Bologna is the most smart of Italian cities according to Smart City Index, the ranking of the 116 Italian provincial municipalities created by the company Between which has been systematically monitoring ICT in Italy for 10 years, from broadband to digital service platforms. They follow in Smart City Index Milan and Rome, then Reggio Emilia, Turin and Florence. The first Smart City in the South of Italy is Bari, 17th out of 116 capitals.
But what is one Smart City? According to the authors of the Smart City Index this definition belongs to those urban centers that have created visible innovations aimed at truly usable services for citizens in nine thematic areas: Health, Education, Alternative Mobility, Energy Efficiency, Broad Band, Mobility, Government, Natural Resources, Renewable Energy.
A city becomes one Smart City when, even in a context characterized by the scarcity of resources and the absence of reference models, it manages to create a substantial difference between the 'before' and the 'after' by making its citizens perceive that it has a vision of its future, which has started a path towards that vision and is able to change things, and also that it is capable of making innovation tangible and widespread in the city.
The Smart City are the cities with better quality of life? Not necessarily, but it almost always does. If you compare the ranking of the Quality of Life index published every year by the Sole 24 Ore with the Smart City Index (the two analyzes casually adopt a similar methodology) it turns out that there is a correlation between the phenomena. Smart cities are on average at the top of the ranking of livable cities (this is the case of Bologna, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Piacenza, Modena), while cities lagging behind on the road to smart they are often the least livable (this is the case of Caltanissetta, Vibo Valentia, Agrigento and Trapani).
Because Bologna is at the top of the Smart City? Because the sum of the Bologna benchmarks for each of the 9 thematic areas produces the best average, despite the fact that the Emilian capital is ranked first only in the area Smart Health and it is no better than the other cities in terms of natural resources. In Bologna, first in the standings, the Smart City Index assigns a score of 100 to the cities that follow a proportionally lower score.
What are the most curious aspects of the Smart City Index? Speaking of relationship between Smart City and livability, interesting exceptions emerge. For example, there are cities that show high levels of quality of life, but have so far not proven themselves enough smart: this is the case of Trieste, Belluno and Aosta.
Then there are cities that do not shine for quality of life, but which instead show a degree of smartness above average: this is the case in Bari, Salerno, Potenza and Lecce. It would seem a sort of 'smart redemption' in which the South in particular demonstrates that it is possible to redeem oneself from an unfavorable socio-economic, infrastructural and cultural condition through Smart City.
In the thematic area of Energy Efficiency, the Northern regions, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna in particular, have moved in the direction of Smart City. Lombardy and Emilia Romagna have in the first band of the ranking a number of virtuous capitals in energy efficiency exceeding 75%. Piedmont, Veneto, Umbria and Molise follow with 50 percent.