After the explosion of e- (e-mail, e-commerce, …) and the invasion of i- (iphone, i-card, …) is now the turn of the smart-. Just last night, when I returned from Rome, at the Florence station I saw “Italo” the latest cry for high-speed trains: trendy, technological, beautiful Italian design and … a “SMART” cross writing on every single carriage. The message is loud and clear: this train is SMART. “Smart is the new sexy”, as the fatal Irene Adler tells Sherlock Holmes in a recent episode of the series “Sherlock” broadcast by BBC One.

This is the moment of the smartphone, the smartcard, the smartcar and, above all, the smart city. Here is the new myth: Smart Cities, smart cities, no more stupid like those once made of houses, churches, streets, squares, monuments, gardens and banal people. Thinking about it, the old (and stupid) cities have become a (light) chaos. Maybe a little ‘intelligence really does not hurt. But what does the “intelligence” of a city consist of, seriously? How is the “smart-itudine” of a city measured? Does it depend on the number of outdoor wi-fi connections around the city? Does it depend on waste recycling policies? From the number of cycle paths or from the thermal and acoustic insulation systems of buildings? Yes, of course these are also factors that make “smart”, or better, “smart” a city but there is a single element that makes a city really “smart”: people, citizens. Here is the truth that is obvious, so under the eyes of everyone that it is not even perceived. After “e-“, “i-” and “smart” here is a new preamble “p-” for “human person”.

Alessandro Bellini

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