A pioneering residential “living lab” is being built in the Italian city of Trento, laying the groundwork for a smart city model that could be scaled up across the country.
Inaugurated on March 22 by architect Renzo Piano and internet founding-father Tim Berners-Lee, “TasLab” is a government-supported project that aims to become both a residential and a research center, focused on innovative and sustainable ICT solutions to present and future user needs.
Covering an area of 11 hectares, each of the 400 new units will feature solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. A state of the art trigeneration plant (combined cooling, heat and power) will produce all the area’s energy needs.
The launch event was part of ITC Days Trento, a 4-day ICT forum organized by the Provincia di Trento in partnership with the Bruno Kessler Foundation. For the panel discussion titled “An outlook on future: Smart Cities in a changing society,” contributions from leading information technology companies such as Telecom and Cisco focused on how ITC can improve life-quality by connecting stakeholders acting in the smart city, such as consumers, local authorities, services, community assets and information.
The enterprises involved in TasLab aim to develop partnerships with other territories in Europe and around the world to share the results.
Fabio Florio, Head of Business Development Italia Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco, said: “Over 50% of world population now lives in urban areas, pressing governments and local institutions with problems such as overcrowding, pollution, resource constraints and inadequate infrastructures. The foundations of future cities are going to be laid on networking capabilities: by connecting the unconnected, we could address these world challenges and enjoy economic growth without compromising the environment.”
Kirsten Jack, Acting Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group, said: “The smart city being built in Trento offers a holistic, strategic vision for bringing together innovative digital infrastructure solutions that address a multitude of issues facing modern urban centers and communities. Beyond the public transport systems, micro-wind turbines and parks, there is an underlying system, connecting resources to waste to consumption in a set of complex interactions. ICT can begin to help us manage this complexity – and redefine how we operate our energy networks, our transport infrastructure, and the buildings in which we work and live.”