Our generation is used to technology, it’s all around us. We often consider any technological device as “smart”, and their combination makes it possible to achieve a smart home, a smart health, a smart energy, a smart mobility… a Smart City.
However, as most of the speakers pointed out during our first TuriNEXT event, in order for a city to be smart, we should, first of all, pose special attention to the impact on the lives of citizens, and on the city itself. Achieving this purpose does not always imply the use of powerful technology.
When thinking about the city of the future, a factor that can’t be neglected is how useful and attractive will the “smart citizens” find the solutions that are being proposed: an idea of no practical good, however brilliant from the scientific point of view, will never see the light!
These fundamental notions were presented by the speakers of the first panel about the introduction to the concept of smart city: Dario Malerba (Turin City Council), Davide Canavesio (Nexto), Barbara Graffino (Talent Garden Fondazione Agnelli, Torino) and Andrea Vesco (ISMB).
Given these reflections, how smart is Turin? Certainly, a lot of effort has been put in innovating the city from the local government, and the Turin City Lab vouches for it. The aim of the administration is to attract tech companies and startups to invest in Turin, by giving them the best possible conditions to perform their tests and customer validations and be ready to ship to the market.
However, Davide Canavesio pointed out that not always is this novelty recognized and celebrated since it is not given a proper and significant name. That’s why he wants to spread the use of the term Innovation Mile to indicate the concentration of universities, research centers, innovative companies and startups, incubators all in one mile of the city from Corso Mediterraneo to Corso Oddone. Exactly like we commonly use the name Silicon Valley or Wall Street.
When you get off the train in Porta Susa train station, you are plunged exactly in the middle of the mile, one of the most lively “accumulation point” for innovation and technology, due to the presence of the Politecnico di Torino, the Istituto Superiore “Mario Boella”, the Intesa San Paolo skyscraper, the Environmental park and so on.
Another successful strategy to create smart solutions is known as “gamification”. This means that, for instance, customary good and healthy habits are literally turned into games, with challenges and prizes, in order to make it for the user more appealing to fulfil those goals. This is exactly the idea behind the smart mobility project MUV, presented by Andrea Vesco (ISMB). Also Marco Bazzani (ISMB) uses similar concepts in his smart health solutions. According to him, technology shouldn’t be imposed on the user, that needs to feel at ease with it, in particular to older people that are less used to it.
Other successful smart solutions presented were Blue Torino and mimoto (of the company Leva) (as far as smart mobility is concerned) and Ned, a startup whose purpose is monitoring the consumption of the entire home by means of a single device, as well as raising the awareness of the users, so as to reduce their energy use.
With all these considerations in mind, we are looking forward to offering the opportunity to live the process of innovation for a whole day, with the event TuriNext: ThinkUp for your city, that will take place on 19th May at Talent Garden Fondazione Agnelli. Here teams will take the challenge of solving real problems that are being faced in Turin, using the “smart city mindset” that has been presented above. So, why don’t you get in the game too?
In case you missed the event, you can view again all the talks on our Facebook page!