The city of Smart Living
When the technologies of a city work together for the well-being of its citizens: the example of Brescia Smart Living
When can a city be defined as smart? The answer is: “today”.
Indeed, a number of technologies and processes already exist, laying the foundations for new services in the city of the future.
But is making the individual "elements" (services, processes, infrastructures, networks, sensors, etc ...) that constitute a city intelligent enough to transform it into a "Smart City"?
To answer this question, let's imagine, for example, that someone is taken ill in the street one evening (during a run or a bike ride, or as a result of an accident etc.). A smartwatch may be able to detect any dangerous health-related situations and automatically alert the emergency services by signalling the exact location of the citizen in trouble. On the arrival of the ambulance, intelligent cameras positioned on some of the street lamps which monitor the flow of pedestrians and cars send the street lighting system a signal to increase the luminous flux of the street lamps, thus facilitating the task of the rescuers. Increasing or decreasing street lighting in accordance with need not only enhances safety - it also increases the energy efficiency of the networks.
Living in a smart city means living in a connected, attentive and efficient city.
Everything changes, and the citizen, even just through his or her smartwatch, can access key data and connect to infrastructures that can provide assistance.
In the streets of the city, a simple street light becomes intelligent, and through cameras and sensors, can be used to monitor traffic, enabling other services to be activated if required.
The objects and technologies of a smart city play different roles, and are managed by different systems. It is not enough, however, to make them smart individually: it is essential that these technologies "talk" to one another, and work together in order to help citizens in difficulty, improving life in the city for them.
This is how the new integrated city services of the future are born.
This concept, which is characterised by complex infrastructures, is at the heart of the Brescia Smart Living project. Winner of the MIUR 2012 "Smart Cities and Communities and Social Innovation" award, this project aims to define and test a Smart City prototype for Brescia: creating a more sustainable city in terms of both energy and environment through the integration of different technologies and new services designed to improve the quality of life of the city's inhabitants.
Brescia Smart Living is co-funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, with the endorsement of the Commune of Brescia. The project, which was launched in 2015, will end in 2018.
A2A is leading the research and innovation initiative, with the involvement of several Group companies, coordinating over 100 professionals, 10 partners, and a number of universities and research centres.
Transforming these concepts into processes and new services is the desire that drives the various specialists, who work together and use their skills to conceive a new way of seeing our cities, and more specifically, to implement a Smart City project to benefit Brescia's citizens and public administration bodies.
The involvement and collaboration of the key players in a city - municipality, businesses, citizens and service providers - is the fundamental prerequisite that enables the integration of the technologies that facilitate the development of a Smart Living environment.