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The Smart City paradox: smarter or more limiting city?

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The Smart City paradox: smarter or more limiting city?

The acronym SMART indicates the characteristics of a well-defined goal: Sspecific, i.e. a well-defined area for improvement; Measurable, quantifiable or referred to an index; Achievable, or reachable; Realistic, meaning that it can be achieved with the resources available; Time-constrained, i.e. in a limited time.

A SMART CITY it is an urban area where, thanks to the use of digital technologies and more generally of technological innovation, it is possible optimize and improve infrastructure and services for citizens, making them more efficient.

However, digital is not enough to make a city intelligent, but collaboration between the administration, individuals and citizens is necessary, because stopping at the concept of an intelligent city, understood as a digital city, and isolating the human element from the context, would mean committing a big mistake.

The Smart City, therefore, is a city that knows how to keep up with the digital revolution, but not only.

According to Eurostat statistics, 75% of the European population currently lives in cities. This figure is destined to grow worldwide as well. According to United Nations reports, by 2050, 70% of the global population will live in cities. It is essential that urban centers are able to develop in the best possible way guarantee a high and satisfactory quality of life by optimizing one’s own resources.

SMART CITIES, therefore, are not only more technological cities, but also more sustainable and capable of efficient resource management. However, not only do they bring positive aspects, but opinions emerge on the critical factors of the cities of the future. Many experts, including the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, argue that smart cities risk becoming “stupid” and risk exacerbating the gap between rich and poor. Furthermore, they prophesy the creation of “a connected glass house” in which every moment and aspect is managed and monitored, risking creating totally predictable routines and extinguishing any creative drive.

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The challenge for Italian cities is, therefore, to integrate new infrastructures, enabling technologies such as sensors and IoT with existing structures in the area, exploiting the interoperability between systems, but also creating challenging life systems on a human scale.

The governance of the Smart City must operate in a way coherent with this setting. The path towards the construction of a Smart City must be aimed at creating a single basic infrastructure and a single service delivery platform capable of processing the information transmitted by the sensors to deliver value-added services for citizens, helping to improve their the quality of life.

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