During the last decades, cities have become increasingly central in the economic, environmental, social and development-related processes, representing a real focal point of the political and economic strategies conducted by different bodies and international legislators. The coexistence of a high number of heterogeneous problems makes the city an ideal platform for testing new digital technologies. Within this framework, the strong correspondence between urban environment and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) becomes evident and is a necessary condition, even if not sufficient, to address local challenges, also in terms of smart sustainable development. The concept of Smart City, therefore, is increasingly referred to as a strategic solution to the problems associated with the irreversible process of urban agglomeration. Within this context, this study aims at providing a framework for such a varied and multidimensional reality, in order to obtain an appropriate and homogeneous definition taking into account all these different aspects, also in the light of current legislation and of European and international perspectives. All this also bearing in mind the main purpose of trying to clarify the Italian position, which is characterised by a significant diversity. Since 1990 the term Smart City has been spreading in conjunction with the liberalisation of telecommunications and the development of services provided through the Internet. However, its definition is likely to remain generic and unshared. The term Smart City has recently become synonymous with cities characterised by an extensive and intelligent use of digital technologies that enable an efficient use of information, even if, actually, intelligent cities imply much more than this, as clearly illustrated in the relevant literature. In particular, since the “Lisbon Strategy” (2000) to “Europe 2020”, the European Union has been investing in the promotion of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, both through specific directives/guidelines/recommendations (from an environmental and technological point of view, but also in a social context) and through European projects dedicated to Smart City development and renewable energy. Within “Europe 2020”, one of the most relevant topic is the realisation of the European Digital Agenda (EDA) attributing a central role to ICT and also establishing clear actions, targets and indicators to monitor the progress of countries towards the achievement of the information society. In accordance with EDA principles, since 1st March 2012 the Italian Digital Agenda has also been established. Therefore, disseminating and improving Smart City experiences implemented at national level, in terms of a more systematic and coordinated vision, becomes urgent in order to better understand and address Italian strong heterogeneity.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/roberta_de_santis/22/