Smart cities: a modern way of satisfying human’s fundamental needs (and protecting the environment) through efficiency and participation

Nearly 66% of the world’s population is projected to be urban by 2050; this means that the urban context will become more and more relevant for the decisions to be taken concerning economic and demographic growth, the protection of the environment and the very survival of the world.The urban context will also become the place in which the majority of the people will live their lives and try to satisfy their needs.
The term “smart cities” refers to a new model of imagining and planning the cities of the future based on the idea of the spreading of digital technologies among people and on the integration of different urban policies (such as transport policies or waste management) in order to better guarantee access to public facilities and to increase the sustainability of the urban life.It’s a new paradigm which, in order to be effective, requires the definition of innovative governance frameworks through the improvement of the interaction between public decision-makers and people.

Technology and digital platforms in the new society: opportunities and criticalities for law and democracy

Digital and technological development, as a crucial way to boost economic growth and life quality, gained a central role in public strategies at every governance level.This “digital revolution” can though raise several problems regarding the role of law: it’s difficult to keep technological progress and cultural/social planning together due to the huge speed of changes, and unprecedented challenges are posed both by new rights and new sources of law to harmonise with traditional categories.The raised importance of new communication and information methods like digital platforms, moreover, can conflict with some of the «Constitutional State» pillars such as democratic debate and transparency, being those tools strongly based on non-neutral processes or obscure policies and rules.This framework shows how sovereignty has today gained a technical nature, posing difficult challenges in order to boost technological opportunities preventing, at the same time, the advent of new inequalities.

Economic powers and fundamental rights in the digital society. Antitrust vs. Facebook: a comparative perspective

The Italian Council of State has recently defined the Italian scenario in the framework of the global clash between Facebook and the Antitrust Authorities.
According to the judges, “the rules on the protection of privacy and the Consumer Code have different and not conflicting operational areas” and, therefore, the penalty system provided by the two regulations is not overlapping, but must, rather, be considered integrated.
However, the basic question remains: do personal data fall within the sphere of the fundamental rights of the human being or can we consider them as commodities and, therefore, fully subject to commercial exchange?
On this point, we are waiting for the intervention of the Court of Justice of the European Union, to which the Oberlandesgericht of Düsseldorf referred a similar issue, originating from a parallel legal battle between Facebook and the German Antitrust Authority.
While the Italian case was ending, the European one began.

Building a sustainable world: 5G and advanced connectivity for the energy transition

The debate regarding the 5G development, implementation and disruptiveness is gathering growing attention. This new mobile infrastructure will provide the basis for digitization in many areas of our lives, hence influencing a broad spectrum of sectors.Whether it is home education, working remotely, online health care or streaming content, Europe needs expansive high-quality connectivity to ensure social equity and a non-distortive innovation platform for carbon-neutral growth. On March 2021 the European Commission presented the Digital Compass for the transformation of Europe by 2030. The EU's ambition is to be digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world, and to pursue digital policies that empower people and businesses to seize a human centred, sustainable and more prosperous digital future. The challenge ahead of the Union is now how to transform the ambitious climate-digital agenda into efficient legal and economic instruments ‘in a fair way, leaving no one behind’.