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Parma enters new phase of Smart City efforts

4 May 2021

The final event of the project Parma Futuro Smart was held earlier this year ending a process started in 2017 within the framework of RUGGEDISED.

During the event, the City of Parma presented the four strategic projects that are part of the ‘Parma Smart City’ action plan:

  • the creation of PEDs ( Positive Energy Districts), or a vision of sustainable urbanization based on a new model of energy production and consumption;
  • the development of an integrated data platform for the management of the city in real time;
  • the energy and digital transition of businesses;
  • the strengthening of the business acceleration chain to encourage the growth of start-ups for innovation and the competitiveness of the area.

The meeting was opened with greetings from Tiziana Benassi - Councillor for Sustainability Policies of the Municipality of Parma, who welcomed all the participants and highlighted the idea behind; to make cities smart, inclusive and sustainable.

The Councillor referred to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development approved in September 2015 by the United Nations, which contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 secondary targets for sustainable development that have a single common denominator: to end extreme poverty.

The Councillor emphasized how the word smart is the pivot of all new projects and how technology must be the means, not a purpose in itself, to create better lives for citizens.

Michele Alinovi, Councillor for buildings, public works and town planning, supported the importance of the development of a smart city strategy combined with sustainability and energy retrofit projects.

Parma, is one of the fellow cities of RUGGEDISED and in addition to developing skills and design ideas through the exchange with the lighthouse cities, it is also committed to building the smart city of 2050 and is drafting a roadmap and an investment plan to implement concrete smart city projects.

The role of the Municipality in the project was exemplified by the engineer Marco Mordacci who, shared an overview of the RUGGEDISED project with the participants. The Parma Futuro Smart Action Plan was introduced by Dr. Cristina Pellegrini who illustrated the four project proposals that have been defined in greater detail within the working groups with stakeholders.

Mario Gualdi and Daniel Cassolà of ISINNOVA, the Replication Lead in RUGGEDISED, presented the next steps of the project and gave perspectives on the work done within Parma Futuro Smart also at European level, particularly in regards to the mission of "100 Climate Neutral Cities ” from the European Commission. The mission foresees the involvement of 100 cities chosen by the European Union to support the European goal of achieving carbon neutrality on the continent in 2050. The cities involved will be directed to European funding and programs to reach this ambitious target, and the results monitored annually by the Commission.

Councillor Benassi closed the event by pointing out two key words from the virtual meeting: "ambition" and "synergy". These words are also front and centre in the recently signed ‘Carbon Neutrality Parma’ Alliance between the Emilia Romagna Region, the Province of Parma, the Municipality of Parma, Parma University and other local stakeholders.

This article is translated and shortened from Italian, find the original here