Using Crowdsourcing to Restore the Historical City Center of Mantova, Italy (Case Study)

The historical city center in Mantova, Italy, has been deteriorating for some time now. The buildings are not being properly maintained, and some of them are abandoned, despite the fact they are a cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. But the Municipality of Mantova is trying to fix things with an urban regeneration project, a coordinated set of urban, building, environmental, and socio-economic interventions aimed to reduce the degradation of specific urban areas.
 
Using Crowdsourcing to Restore the Historical City Center of Mantova, Italy
 
The project goal is to identify and
monitor the areas in need of regeneration, and also to define the actions that are required to reclaim buildings with a specific state of degradation. To carry out the project, the municipality opted-in for a crowdsourcing approach, so the Mantova citizens as well as various associations can work together.
 
To locate and then monitor the historical areas and sites, they needed a crowdsourcing solution that would enable collaboration between citizens, associations, and the local government. The municipality chose the GIS Cloud Crowdsourcing solution for smart cities to address these needs. Read more about the project and how they implemented the solution.
 
Explore the Mantova si Rigenera Crowdsourcing portal >>>

 

The Urban Regeneration Project – Mantova si Rigenera

The Mantova si Rigenera project, meaning ‘Mantova regenerates,’ is part of the Interreg Central Europe initiative (BhENEFIT) endorsed by the European Union to foster inter-regional collaboration. As mentioned in the introduction, the project aims to regenerate and reclaim the historical city center of Mantova with coordinated interventions in specific urban areas. They needed an interactive map to track and coordinate the interventions to historical heritage sites.
 

The greatest challenge was to get data from people with no technical knowledge and ensure that they can read the data already provided by other users. The Crowdsourcing app is really easy to use and that’s what helped us overcome this challenge.

Sofia Salardi, Project Manager

 
The idea was to gather the data about the state of historical heritage and cross analyze it with the data collected by the Mantova citizens. Various associations collected the base data to create an interactive map that was open to the public via the crowdsourcing web app
 
.Using Crowdsourcing to Restore the Historical City Center of Mantova, Italy
 
Associations gathered a lot of data about the status of historical heritage to create the interactive map:

  • Building conditions: field surveys on city center HBA buildings (public and private) collecting information about the level of usage, ground floor usage and building predominant use (residential, business, commercial, …), facades level of conservation, presence of abandoned or unfinished building sites, construction codification data;
  • Basic data about building use;
  • Services and facilities (use of objects within the land-use plan);
  • Tourism impact (visits, permanence, accommodation);
  • Data about inhabitants;
  • Public space costs.

 
The citizens would use the app to select a location of a damaged historical site and fill out a questionnaire to give their opinion and also to upload photos. That way, the Mantova officials could see first hand how the citizens perceive the damaged historical sites. Here’s an example of a questionnaire in the crowdsourcing app.
 
Using Crowdsourcing to Restore the Historical City Center of Mantova, Italy
 
The data gathered by the associations was used for correlation with the data citizens would collect with the crowdsourcing web app, so the municipality officials could determine the areas that needed restoration the most.

 

Setting Up the GIS Cloud Crowdsourcing Project

The Mantova si Rigenera officials created a crowdsourcing project in just a couple of days with a little help from the GIS Cloud support team. Here are the steps necessary to launch a GIS Cloud Crowdsourcing project and a quick overview of the most essential features.
 

Creating A Crowdsourcing Project

It all starts with creating a questionnaire (submission form). Project managers can create a questionnaire by themselves or ask the support team to do it for them. The next step is to create a web application, which is done by the GIS Cloud developer team. Mantova officials contacted the GIS Cloud team and sent the necessary information (name, artwork and branding requirements, logo, color, custom button labels, etc.). In a few days, they had a Mantova si Rigenera Crowdsourcing Portal up and running online.
 

Sending a Questionnaire Submission

The Mantova citizens would need to open the crowdsourcing portal pinpoint the location of a historical building, and fill out the questionnaire. The data citizens sent didn’t immediately appear on the map because the project administrator needed to approve the submission in the Web Admin App.
 

Managing Submissions

The incoming submissions populate the map in the Web Admin App. The symbols represent the status or the approval state of a submitted issue. The red ones are not approved for public access/viewing, the orange are in progress, and the green ones are completed. You can edit the submissions by clicking on the symbol or by opening the submissions table (data grid).
 
Using Crowdsourcing to Restore the Historical City Center of Mantova, Italy Web Admin App interface with an example from the Smart City Apps for Utilities article.
 
Aside from managing submissions, the Mantova officials used the admin app to:

  • Share crowdsourcing projects with coworkers 
  • Assign levels of access for each coworker (view, edit, share and export)
  • Create comprehensive reports
  • Export data to CSV
  • Open the data in Map Editor and Map Viewer

 
The statistics tool is also a part of the admin app. It was used to get info on the number of submissions in a time frame, the submission approval rate, and the status rate.

 

The Results and Future Plans

The project was able to get data from atypical GIS users, the citizens of Mantova, and the non-technical personnel from various associations. Their contribution allowed the Mantova officials to analyze the municipality’s urban regeneration strategy taking into account different perspectives. The Mantova officials are planning to continue collecting data and analyzing it further.
 
All of the data is easily accessible on the Mantova si Rigenera Crowdsourcing portal.
 

We chose the GIS Cloud Crowdsourcing because we were looking for a smart and user-friendly solution. The target of the project are citizens/associations etc. with no technical knowledge about GIS, for those reasons we needed a solution that’s really easy to use.

Sofia Salardi, Project Manager

 
Interested in the GIS Cloud Crowdsourcing? Contact our sales consultants, they’ll be more than happy to give you a live demo.