Methodology and Operating Tool for Urban Renovation: The Case Study of the Italian City of Meran
Nowadays, hundreds of cities around the globe are undergoing smart urbanization: The concept of smart cities is rapidly gaining worldwide attention. The agenda for smart urban renovation is expected to solve a multiplicity of challenges, with the key aim of significantly increasing the urban quality of life. In this wide scenario, the majority of methods for becoming 'smart' imply the use of a strategic approach. Considering this, the following question arises: how should local authorities, small and medium enterprises, as well as utility providers, approach smart urbanization? This research work aims at contributing to this issue, through the development and application of a methodology for the smart city implementation. The assumption is made that holistic enabling tools designed to support smart urban development are more than ever crucial. Their adoption is necessary to establish new smart city services and to manage processes and data information flows, as well as to allow better communication and collaboration among stakeholders. Starting from these observations, the main objective of this work is to develop an operating tool that supports cities in defining a smart city roadmap for strategic decision-making that is in line with their defined city vision and that enables the implementation of smart services. The concept was developed during the research project 'OPENIoT4SmartCities', funded by the Operational Program for the European Regional Development Fund ERDF 2014-2020 (CUP: B11B17000720008) in Südtirol/Alto Adige. The tool was tested on the city of Meran, in the Italian province of South Tyrol. The smart services to be studied were chosen as a result of workshops held together with the city's key-stakeholders, during which brainstorming was done on the basis of the most important issues linked to urban development, i.e., energy, mobility, security and public lighting, environment and waste, and e-governance as transversal topic. In a first screening, all smart services were evaluated based on: (i) their importance according to the cities' stakeholders; (ii) their contribution to the city vision; (iii) the service's smartness; and (iv) their estimated potential impact. All the services that contribute to the city vision and are considered to have a positive impact on the city's inhabitants are subjected to a pre-feasibility study in which the technical, economical and legal feasibility are evaluated in order to generate a strategic roadmap. The results are presented in the form of a classification of the urban services, together with an explanation of the smart city roadmap for the city of Meran.