Our cities face many challenges. The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) has recently formulated some of the major challenges in the following questions:
How can we create more choices in housing, accommodating diverse lifestyles and all income levels?
How can we reduce traffic congestion yet stay connected?
How can we include citizens in planning their communities rather than limiting input to only those affected by the next project?
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is playing an increasing role in addressing these challenges. The methodical application of ICT to urban settings has many names. IBM calls its initiatives in this direction “smart cities”. SIEMENS calls “sustainable megacities” the result of massive application of ICT to urban settings. In this ASP project, we adopted the more technology- oriented term “Urban Computing”, which in 2007 was defined as “the integration of computing, sensing, and actuation technologies into everyday urban settings and lifestyles” (IEEE Pervasive Computing special issue on Urban Computing, 2007). The project teams set as goal for this ASP project to (a) conduct a multidisciplinary study of Milan and Turin urban settings placing special attention on the challenges that the cities will face in a large scale events such as the EXPO 2015 in Milan and the 2011 celebrations of 150th anniversary of Italian unification in Turin; (b) to conceive a broad set of innovative applications of Urban Computing for Milan 2015 and Turin 2011; and (c) to select a subset of these services based on their feasibility and present them to relevant stakeholders. In the beginning the two teams of students collaboratively studied the state of the art and the offer of Urban Computing services currently globally available. Then, the two teams independently faced the challenge of conceiving innovative Urban Computing services for Milan and Turin. Team A focused on three fields of interest: Mobility, Society and Safety. Their concept, ConnecTown, is a modular data mash-up platform which allows citizens, tourists and municipalities to share geolocalized and real time information about mobility, society and safety through a unified and user friendly interface. Team B proposed Where A Mi?/Where TO? envisioning the installation of a series of wireless hotspots that serve as a spatial forum for online word of mouth information exchange. Where A Mi?/Where TO? is composed of three parts: a hardware system – a network of WiFi hotspots -, a software system – a live feed platform – and a spatial system – a set of pieces of urban furniture – that together facilitate local information exchange between citizens, businesses, visitors and city governments. The results were presented to the Chamber of Commerce of Turin and, thanks to their feedback, a feasible pilot project proposal was assembled for “Salone del Gusto 2010”. The proposal, namely ConnecToMi, has three faces: the provision of free wireless hotspots in “Salone del Gusto” and other important public spaces; the provision in the WiFi connection page of the Web Portal of “Salone del Gusto” together with some information provided by the Chamber of Commerce of Turin (e.g., the gastronomic guide “I maestri del Gusto”); and real time monitoring through the WiFi of the visitors’ activity (e.g., who has been visiting whose booth) to be used by “Salone del Gusto” organizers.
Principal Academic Tutor
Emanuele Della Valle
Electronics and Information, Politecnico di Milano
Marco Ajmone Marsan
Electronics, Politecnico di Torino
Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Architecture and Planning, Politecnico di Milano
Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion, Politecnico di Milano
CEFRIEL Agenzia Milanese Mobilità e Ambiente
Camera di Commercio di Torino
CEFRIEL, Politecnico di Milano
Camera di Commercio di Torino
Agenzia Milanese Mobilità e Ambiente
Volha Anisimava, Architecture
Daniele Campobenedetto [Team controller], Architecture (Construction)
Jelena Crnogorcic, Architecture
Adriana Granato, Architecture
Sara Magliacane, Computer Engineering
Federica Nasturzio [Project Communication Coordinator], Architecture
Matthew Arancio [Team controller], Urban Planning and Policy Design
Maricica Cozma, Computer Engineering
Marc Leyral, Building Engineering/Architecture
Sara Lora, Architecture
Sanaz Mirzaei, Urban Planning and Policy Design
Roberta Musso, Architecture