Parma to become a 'Smart City'

The Italian city of Parma is working with IBM to build a ‘Smart City’.

Home to roughly 200,000 people, the city's management is planning citizen-focused innovations that will provide new “intelligence” for existing infrastructure to optimise resources, reduce traffic congestion, improve services to residents and businesses and make the city smarter and more efficient.

"This strategic initiative, signed with IBM, allows us to create an Innovation Board," says Pietro Vignali, Parma Mayor. "This Board has the mission of finding innovative citizen services solutions leveraging new technologies: from info-mobility to security, to social services.”

Elsewhere, IBM is working with many other authorities on smarter systems. The cities of Singapore, Brisbane and Stockholm are all working to reduce both congestion and pollution through intelligent transport solutions.

In Malta, a new smart grid utilities system is being created to enable more efficient consumption of energy and water and completely transform the relationship between Maltese consumers and utilities suppliers.

Initial projects in Parma include a virtual teller in several locations around the city. Residents will be able to interact with the municipality as if there were a municipal official in front of them, delivering and receiving documents and cheques, filling in and signing forms, and requesting support.

"In cities like Parma, technology can make the local systems and infrastructure smarter and create benefits directly related toward improving the quality of life for all its citizens, in a cost-effective way,” says Luciano Martucci, general manager IBM Italy.

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