Messina demonstrates how to build an intelligent, healthy, open digital city for its citizens

Messina is a metropolitan area in the region of Sicily, Southern Italy. Yes, the island being kicked by the boot. It has a population of 626,000 people and an area of more than 3,000 kilometres, located between a mountain range and 218 kilometres of coastline.

An intelligent solution collects environmental and water quality data from Libelium sensors along with geographic information and other public data sources to apply artificial intelligence and dump them into open applications to its neighbours.

To build a city where technology lives in symbiosis with the urban pulse, a Smart City project was designed involving the state authority for land management (Pon Città Metropolitane), the city hall of Messina Città Metropolitana and the temporary business union formed by PWC and Almaviva. With a budget of € 5.4 million, of which € 1.6 million is dedicated to sensors. The project is funded by the EU in its quest to make European cities healthier and less harmful to the environment.
Although the project has a final date of December 2021, Almaviva and PWC have an eye on the future and have designed a solid IoT Big Data solution to enable new features, integrations and applications. Thus was born MEsM@RT, an ecosystem of infrastructures, sensors, IT solution and open application for the digital transformation of Messina.

MeSM@RT covers four verticals: territory, environment, surveillance and water. After scouting for a technological solution, the consultant company supporting the Municipality selected Libelium as the best vendor for the area of environmental control and water quality because it met its demanding KPIs.

They installed the following Libelium Plug&Sense! and their probes:

• Plug&Sense! Smart Water Xtreme (4G and WiFi)
• Plug&Sense! 4-20 (4G and WiFi)
• Plug&Sense! Smart Environment PRO (4G and WiFi)
• Plug&Sense! Smart Cities PRO (WiFi)
• Plug&Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO (4G)

So, Messina can control almost everything that may occur in a city in real-time which increases the efficiency of urban services, from air pollutants to water leakage, and make decisions to address any issue. Different KPIs and indicators prompt alerting functionalities in case of unexpected or suspected values.

The communication protocol is via a mix of NB-IoT Networking guide, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G and optical fiber (with an experiment in 5G in the roadmap) and the sensors used to get all the data are:

• Weather Station
• Air pressure
• Air temperature
• Air humidity
• Luminosity
• Noise Level Sensor
• CO
• NO2
• O3
• Particle Matter
• Water pH
• Water ORP
• Water temperature

The project also provides a Control Room that, once fully operational, will allow interaction with all components of the city’s digital ecosystem, providing real-time multichannel info mobility services also for the benefit of the citizens (web, SMS, message panels).

This digital transformation also speeds up Messina’s neighbours access to public services through an open website and application that shows the same information as the Control Room.Following this open and transparent policy, data and interface are plenty accessible with a public API to enhance all the capabilities of the architecture.

This is complemented by constant communication with regional departments and other interested agencies. Additionally, MeSM@RT is integrated with the new Geographical Information System (GIS) of Messina Municipality and generally, in Messina IT environment and in the next milestone the intention is to integrate additional services, both existing (e.g. Civil Protection assets) and new (based on funding availability) and align with European and Italian standards in terms of official indicators.

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