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Milan constructs a smart city according to people's needs

By Wei Qiulin wuzhenwic.org Updated: 2020-10-27

Milan, Italy launched the smart city project to carry out the smart transformation of the city in 2012. From municipal planning to daily transportation, Milan has carried out technological innovations based on the needs of its residents, continuously extending its smart city coverage.

According to Roberta Cocco, councilor for Digital Transformation and Civic Services of the Municipality of Milan, one of the city's keys to its smart city project lies in its continuous commitment to improving the construction of digital infrastructure.

In order to better serve the public, the Milan government has established a digital file covering every citizen in recent years, covering basic personal information, tax payment, children's education, and other aspects. These digital files can be accessed across departments through the government website, greatly improving the efficiency of municipal services.

Milan has strengthened the hardware required for urban big data transmission and linkage through active research and development, as well as international cooperation.

A smart urban water management system developed by the Politecnico di Milano in 2014 is currently being tested in the city to monitor and collect the water consumption data of enterprises and individuals, which can then be used to reduce urban water waste.

In addition, San Raffaele Hospital in Milan has been cooperating with Huawei in recent years to jointly develop a smart healthcare system and form data linkages between patients, medical staff, medical institutions, as well as equipment. The world-renowned network data center supplier Equinix will also build a city data center in Milan, with an investment of $5.1 million, which is scheduled to be put into operation in the first quarter of next year.

"Milan is also discussing the establishment of a 'digital bridge' cooperation mechanism with international cities like New York, London, and Dalian, aiming to realize information sharing through digital methods to jointly solve the problems of traffic congestion and environmental pollution in the process of urbanization," said Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan.

The development of smart public transportation has been prioritized in the city's transportation network construction. Milan started to use a smart metro ticketing system in 2018, enabling residents to take subways with their credit or debit cards.

Shared services like cars, electric bicycles, and scooters have also been promoted. In its urban planning, Milan is committed to providing smarter, more comfortable, and inclusive transportation solutions in order to achieve the goal of approaching zero emissions emitted.

Its urban planning and construction has always focused on the public. "Citizens are the main body of the city and the fundamental purpose of a smart city is to serve a better life for its people," said Cocco. "Citizens are encouraged to participate and formulate management policies."

The Milan government has launched measures to bring its residents into the city's digital construction process to the greatest extent. Urban planning experts from six local universities have been organized to regularly discuss the problems faced in smart city construction with government staff. Social activity platforms have also been used to solicit residents' suggestions on the construction of smart cities.

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Shared-bike rental spots in Milan. [Photo/IC]

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