Tuscany is on the front lines of the future’s intelligent cities, a topic that attracts a lot of attention in the region and, particularly, in Pisa, which recently launched a Master’s degree in Smart City design. Twenty projects designed by businesses, universities and research centers have received the green light by the Ministry of Education, University and Research that in 2012 had launched the “Smart Cities and Communities and Social Innovation” contest. The Ministry had made 655 million Euros available for the selection of proposals geared towards the creation of smart cities through interventions in sixteen fields: the territory’s security, societal ageing, technology geared towards welfare, domotics, justice, education, waste management, marine technologies, health, transportation, last mile logistics, smart grids, sustainable architecture, cultural heritage, the management of hydric resources, and cloud computing technologies applied to smart government. By the end of the selection process, 71 executive projects were chosen throughout Italy – meaning that more than one out of four selected projects saw the participation of Tuscan agencies or businesses. “Tuscany, – declared the Region’s Vice President, Stella Targetti – wants to be smart. We can divide the projects into two broad categories: those that will find applications in the industrial world, as well as that of small and medium businesses; and those that aim at improving the Public Administration’s organization, in order to bring it increasingly closer to the citizens.”
Seven “Tuscan” projects obtained the highest scores in their respective categories. Firstly, “Open City Platform”, which received nearly 20 million Euros, is a project for a program to deliver services by the Public Administration based on cloud computing technologies that will be usable on-demand. In the cultural heritage category, the distinction went to the “Smart Tour” project spearheaded by Selex, which presented a platform of innovative services to transform the touristic experience in art cities. In the last mile logistics, “Urban Electronic Logistics” developed, with the participation of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, a telematics platform data for the management of goods during their last mile. In terms of urban mobility, the “Sii-Mobility” is a system composed of control units and sensors geared towards improving the cities’ traffic. In marine technologies, the Ministry selected the “Suono” project, which utilizes hyperbaric systems for safe submarine operations. In the smart grids, the selection fell on “Energy stations providing services for smart cities” project, which aims at using the secondary substations of the electric network as service providers for network users. Finally, the “Resilience enhancement of a metropolitan area project”, selected in the safety of the territory category, promotes an integrated system that gathers information pertaining to control of the territory, forecasts natural disasters, protects cultural assets and control traffic so as to provide choices and strategies for the modern management of a densely populated area.