Although Trento covers a relatively small area of c. 20,000 km2, with a total population of about 0.5 million inhabitants, its performance in innovation is remarkable. With 2.19% of its GDP invested in R&D, the city is for example well above the European average. Recently, Trento has even been ranked as the “world best practice” in the implementation of the concept of smart cities, beating cities such as …. Such outstanding track records would certainly not have been possible without the many reforms and programmes developed and implemented in Trento over the years. Clearly much work remains to be done. Yet, Trento’s leaders early efforts to trigger the digital transformation of their territory has certainly given the city a head start.
Contrarily to the situation in many other Italian cities, Trento’s leaders had already started a strategic planning path in 2000. Since then, they have continuously refined their vision of what “they want their city to become”. Starting from what has already been put in place and from what elements are relevant for making a city smart and digital, they have developed a vision that entails three key dimensions:
- the issue of achieving environmental and social sustainability;
- the ambition of transforming itself in an “immaterial factory”;
- the challenge of developing and promoting its territory and cultural heritage.