New Prato:
Innovation insight

Elena Palmisano

The researcher of the month is Elena Palmisano, engineer and operational manager of the “Telematic Services and Smart City” Laboratory.
We talked with her about the development of technological services, digital agenda, smart city and the way in which the laboratory supports the Municipality of Prato on these issues. Let's see what he told us.

(Q) Elena, can you tell us about your career path?
(A) Sure! I graduated in civil engineering from the University of Florence where I also obtained a doctorate in technologies and methods for environmental monitoring. Today I am operational manager of the PIN Laboratory "Telematic services and smart city" for which I deal with issues related to technological development in particular for the public administration.

How long have you been working with the PIN?
In fact, I can say that I was among the first researchers to have opened the door of the PIN.

Professors Giuli, Becchi, Federici and Carnevale were the ones who had the idea of creating this important link between the productive fabric of Prato and the University of Florence.
So we opened the laboratory that originally dealt with Meteorology Radar.

A laboratory that has been active for so long ... I think that the great strength of your team has also been that of knowing how to adapt to the epochal changes of the last 20 years.
It's true. With the development of the Internet we have specialized in telematic services, supporting the Municipality of Prato in this process. I want to remind you that Prato was one of the first administrations in Italy to create an IT infrastructure, transferring a whole range of services online. I think that, on these issues, Prato has a truly significant experience on the Italian scene. There has always been both an important attention to the enhancement of one's experiences, and the curiosity and desire to investigate and experiment to design new ones.

In recent years you have worked on many projects that have directly involved the city. Can you tell us about the smart city plan?
The smart city plan is an operational tool developed for the Municipality of Prato in which actions based on information and communication technologies are identified for the development of the city and the improvement of the quality of life of citizens, namely smart living. On a practical level, we have designed transversal activities and actions (from the implementation of infrastructures to that of skills) for the development of various sectors, such as tourism, culture and transport.
We also got there through the active involvement of citizens and the various subjects operating in the city, such as the utilities that manage public services (water, transport, gas, etc.) that we encountered in the "Smart living lab" formula , guided meetings that had the aim of bringing out critical issues, ideas and needs. For the cultural sector that I have just mentioned, for example, we involved the Textile Museum, the Pecci Museum, the "Città di Prato" Instrumental Chamber and the Metastasio Theater to understand how technology could help these important realities of our territory to create a system.
Our goal is to collaborate with the Municipality of Prato to identify the technological tools that the city and people need to improve and live in a smarter way.
With my colleague Sara Naldoni we are then working on the development of the digital agenda of the Municipality of Prato.

What is meant by a digital agenda?
The digital agenda is a document that administrations must provide by law which contains strategies to make their services increasingly accessible digitally (for example, the registry office or social services).