Smart&Mobile - #SMWmilan Smart&Mobile - #SMWmilan

Smart&Mobile - #SMWmilan

Milan towards the future

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Every day, new products arrive in the technological field, our life undergoes constant changes and the cities we live in are being transformed. Thanks to new digital technologies and to the new services that these make available, cities are becoming “smart”.

However, basically, what changes are cities like Milan undergoing in order to become a  Smart City?

Milan is changing, in preparation for Expo 2015. It is transforming community spaces, offices and homes, becoming “smart” for its inhabitants and those who work or run it.

How a Smart City is born

To become “smart”, a city requires investments by Public Administration and private companies, and it needs to have a user audience ready and willing to accept innovation.

We need to speak about concrete experiences and people. Nowadays, everything is connected on the Web, but now we must deal with “creating the Internet of Everything, so that data, things and people can be connected and live connected, ” explains Fabio FlorioManager of Business Development at Cisco Italy. It is no longer enough to be content, we need to go further in order to improve the life of citizens and lower the costs of implementing and using services. We must be able to use technology to make citizens’ life easier, for example, adds Fabio “by creating apps to control car parks. Sensors are all that is required to detect an empty parking space. Using an app on their Smartphone, users can book and pay for it,” in this way costs and atmospheric pollution can be reduced. Controlling parking spaces is a method that has already been experimented in Nice, which has applied the same sensor system not only to motorists but also to recycling bins. Why collect rubbish at a certain time on a specific day when you only need to check the status of a bin and empty it only if necessary?

Another important system that many Smart Cities have adopted is the control of lighting.

Viola Ferrario - Marketing Director for Italy, Greece and Israel at Philips Lighting explains that, “in a city, light is synonymous with safety, wellbeing and comfort. We can use technology to control light in order to reduce its intensity in places where nobody is present, and increase it when a place gets more crowded”. Why waste resources and energy to light up the entire city in the same way? All it requires is sensors, also in this case, to adjust lighting. Naturally, for safety reasons, an area should never be left in the dark. And what about private individuals? Viola explains that “LED technology can be remote-controlled using a Smartphone”.

The Municipality of Milan, as highlighted by Pierfrancesco MaranCouncillor for Mobility, the Environment, Metro Systems, Public Water and Energy at Milan Municipal Council, is taking steps to replace all traditional public lighting with more innovative LED technology in order to obtain an immediate saving of 30% on the annual cost.

In order to allow the city to become Smart, the Web needs to be expanded.

Telecom Italia, as Giovanni Ferigo – Head of Network Development & Operations at Telecom Italia points out, is working to expand broadband connection. “Our goal is to ensure that citizens are always connected: at home via the landline network, out and about via the public Wi-Fi network or the 4G mobile network”, says Giovanni Ferigo.

Milano and Expo 2015

Milan is preparing to host the global Expo that will last six months. During these six months, the number of visitors expected every day of the week is the same as the number attending the Salone del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) in a week.

How is Milan getting ready?

The city is becoming increasingly Smart, but not only with a view to Expo 2015”, says Councillor Maran. At the Expo Venue, projects are being experimented that may then be transferred to other areas of the city. For technical reasons, in addition to the Web, security systems and systems that allow visitors to fully benefit from the experience are required at the Expo Venue 2015, explains Guido ArnoneDirector of Innovation, Products and Services for Expo 2015.

For us, being a Smart City means offering citizens an experience as visitors, we want to be a representative model for the use of services, which are easily exportable to our city and abroad”, says Guido Arnone.

Placing odds on the future

The birth of Expo 2015, explains Councillor Maran, has been made possible thanks to the collaboration between private companies (partners and sponsors) and Public Administration: “I hope that in the future Expo 2015 will be an example for implementing other projects in the same way”.

The new system for the use of services that is being created in Milan can be seen as an example to other cities, above all for the improvement in the life of its citizens and for the reduction of fixed costs.

In this “revolution”, the important players are the citizens: people must be involved in both the design stage and the testing stage.

Before cities become Smart, people must become Smart.