Smart Cities in Italy: “Tools are available, but culture is absent”
There are already tools to make our cities less polluted and chaotic: cars and electric vans, car-sharing, apps that inform about traffic in real-time, domestic renewable energy generators, autonomous driving. They are tools that are cheap now, and in the future will cost even less.
What is missing is the culture to use them, among citizens and administrators.
And this was the scenario emerged at the forum “Smart cities, neighborhood safety and mobility”, which was held by ANSA in Rome, organized in collaboration with the Ce.S.I. Center for International Studies (Ce.SI) and with the European association for electric mobility, NEV Mobility Europe.
Ce.S.I president., Andrea Margelletti, introduced the issues: “How much time we lose every day to move? How many pollutants ingest? How could we gain in quality of life thanks to new technologies?”.
Roberto Maldacea, director of NEV Mobility Europe, focused his intervention proposing the “proximity mobility.” as the keyword to make cities more livable: “proximity mobility” by small and not polluting means among residential areas and the most frequent destinations (offices, services, public transport links).
“The proximity mobility is a concept born in the United States in the seventies and just now arrived in Europe – Maldacea said -. 54% of Italians is available to leave the car at home.” According to the expert it is necessary to identify the “community centers”, such as a hospital or a business park, and to study the sharing of mobility systems for the specific needs of health or business men. Also the new logistics of goods is changing: “The boom of Amazon leads to frequent deliveries, constant and small volume – says Maldacea – but unfortunately the logistic/transportation still uses vans, the same as before, large and pollutants.” “small dimension, electric vehicles, can be the solution”.
The alternative is worrying: “In 2025 the costs of congestion will reach 42 billion euro in London, 8.4 in Rome, 3.3 in Milan.”
Camillo Piazza, President of Class Onlus, an NGO that promotes the charging stations for electric cars, “we need a parliament intervention to solve these issues, with norms and incentives. The pollution from vehicles costs € 2 billion per year in Italy, but, so far, no a single euro has been invested in electric mobility”, he said.
The model to follow, according to Piazza, is the City of Milan, that, from February 2017 will allow entry to the city-center from 8 to 10 only to proximity vehicles and electric vehicles will be exempted from paying for access: “Small choices – he said – that do not require financing but force the market to move.
But we need culture, need to talk about it. “, he concluded.
Senator Conservatives and Reformists Cinzia Bonfrisco commented -.”Unfortunately we did not understood what we would become and missed some opportunities.” And the Forza Italia deputy Mariastella Gelmini added, “We need a national model of smart city. We can take advantage of the “bottom-up” many experiences, but it is worthwhile to stop and start drawing a “top-down” model for the country, revolutionizing the training of local officials.”
Source: workshop organized by ANSA and CeSI; translation from Stefano Secondino – ANSA – report – Translation G Scotti di Uccio