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Success stories from the first smart square in Italy

24 March, 2017 Institutional

In 6 months the pilot square had 27,000 visitors, and new spontaneous communities were created by the citizens themselves. The project concludes today, and a part of the smart features will be donated remaining permanently in Piazza Risorgimento.

Turin, March 23 | After 175 days the experimentation of the first Smart Square of Italy realized in Turin, in Piazza Risorgimento, by PLANET Idea, an engineering company specializing in smart design, under the Torino Living Lab announcement promoted by the City of Turin, in collaboration with the Turin Smart City Foundation and the Circoscription IV.

During the pilot Piazza Risorgimento’s public space was transformed into an urban ecosystem or “intelligent” city. Twenty five innovations were incorporated into the 5200 m2 space. The features improve service quality and simplify access for neighborhood residents, as well fostered new social opportunities.

The purpose of the pilot was to demonstrate the impact of redesigning an urban space using Planet’s four pillars of transformation (architecture, environment, technology, and social inclusion). By incorporating a system of interconnected innovations the quality of life for residents in the community was improved.

Innovations introduced included free wifi, city gardens, gym equipment, security cameras, and smart lighting devices. They helped to make the square feel more welcoming, child-friendly, and safer to visit even in the evening. Renovating the existing bocce field, opening an infopoint, and new lounge area facilitated spontaneous events and communities creating a more lively and participatory public space.

In six months we estimate that around 27,000 different people crossed the square and at least 7,500 did so repeatedly – says Marco Savio, communications manager of Planet Idea Company – this is significant foot traffic especially for colder months, we are very satisfied. The Smart Square pilot served as a demonstration of our design vision. We gathered useful data which will now help us with our smart city development in Brazil and our other smart projects.

The satisfaction of citizens who regularly visited the square was measured independently by Torinotrepuntozero.it. They specialize in the analysis of the level of well-being of communities using a scientific method. The quantitative survey involved 26 citizens, whose responses were overwhelming positive. The project rating was an average 8.9 / 10, which exceeded the score obtained by all other districts in Turin during similar surveys.

Planet wished to conserve the progress made and the wealth of social relationships born during the course of the pilot. That’s why they worked on reaching an agreement with the City of Turin and the District IV to donate various smart features worth around 13,000 euros. They include the urban gardens, bocce pitch, the bookcrossing exchange, and solar photovoltaic tiles in the pavement of the square.

“Participating in the The Torino Living Lab has given us great visibility and the ability to collaborate with other startups and innovative companies that responded to the call,” explains Graziella Roccella, Operative Director of Planet Idea. “We will now focus on new projects involving entire smart neighborhoods. Two different Italian companies have contacted us thanks to our involvement in this smart square pilot project in Turin. We will work in newly constructed and redevelopment projects, giving our partners the opportunity to apply their innovations on an urban and micro-urban scale.”

The first smart square in Italy was designed by Planet Idea, and made possible thanks to the support of our Main Partners: Arup, Clevergy, Dellavalle Gardens, TIM, Tyco and Urmet. Supporting Partners include: Consortium Taiga, Enerbrain, RECS Architects, SocialFare, A4Partners, Audit & Power Solutions, Conversa, EcoSolutions, Ethicalfin, Geosolar Energy Systems, A , SmartBeacon, Starboost, Stylum, U-Heart Biotechnologies, Turin School of Local Regulation.

The first Smart Square in numbers:

175 days of experimentation (82 citizens requested an extension);
25 innovations installed;
1 application for iOS and Android to discover and read all real-time data;
10,000 free WiFi accesses;
1270 registered users, 7 to 70 years old;
1,300 Gb of downloaded data;
50 events organized for all ages with the participation of 1000 people;
3 spontaneous communities created;
300 books collected from the bookcrossing exchange service, 75 new books a month;
75.8% electricity  savings with dimmable lights;
70.9% water savings thanks to automated irrigation;
75 kWh produced with photovoltaic (37.2% total demand);
261 Kg of Co2 emissions avoided (equivalent absorbed by 5 trees).