Venice's Smart Control Room aims to improve mobility and safety in the city by creating a smart urban model that could be rolled out to all towns in Italy. Launched in September 2020, this "control tower" for the city is built and managed in collaboration with the City Council, Local Police and TIM.
It has a rarefied atmosphere with highly advanced technology. The staff are specialised operators who rotate 24/7 to work in front of huge video-walls with the classic blue light. But the real strength of this facility is its ability to monitor and optimise the safety and services of this very special city.
An enormous amount of data and video flows are fed into the Smart Control Room from the various control units and sensors spread across the city. This information includes, for example, the number of people present in Venice, the type of boats in the canals, the movement of road and water transport, flows of tourists, weather forecasts and parking monitoring. This data is analysed by a pool of experts, using processing systems to ensure privacy, to optimise public services and design new ones based on citizens’ needs.
TIM for the cities of the future
Venice stands as a clear example of what a Smart City is in real terms: a set of services that make cities safer and more liveable through the use of sensors, IT, telecommunications and, of course, 5G.
In fact, TIM's Smart City Control Room solution gives local government bodies the ability to have integrated management over the city’s various services, including smart management of lighting and waste collection, mobility and safety. If necessary, data from the Control Room can be used and analysed for decision-making and to intervene in real time.
In addition to Venice, other Italian Smart Cities already designed with TIM’s support include Turin, which is engaged in European projects related to urban security, Florence with the Smart City project, and the Bari Matera 5G trials for structural and parking monitoring as well as to manage flows of pedestrians.
Smart Cities – Clear benefits for citizens and the environment
According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute (1), Smart City services and applications have a very positive effect on citizens' quality of life and can tangibly help to improve some key indicators by between 10 and 30%.
We’re talking in particular about transport, reducing travel times in the city by 15-30 minutes, and safety, saving 300 human lives in a city of 5 million inhabitants by reducing crime, road accidents and fires.
Other fundamental applications of Smart Cities enable sustainable management of energy, waste and environmental resources, i.e. water, air and green spaces.
Indeed, Italian Smart Cities are now increasingly geared towards sustainability, as shown by the Smart City Index 2020 (2). This revealed that the best results were achieved in waste management, with a drop in per-capita production (down 9% since 2014) and a rise in waste sorting in major cities (up by more than 10% since 2014, reaching 51.6%).