Smart cities as the drivers of innovation and quality of life in a world transformed by the ICT Revolution was the subject of the first edition of the “DCOF – Digital Cities of the Future” conference. The event took place in Trento on September 2nd and 3rd and was co-organized by Trento RISE, together with the National Association of Italian local governments (ANCI), the Consortium of Trentino local governments and the EIT ICT Labs Italy.

 

The conference was an opportunity to share success stories, at the national and international level, in the area of smart cities and intelligent services. Today, more than ever, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities provided by new technology, and to use them to the benefit of cities and of the quality of life within them.

 

The panel organised by the EIT ICT Labs focussed on “making it happen”. The panel engaged the audience by providing a variety of pony of observations: Roberto Saracco noticed that cities are complex systems in a dynamic equilibrium. Hence any action results in a perturbation of this equilibrium creating frictions that have to be taken into account. Marko Turpeinen, ICT Labs Helsinki node director, provided a number of examples of ICT Labs activities to increase the smartness in cities whilst Stephane Amarger, Paris Node Director, put the emphases on the data that are continuously generated by a city and how we can leverage on those date to get the pulse and take action. Manuel Carro, deputy director of IMDEA the new Spanish Partner of the ICT Labs, focused on the importance of the interface between the city and the citizen, interface that has to be uniform, as much as possible, in all services and interactions. Derrick de Kerckhove pointed out that you need Smart Citizens to create a Smart City and emphasised the role of education.

 

The EIT ICT Labs works on a specific area looking at Digital Cities as a place where creating innovation by leveraging ICT can help in the never-ending goal of making our cities smarter. According to Roberto Saracco, EIT ICT Labs Italian Node Director, «We have plenty of technology that can improve our cities, we can gather data, feel the pulse of the city and act. However what really matters is not a smarter city but a city where its citizen can live a better life. So far the relation between investment in technology and perceived quality of life has not been certain. What we try to do as ICT Labs, and particularly as ICT Labs Italy is to start from the quality of life, adopt innovation that can increase it and measure its real effectiveness».

 

According to Marco Pistore, head of the Smart Campus Project at Trento RISE «this conference aimed to bring together local, national and international actors to reflect on what means to build a smart city and create an operational plan for doing so. We want to deal with the subject of smart cities as a model to help the inclusion of citizens and improve quality of life. Those are all objectives for which Trentino is certainly a privileged territory thanks to its extraordinary research and innovation capacity in the areas of informatics, demonstrated by the presence of the EIT ICT Labs node, the proximity of the local administration; and by the quality of life which this territory has notoriously enjoyed».