The City of Milan Deputy for Digital Transformation, Roberta Cocco, working in cooperation with Bloomberg Associates, has released an overview of the municipal projects that combine digital and social innovation.

The driving element is to empower Milanese residents so they can work towards the common objective of a more sustainable, inclusive, and digitally advanced city.

The Municipality has been working to make digital services more easily accessible, starting from vulnerable communities.

Overall the city administration’s approach has been to employ data analytics to put users at the center, in order to achieve digital inclusion and a sustainable local economy.

In particular, the Municipality and Bloomberg have positively considered five benchmark projects that advance the digital transformation of Milano, while improving equity and inclusion.

These are:


A model for analyzing the impacts of digital transformation: saving time, money, and carbon emissions

The model assesses benefits to citizens as well as to the Municipality itself. For individual residents, the ability to obtain city certificates digitally saved them 1 hour of travel each on average, while administration saved €1.2 million, while 49 tons of CO2 were not emitted in 2019 (equivalent to planting 3,266 trees). Digital services are not only improving quality of life for users, but are also contributing to bettering the environment across the city.


Bridging the gender gap in technical-scientific discipline

#STEMintheCity was born in 2017 with a very specific goal: to create events, projects and courses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects that could attract and stimulate the interest of girls and women. This was done by the Municipality of Milan in collaboration with external partners to promote gender equity and empower women living in Milano.

Held this year on April 21-22-23, in coordination with the STEM Month and International Girls in Information and Communications Technology Day, the current edition focuses on digital inclusion and sustainability.

Although women-friendly, these events and workshops are also meant to raise awareness among the general public, and encourage inclusion in science and technology, regardless of gender, ethnicity, industry or economic status.


Creating a complete picture of the natural and built urban environments through innovative mapping tools to improve resilience, save time, and money

The Municipality has developed a mapping tool that combines newly digitized information about the cables, pipes and other critical infrastructure that runs beneath the city’s streets and surface-level geospatial data about the built and natural environments.

The digitization of underground utility data is important to preventing serious damage and delay caused by excavation and construction works. It also enables the city administration to plan more effectively for the impacts of climate change and execute more efficiently public works.

Information about subterranean infrastructure was difficult to access for security reasons, because of the distributed ownership of services across many providers.

For any municipal excavation, to verify location information, a months-long paper-based process had to be conducted with over 40 entities.

Now the Municipality is collecting and digitizing all public and private data about the city underground and bringing it all together on a digital mapping tool, complete with layers of surface-level information.

Milan is among the first cities in the world to provide a complete digital picture of the urban dimension below ground.


Reusing city infrastructure to enhance digital services for all

The Municipality of Milan, on the trail of a pilot initiative developed for Expo 2015, has turned many news kiosks in physical hubs for online services to the citizenry.

Traditional newsstands around the city can now issue official vital records such as birth, death, residency and marriage certificates, something that before you could only do online or by going in person to the municipal offices of the Registry.

The Municipality reorganized all the city records and conducted research on most frequent requests to the Registry, as well as on which newsstands are already points of reference for Milano’s various neighborhoods.

In fact, newsstands have an important public value because they are seen as trustworthy information points and are within easy reach for all residents, especially the aged and vulnerable.


Building data-based digital solutions to bring city government and residents closer together

The app acts as a personal repository of citizens’ documents, ranging from vital records to voter registration cards.

In addition, it allows digital operations like scheduling in-person appointments, visualizing registry data for individuals and their families, downloading municipal certificates, reporting complaints and requesting assistance.

This two-way communication channel helps residents save time and money and frees up traditional channels, like the Municipality’s helpline (020202) for use by those without digital skills or access to digital services.

It also enables the Milanese to give feedback to and share ideas with the city administration to further improve services.