How is it possible to give life to a smart, green and inclusive city?

“A smart city not only cultivates its technological component, but must combine economic development with social inclusion, innovation with education, research with participation.” (Motto of Milan Smart City)

One of the big questions of our time is: How is it possible to give life to a smart, green and inclusive city?

Probably through a continuous dialogue and exchange of practices with the communities that are involved in the process.

With smart cities, the economic development and social inclusion, innovation and training, research and participation are combined together to create new frontiers and connect societies in a more effective way.

But making a smart city is a complex process involving deep-rooted innovation with regard to infrastructures, lifestyles of citizens and strategies and tools to develop the economy.

Italy is undoubtedly indicated as one of the European countries with the most concentration of smart cities and it’s considered one of the most important countries for Smart urbanization – see figure:

The number of smart city per country in Europe (Source: EU Report of smart cities)

The number of smart city per country in Europe (Source: EU Report of smart cities)

Milan, Florence and Bologna are the three cities that have been recognized as the “smartest” of Italy in 2015, for the second time in a row. They are actually developing digital and social innovation, taking measures to increase the quality of life, to support the local economy and to become more competitive.

On an international level, Milan is actually an active member of the biggest European and worldwide network that work on smart cities. On a local level, the Municipality and the Chamber of Commerce are building stable partnerships between different realities, in research, social innovation, business and finance. Milan competes on a national as well as European level in order to become a benchmark of innovation and sustainability thanks to collaboration processes between the public sector and private entities.

Not only in Milan but also in many Italian cities, improvements have been made to increase renewable energies and recycling practices, confirming that Italian cities and institutions are more conscious of the need of a more circular economy. Italians are developing a new life style and they are more attentive towards energy and food consumption, bike mobility, car sharing and renewable energies.

And this means new growth and great market opportunities with the demand of new products and services:

  • to improve the quality of the environment with a more energy efficiency, a better waste management and to implement citywide smart grid for energy management
  • to improve a better quality of life through effective, accessible and intelligent tools aimed at optimization of resources
  • to invest in new and more environmental-friendly transportation system in the urban areas
  • to develop a culture of “recycling” and “re-use”
  • to regenerate and design public spaces
  • to rethink policies and actions in order to create a community able to live and compete in a globalized world

These are the strategies for the future of our cities. And many different players are part of this process: From large multinationals to social enterprises, from small and medium businesses to universities, from the research centers to the international associations.

Innovation Norway Milan

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