“The commune of Bergamo has tried to change the route revising the city’s strategic plans from the perspective of Smart City, as established by the European Community, and creating its own road map” explains Alessandra Melchioni, staff coordinator of the deputy mayor and secretary general of association Bergamo SmartCity. “Obviously, it is about complex policies that cannot be implemented in the short-run, but they need long-term planning. In order to follow this direction, Bergamo has participated in the Smart City tenders called for at the national and regional level. It has been awarded both a project in the framework of e-Health of the National Operational Program of Research and Competitiveness of the Ministry of Education, University and Research, and a project in the field of Cloudcomputing present in the Smart City tender of the Region of Lombardy. That is why, we will soon introduce pilot projects to be implemented further.”
How did you find funds for financing of this work?
As far as financial resources are concerned, the situation is very complicated: due to the stability pact and the constant absence of funds, we are constrained to operate in a different manner than in the past and to attempt to use other instruments, such as co-designing, the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP), the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the project bonds, the investment funds and a mix of public and private financial instruments.
Do you think you will be able to transfer this model to other Italian communes?
We are working on the transfer of our best practices to other Italian communes as well as of our governance model which we have put in place in Bergamo. We have established a specific operational unit within the communal administration, which is a part of our authority schedule, and we have created, by means of a resolution passed by the Communal Council, the association Bergamo SmartCity, useful at the advent of an innovative area ecosystem.
Are your inhabitants ready to become smart?
Our inhabitants are already smart. It is our public administration that has to improve, regardless of the Customer Relationship Management platform and the inhabitants that use mostly on-line services provided at one-stop desks. For the time being, the commune of Bergamo is making a great effort to “harmonize” the internal IT system to simplify access for the inhabitants and to facilitate the procedures performed on-line and in a broader sense through the e-government.