information-based decision-making process of city administration officials. To this end, Engineering Group has launched a platform that represents a real ecosystem. This is the Digital Enabler, which allows for the aggregation of heterogeneous data obtained from the city (e.g. open data, data owned by the municipality, IoT), to normalise it, assess its quality, and make it available both as a tool panel to support decision-making and to allow the development of new services for citizens.
The White Paper "Augmented City" forms part of an editorial series in which Engineering describes the most important market-related and technological trends in Digital Transformation.
*Source: Statista.com “Smart Cities in Italy”, forecasts 2019-2021