Smart Cities and Urban Governance. The urbanAPI Project: Bologna Case Study

Real Proceedings, Corp
2013 unpublished
1 ABSTRACT The urbanAPI project has been funded by the European Commission in the context of European initiatives to improve policy as a more transparent and understandable process: it is a three-year, €4 million, multi-partner collaborative project developing ICT tools to support urban governance and spatial planning in four cities across Europe. Underpinning the project is the understanding that the delivery of more sustainable cities requires the application of enhanced intelligence in urban
more » ... management, to produce an effective basis for assessment of urban complexity and decision-making. Fraunhofer IGD (Project Coordinator), AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) assisted by GeoVille are responsible of ICT tool design and implementation, UWE and AEW (Rome) with the contribution of ICLEI, are responsible for engagement with stakeholders in order to define their needs, organisation of workshops and assessment of the tools application in the partner cities. Vienna, Bologna, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Ruse are the partner cities supporting the applications with practical experience, governance needs and data. The urbanAPI tools provide advanced ICT based intelligence in different urban planning contexts: First, directly addressing the issue of stakeholder engagement in the planning process by the development of enhanced virtual reality visualisation of neighbourhood development proposals. Second, at the city-wide scale, developing mobile (GSM) based applications that permit the analysis and visual representation of socioeconomic activity across the city. Third, the development of simulation tool applications in the city-region responding to the simultaneous demands of both expanding city populations for certain European cities, and declining and frequently ageing populations elsewhere. Lessons derived from the urbanAPI experience will permit the development of generic ICT tools that can be used in the majority of the cities of Europe. In this context, the enhanced ICT tools proposed by urbanAPI offer the potential to provide urban planners with the tools and intelligence needed to actively manage the urban environment. These tools will provide planners with precisely the information they need to fully expose the socioeconomic and environmental impacts associated with alternative options for territorial development and thereby create conditions in which the political mandate and the basis for more effective management is secured. In this paper will be analysed the project expected impact on urban governance and the results achieved with the 3D application in the city of Bologna during the first phase of the project implementation. 2 ICT-INTELLIGENCE FOR URBAN PLANNING CONTEXTS Effective governance of the cities and city regions of Europe today is fundamentally undermined by urban complexity, whereby the high degree of interconnectedness and multiple interactions between socioeconomic and environmental factors in a territorial context create major barriers to the effective implementation of sustainable urban development. The proactive governance of cities and the delivery of more sustainable compact cities require the application of enhanced intelligence in urban management, to produce an effective basis for assessment of urban complexity, and decision-making support. The governance of cities is a collective effort requiring joint initiative between planning and management agencies from EU to local level, clear coordination between a variety of agencies at the local level, as well as critical inputs from all stakeholder groups including citizens. In this context the urbanAPI applications-3D virtual reality visualisation, mobile phone based mobility dynamics, city region growth simulation-will be brought as common toolsets to the four cities serving as