New Digital Platforms Versus the Old Urban Planning Process (in Italy) Under Initial Post-Pandemic Effects

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Cinzia Bellone, Fabio Naselli, Fabio Andreassi

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Smart City; Urban planning Italy; Governance 3.0; New Digital Platforms; Sentiment Analysis; Pandemic Urban Effects

Current acceleration in digital innovations, the unexpected challenges in our social interactions, open access to virtualization, huge limitation in our physical spaces, and unpredictable changes in our old lifestyles - as originated from the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020 - continue to provide us with a framework, rapidly updating under our eyes, of the modifications our world is undergoing by pursuing into the “new digital age”. Or, as many scholars say nowadays, into the new normal! These are shared and deep changes that, regardless of their permanence or temporariness in the time, concretely stress, ever more greatly, their “own” effects on how ideally a city should function. Forcing us to reflect on the real ability to achieve choices and visions for the future by taking vantage from the new digital platforms. In the pages of this article authors, through different eyes but sharing an early response to the matter of new Governance, explore the theme of a radical change of those already consolidated paradigms and, therefore, of the innovations that are transforming the way we understand our society and its technologic advancements, economics, and culture, as defined through dimensions of time and space. This article identifies a methodologic vision for acquiring a more democratic and participatory (inclusive) dimension in the newest configuration of contemporary cities, the new smart city, and in the possible innovations in reading the common sentiments and wishes through the new digitalized world. The analysis investigates how ICT is altering the meanings/ideas of “urban planning”, driving us toward a more effective “governance” through a citizen-centred digital approach. Indeed, city governance's success must be measured based on the “listening capacity” of the inhabitants and the facilities that we are capable to provide to citizens. “Sentiment Analysis” tool is tested as a useful tool to achieve these aims.

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