NAME OF BEST PRACTICE:
ALMANAC Project (Secure and Intelligent Internet of Things for Smart Cities)
Contact person: Maurizio Spirito – Project Manager
Tel: +39 0112276408; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISMB – Istituto Superiore Mario Boella sulle tecnologie dell’informazione e delle telecomunicazioni associazione;
Via Pier Carlo Boggio, 61 – 10138 – TORINO (Italy)
WHERE: Torino, Italy;
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention and Recycling
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising and Voluntary
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste
About: Development of a digital platform for cities for the management of different urban flows (energy, waste, water, etc) in the pilot city of Torino, Italy. The ALMANAC platform engages the citizens, professionals and politicians to promote more sustainable behaviors. The users of the platform are aware of the waste and water management strategies implemented in the city and are further involved in the definition of future innovative solutions to improve these systems. The implementing body is Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), a research and innovation centre founded in 2001 and operating in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) domain. Since 2011 ISMB has extended its activities to process innovation, orienting its focus on priority themes of the European agenda. Such an evolution aims at exploiting excellences and results obtained by Research Areas into Strategic Programs that are interdisciplinary by nature. Smart Energy, Smart City and Smart Health are the strategic programs tackled by ISMB, representing the first step of a broader action aimed at high-value social projects.
The ALMANAC project (Secure and Intelligent Internet of Things for Smart Cities) developed a Smart City Platform (SCP) with the aim to integrate Internet of Things (IoT), capillary networks and metro access networks to offer smart services to the citizens, and thus enable Smart City processes. The key element of the SCP is a middleware supporting semantic interoperability of heterogeneous resources, devices, services and data management. The platform is built upon a dynamic federation of private and public networks, while supporting end-to-end security and privacy. Furthermore, it also enables the integration of services that, although being natively external to the platform itself, allow enriching the set of data and information used by the Smart City applications supported. SCP collects, aggregates and analyzes data in real time or almost in real time from sensors installed in containers, in energy and water supplies.
The ALMANAC platform was tested in the city of Torino. The objective of that pilot experience was to collect information on the flows that the city had and thanks to that, to develop new management and prevention strategies. This was done with the help of the management companies, organizations, politicians and citizens who use the applications and the platform developed during the project.
The project was carried out in three different phases: the preliminary definition phase where design of the platform was done; the implementation / experimentation phase to assess and refine the system and the evaluation phase, in a final tuning of the whole system.
Know-how: the ALMANAC project shared the opinions and knowledge of all relevant stakeholders to address the problem of water and waste management in the urban ecosystem introducing new technologies as an essential tool for project development.
Funding; budget: Co-financed by the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella Sulle Tecnologie Dell’Informazione e delle telecomunicazione EC through the Horizon 2020 program:
Project reference: FP7 609081, Total budget: 4 066 345 €; EU contribution: 2 995 000€
– Software prototype to support waste management and bicycle sharing in the city. Includes the all IoT Resources and Service Data Management. (the IoT Resource Catalog, the IoT Storage Manager and the IoT Cloud Services Catalog).
– Software prototype to detect water losses and remotely manage office devices in order to promote sustainable behaviours.
– Virtual platform (ALMANAC Smart City Platform) that manages the sensors, filtering of events and forwarding of messages.
Through the platform ALMANAC has achieved an integrated approach to the flows (water and waste) that are generated and spent in the city of Torino. The project has integrated real-time data from different sources, in a complex urban ecosystem seamlessly incorporating the platform to the City of Turin. All of this with the aim of identifying a collection of issues and new ideas to solve them in the relevant application areas, while helping define a set of strategic investment priorities and social and economic inclusion paths, under the framework of the Turin Social Innovation Program.
The platform has included a dedicated capillary communication network which connects local sensors and actuators to the platform at low cost and guarantees the collection and processing of the generated data. The proposed solution integrates public and private actors also involving citizens through applications developed in the project
ALMANAC deployed a Waste management pilot in the city of Turin, including a waste management dashboard (a day-to-day support tool for decision makers) to access and manage the collected data, that could be used to redefine city’s waste collection planning to dynamically adapt to the citizen’s needs.
The installation included the equipment of two Underground Ecological Islands (UEIs) in the city center, with four (4) waste containers each (i.e. organic waste, non-recyclable, plastic and glass/cans). All containers in the selected UEIs were equipped with both fill-level sensors and solar panels to guarantee their autonomous power supply. Moreover, access modules were installed in two selected containers of the UEIs (i.e. non-recyclable waste containers), which are accessible only to authorized users holding electronic ID cardkeys previously delivered by the City Municipality to 300 families and 90 merchants in the area (e.g. restaurants, bars, shops, etc.). Additionally, the waste collection vehicle was also equipped with weight sensors to crosscheck the data from the fill-level sensors in the waste containers of the UEIs, thus enriching the available data set from the pilot-related activities.
The installation generated more than 387,000 data-points including on-field observations and battery levels from the containers, and truck collection data including location data.. Thanks to its use, the project was able to demonstrate that collection frequency could be adapted based on the containers fill-level combining real time data with forecasted trends.
Regarding the water management application area instead, a mobile application was developed that enables direct communication between public utilities and citizens. It allows users to control water consumption in their own homes and to detect water leaks. Users as well receive alerts if water has been contaminated in any point of water network along the city.
Finally, ALMANAC developed a citizen’s application which supports and guides citizens in the process of recycling their waste. It contains a calendar with dates of waste collection, a notification system and an interactive map that shows containers and recycling centers near the user. When available the application also shows the containers’ current fill level.
Urban metabolism relevance
The practice has been implemented in a local context (at city level). It goes beyond the prevention and management of waste, since it also has the objective of monitoring water consumption and related issues, in order to develop a consistent and coherent strategy for both issues. It represents an instrument that allows to take into account different material flows, how to manage waste streams and it also provides extended data on urban metabolism.
Engaged participatory processes
The project partners dedicated themselves to participate actively in workshops, conferences and exhibitions both nationally and internationally to raise awareness about the project, progress and results. Not only workshops were held in the city of Torino to involve citizens, but also in other European cities such as Copenhagen, Belgrade and Lyon. In parallel to the dissemination activities, different initiatives were carried out to prepare the exploitation of the Smart City platform of ALMANAC, as well as the research in the current technological market. Finally, ALMANAC project has included the citizen directly as protagonist key actor of the urban ecosystem. Since citizens are a key figure in the management and prevention of waste, guiding and supporting them in the recycling process with the introduction of new technologies could bring outstanding results. Nowadays, platform is completely operative and year after year, new users are joining it.
The “Turin Smart City Platform” in the ALMANAC project proposes a new urban innovation strategy for a better waste collection system, joining the strategic investment priorities of the city among social and economic inclusion paths.
The novelty of the project was to improve the general infrastructure and urban services of the city considering at the same time, better environmental conditions, maximizing connectivity between users and by adopting innovative opportunities for all related stakeholder’s chain. That participatory and related new approach promoted a close cooperation between different companies and organizations in the city, working together for the same purpose
Sustainability and replicability
The platform developed in the ALMANAC project is already in use in the city of Torino. The different actors involved are increasing and are continuously encouraged to actively use the application in the city. During the project, the Sharing Housing initiative was also considered, that promoted residents to implement more sustainable behaviors.
The project’s demonstration value turned to be very high, considering different communication and dissemination efforts as well as the technical meetings and workshops held with different target groups that brought excellent results.
The transferability character and the participatory approach demonstrates that this solution can easily be replicated in other countries. In this regard, other examples on it have been developed around Europe. In 2015, for example, the city of Lyon created the supervision center for potable water management (Hublo). With real-time data reception, it aimed to reduce water leakage and energy consumption, offering users continuous support and information to mitigate adverse effects
The project has exploited mobile applications to involve users in the improvement of urban waste management. The users are crucial for the recycling of the waste, and frequently providing information about the status of containers, updated locations among other relevant issues can improve significantly the waste disposal and recycling processes. By using a tool such as mobile phones citizens had the opportunity to directly improve with their actions the urban ecosystem. As for water, it has facilitated the meter readings and also the real-time detection of leaks, avoiding water losses. With the use of the portable devices, the user can also know their water saving or consumption in an active and updated way.
Hence, it has been demonstrated that people living in cities are crucial for the effective recycling of waste, water savings and the whole sustainability of the city.
In the city of Torino, there was a fairly low percentage of recycling. The regional and provincial experience set that there was a maximum of 32-33% of recycling. It was due to low interest and little awareness of the environment. At the same time, there was also widespread waste in peripheral, industrial and riparian areas. This fact led to additional bedding and also a risk of pollution, in addition to the problem of the waste collection system that causes high costs and pollution-related environmental impact.
With the new legislative changes imposed by the European Commission, the collection and recovery objectives have changed significantly. Thanks to the implementation of ALMANAC, city has promoted this change and results begin to emerge a change in this tendencies.