The wide-spread adoption of the Smart City concept has introduced a new era of computing paradigm with opportunities for city administrators and stakeholders in various sectors to re-think the concept of urbanization and development of healthy cities. With the world population rapidly becoming urban-centric especially amongst the emerging economies, social innovation will assist greatly in deploying emerging technologies to address the development challenges in core sectors of the future cities. In this context, sustainable health-care delivery and improved quality of life of the people is considered at the heart of the healthy city agenda. This paper examines the Boston innovation landscape from the perspective of smart services and innovation ecosystem for sustainable development, especially in transportation and healthcare. It investigates the policy implementation process of the Healthy City agenda and eHealth economy innovation based on the experience of Massachusetts’s City of Boston initiatives. For this purpose, three emerging areas are emphasized, namely the eHealth concept, the innovation hubs, and the emerging technologies that drive innovation. This was carried out through empirical analysis on results of public sector and industry-wide interviews/survey about Boston’s current initiatives and the enabling environment. The paper highlights few potential research directions for service integration and social innovation for deploying emerging technologies in the healthy city agenda. The study therefore suggests the need to prioritize social innovation as an overarching strategy to build sustainable Smart Cities in order to avoid technology lock-in. Finally, it concludes that the Boston example of innovation economy is unique in view of the existing platforms for innovation and proper understanding of its dynamics, which is imperative in building smart and healthy cities where quality of life of the citizenry can be improved.
The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.
The shared goal of social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and social innovation is the advancement of society. The business model of social enterprises is characterized by unique strategies based on the competencies of the entrepreneurs, and is not aimed primarily at the maximization of profits, but rather at carrying out goals for the benefit of society. Corporate social responsibility refers to the active behavior of a company, by which it can create new solutions to meet the needs of society, either on its own or in cooperation with other social stakeholders. The objectives of this article are to define concepts, describe and integrate relevant theoretical models, develop a model and introduce some examples of international practice that can inspire initiatives for social development.
At the Savonia University of Applied Sciences (UAS), curriculum and studies have been improved by applying an Open Innovation Space approach (OIS). It is based on multidisciplinary action learning. The key elements of OIS-ideology are work-life orientation, and student-centric communal learning. In this approach, every participant can learn from each other and innovations will be created. In this social innovation educational approach, all practices are carried out in close collaboration with enterprises in real-life settings, not in classrooms. As an example, in this paper, Savonia UAS’s Future Food RDI hub (FF) shows how OIS practices are implemented by providing food product development and consumer research services for enterprises in close collaboration with academicians, students and consumers. In particular one example of OIS experimentation in the field is provided by a consumer research carried out utilizing verbal analysis protocol combined with audiovisual observation (VAP-WAVO). In this case, all co-learners were acting together in supermarket settings to collect the relevant data for a product development and the marketing department of a company. The company benefitted from the results obtained, students were more satisfied with their studies, educators and academicians were able to obtain good evidence for further collaboration as well as renewing curriculum contents based on the requirements of working life. In addition, society will benefit over time as young university adults find careers more easily through their OIS related food science studies. Also this knowledge interaction model re-news education practices and brings working-life closer to educational research institutes.
Design, as an area of knowledge, is subject to changes that affect it through different approaches, both theoretical and practical; its include matters related with responsibility, environment, social worries, and things alike. Commensurately, such contemporary aspects open room for social initiatives. This scenario begins to be looked at, especially in creative communities. Such proposal for a systemic approach of design is seen as a way to involve the stakeholders in the processes of investigation and of social innovation, which can decisively contribute for the development of traditional local communities. As a theoretical basis for the research, this paper outlines some especial features of design and social innovation, in their particular and in their complementary aspects, as well as in the way they relate with each other.