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Smart City Observatory

The Smart City Observatory was established in 2018 as a joint initiative of GREEN - Centre for Research in Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks - and “A. Sraffa” Legal Studies Department. The Observatory focuses on the policy and legal issues arising from the emergence, development and governance of Smart Cities. 



Aim & scope

The Smart City Observatory of Bocconi University conducts research on the smart development of urban infrastructures, services and communities, through a structured activity of study, communication, training and interdisciplinary dissemination of results. Its activities aim to:

  • support the diffusion of a smart development of urban systems;
  • assess the conditions and the technological, infrastructural, economic and social enabling factors of smart cities;
  • suggest a legal and regulatory framework incentivising smart cities and smart applications;
  • identify the requirements and key features to characterize systems, products and services as “smart”;
  • analyse the regulatory policies and instruments that can stimulate and guide a smart urban development;
  • evaluate the socio-economic and environmental benefits associated with smart applications.

The research scope of the Observatory concerns the managerial, technological and financial areas of smart cities, with reference to the construction, energy, transport, ICT and materials sectors.



  • In-depth studies on key smart city topics, performed through literature reviews, periodic surveys and focused research;
  • Group work involving the observatory participants, aimed to develop new approaches and strengthen the existing know-how through good practice exchange;
  • Dialogue and discussion among the observatory participants, fueling the debate on the future prospects of smart cities, with the aim to develop innovative proposals, define position papers and promote the development and improvement of policies and tools for smart cities;
  • Organization of regular meetings and seminars reserved to the members of the Observatory, as well as dissemination events aimed at a wider audience.



The activities of the Smart City Observatory originated from the work published with the book “La prossima città”, edited by Prof. Ferrari and with contributions from several experts in the smart city field. The series has continued with the following volumes, always edited by Prof. Ferrari: 

  • "Smart City: l'evoluzione di un'idea" (2020)
  • "Le smart cities al tempo della resilienza" (2021) 
  • "Innovazione e sostenibilità per il futuro delle smart cities" (2023) 

Since 2018, the Smart City Observatory organized the following events:


For updates about next events organized by the Smart City Observatory, please subscribe to the Observatory newsletter by contacting the Observatory or consult the “News & events” section of the Website.


Newsletter Year 1 - Number 1 (May 2019)

Newsletter Year 1 - Number 2 (October 2019)

Newsletter Year 2 - Number 3 (May 2020)

Newsletter Year 2 - Number 4 (October 2020)

Newsletter Year 3 - Number 5 (April 2021)

Newsletter Year 3 - Number 6 (December 2021)

Newsletter Year 4 - Number 7 (November 2022)

Newsletter Year 5 - Number 8 (September 2023)





The Smart City Observatory is supported by the following organizations:

  • A2A Calore e Servizi
  • Aeroporti di Roma
  • ANCE — Associazione Nazionale Costruttori Edili
  • Assoedilizia
  • CONAI — Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi       
  • Edison
  • Engie Italia
  • Euromilano
  • Gruppo CAP
  • Melody srl
  • Meridiana Italia
  • MM – Metropolitana Milanese
  • SO.GE.M.I - Foody
  • Trenord

The Smart City Observatory is open to further adhesions by interested organizations.


For information and adhesions, please contact: