An interesting convention organized by the Calabrian bureau of Confagricoltura has recently taken place in Lamezia Terme. Its topics were the devising of new urban scenarios and the renewal of socio-economic territorial relations in accordance with the principles of modernity, integration, inclusiveness and sustainability. It was titled Smart land, a model of integrated development between urban and rural areas and chaired by the journalist Ugo Floro. The students from the Agraria Institute of Falerna (province of Catanzaro) were also present.
The underlying idea is the declination of the smart city concept from a territorial perspective: the smart land model is the new frontier in urban renewal and integrated territorial development. In simple words, a smart city is a city that distinguished itself for a high quality of life, where spaces are rationally organized and technology is time-saving, as it facilitates the access to services and improves the efficiency of the public transport system. On a territorial scale, we would be talking about a system whose pillars are a smart use of new technologies (the internet above all) and a functional network of social and economic forces. As doct. Paola Castello, the web editor of Confagricoltura as well as one of the speakers at the convention, pointed out, this would result in a situation where «more services would be offered and less resources would be consumed».
For this reason, whenever we mention smart cities or smart land, the issue of environmental sustainability (i.e. the idea of a green city ) should be automatically conjured up. When applied to agriculture, the model becomes a system based on the establishment of closer relations between the economic forces implied – as well as between them and the institutions – and on a rational, effective use of new technologies, which would contribute to the creation of a positive context for the industry’s development, the institution of innovative start-up companies and the introduction of cost-effective services.
In the specific case of Calabria, where a number of interesting and positive initiatives have been set up in the viticultural and agricultural industries, a smart system of territorial relations would constitute a good step forward towards their development on a larger, trans-regional scale.
During the convention, the public-private workshop AlforLab was presented, an initiative funded through the National Operation Programme for Research and Competitiveness 2007-2013, whose main promoter is the National Council for Research CNR – Mediterranean Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems of Rende (province of Cosenza).
Furthermore Giorgio Matteucci, the scientific coordinator of the project, made a report to illustrate its structure and operational aims. As he said: «the general objective of this project is the promotion of development and integration of new technologies, aimed at enhancing the environmental and forest recources of Calabria, and above all of wood, a highly environmental-friendly material. This line of action will be pursued by means of industrial research and experimental development through the whole process in which the production and distribution chain of wood is involved, from the phase of production to its transformation into energy and employment in nanotechnologies».
The remaining contributions were issued by: Walter Placida (Confagricoltura Catanzaro), Raffaele Maiorano (President of ANGA), Emilio Mastroianni (Smart land strategist), Giorgio Scarpelli (Società Nttdata), Alberto Statti (Head of Confagricoltura Calabria)