Bologna is the seventh largest city in Italy as far as the number of inhabitants is concerned (almost 400,000), and sixth in economic importance. The metropolitan area of Bologna (more than 900,000 inhabitants) ranks second after Milan. Important features of Bologna are its high level of economic development and extensive pre-school, educational, social, cultural and sport services.
The Municipality of Bologna – since the early ’90 - has focused its government policies and plans towards a concrete commitment in the use of networking technologies for the delivery of information and services to the community, and the development of eCitizenship and digital rights. The Iperbole Civic Network (www.comune.bologna.it), first in Italy and second in Europe after Amsterdam, was born in 1995.
Iperbole is a kind of “holistic platform” for information, e-services, interaction and exchange with and among end-users; it is also a participative web site, a space shared by public interest and no-profit bodies of the metropolitan area, an ongoing laboratory to promote the knowledge society at local level.
According to its policies of making web services multichannel and ubiquitous, on 2006 the Bologna Municipality started the "Iperbole Wireless" project, with the aim to use the Wi-Fi infrastructure and provide for free broadband access to the community. “Iperbole Wireless” covers – within the frame of different partnerships and the collaboration of the University – a city centre wide area and several other places inside and outside the “city walls”.
Open government, transparency, and open data are levers for innovation and shared/agreed governance of the town and its communities, and crucial themes in the design process of a smart and ‘social’ urban environment, fed by the creative contributions of citizens (civic commons and crowdsourcing).
At the same time, the Municipality works actively towards the goal of urban sustainability. In December of 2007 the new Urban Energy Programme, including a Urban Energy Action plan discussed in a public forum, was approved. The New Energy Plan defines homogeneous city’s areas (BEU) for energetic, urban and environmental characteristics performance standard: building\block energy and environmental indicators, like energy efficiency class (kWh/sqm) and application of a set of specific performance standards in each BEU to bring a reduction of greenhouses emission in each new urban area identified in the new Urban Plan (PSC). In this framework, several projects and services fostering the development of these main objectives are being developed also with the cooperation of private and non-profit bodies resources, and the support of European networks and partnerships.
The 'in progress' holistic definition of Bologna as a Smart and sustainable City will be a key part of the Metropolitan Strategic Plan and the ‘Bologna Digital Agenda’, whose main goals will be drawn up and shared according to a multi-stakeholder and participative methodology. Iperbole 2020, 'Tomorrow’s civic network', will become a social and community-based “organism” which will make crowdsourcing and user-generated contents a backbone for the setting up of the new Administration’s public policies and actions platform.
Bologna has created a new Open Data site that you can visit in the link below: