There is a lot of talk these days about digitization. One of the highlights of the Next Generation Plan is precisely centered on this activity. It is almost impossible to define all the fields of application.
The public administration, the justice system, the data transmission and storage network, the energy that this network will absorb, the financial intermediaries who, in managing and facilitating the finance necessary for the development of innovation, generate in turn data that must necessarily being digital are just some of the fields in which this phenomenon will have an effect.
But what do all these aspects have in common of a phenomenon that today has government funding and support?
Digitizing means transforming physical documents and events into virtual documents and events.
Let’s take the example of administrative justice (which as an urban planner lawyer is closer to me than other, no less important, branches of law).
In this year of pandemic, we have had video conference hearings, we have notified and filed documents via PEC, lawsuits have been decided, ordinances and sentences have been placed, without any of the protagonists taking a taxi, a bus or a subway to go to Court.
The whole huge mass of data forms the so-called “big data” where, with the work of human and artificial resources, the data is merged, classified, organized and, finally, sold.
A derivative of digitization becomes a product that the market is greedy for. Those who, in the face of our online search for a product, offer us similar or complementary goods for months are well aware of this. However, this applies to recent, current or future data.
However, the gigantic wealth of data from a less recent past remains lying in boxes, in a warehouse or in the most inaccessible places of public and private offices. Yet the past is not indifferent to our legal, patrimonial and productive life. Titles, authorizations, opinions, correspondence, petitions, provisions, contracts, judicial documents, appraisals and real estate documents in general lie in those archives and jam procedures and transactions. A gigantic mass of documents that should be transformed into files (with a scanner) and analyzed, synthesized and stored in the current electronic address.
A process that is now possible through the use of artificial intelligence.
I helped form an innovative start-up that operates on real estate documents. To find out more, visit the REDD profile (http://www.realestatedocumentsdata.com)
But the problem is not resolved definitively, if the data and its address do not become unchangeable and if each new data does not automatically create a link with the previous data in the general archive. Hence the necessary and essential use of the blockchain, which must not lead to the production of a digital currency (many in fact think that blockchain and Bitcoin are more or less the same thing).
It is not so. It is applied itself to ensure that the address (name of the file or folder) does not come and that all data that alters the legal situations of the subjects or objects represented in the document will be registered and linked to the document.
So let’s imagine a municipality that intends to archive all building practices digitally, have them read by the artificial intelligence that stores them indicating the most relevant data, apply an archiving system that links all subsequent titles and documents to the previous ones – an access to the factory deeds will thus be processed within the day, and the documents will always be updated and unchangeable.
Fantasy? No. A municipality in the Viterbo area has in fact started the experimentation process and will soon be in a position to evaluate times and costs, to promptly keep the process in its entire archive, promptly requesting the government funds that will be made available.
Another example is that of a financial intermediary who has to underestimate 15,000 technical advice and real estate documents, partly digitally and partly in paper, then extrapolating vital information. It will do this through ORGANIZEREDD, an artificial intelligence application from our innovative start-up.
THE LAZIO REGION, THE PTPR AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The Regional Landscape Territorial Plan (PTPR) is an act of urban planning and environmental planning required by law which, in the Lazio region, has had a very troubled life.
Since 1998 an attempt has been made to collect all the forecasts of the Provincial Territorial Landscape Plans (PTP) in a single document which, from 2008 (the year of adoption of the PTPR) and until 2019 has remained “in safeguard”.
When the Region finally approved the PTPR, it did it male (according to the Constitutional Court) because it did not share the contents with the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage (MiBAC). The resolutions of instructions to the Municipalities after the cancellation of the Council were also canceled by the Regional Administrative Court.
Within a few years, therefore, the Constitutional Court reminded the Lazio Region quite more that environmental protection is a delicate matter for which legislative power must be shared with the state. The Court had already annulled for the same reasons a regional law on the liberation from civic uses.
That the confusion is total is certain! However, I believe that it is good to show politicians and regional officials the way to a solution to the Region, rather than stigmatizing its faults.
To expose any responsibility for political and operational failures, the political opposition must think about it.
We “technicians”, to be constructive, must give the power manager the solutions we deem most appropriate. If they welcome them, let them take the credit, we don’t have to be elected anyway! If they reject them, we can say “we told you so!”.
In the case of the PTPR, in consideration of the trend of zero land consumption, I would suggest that everything that is (or has been) the subject of approved implementation planning (even if not partially or fully realized) and the whole brownfield sector (urban regeneration) must be subject to an accelerated EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) procedure (max 60 days, otherwise consent is formed). The procedure is managed only electronically by an autonomous and dedicated structure.
Extensions are allowed, within the limits of regional legislation on urban regeneration and new infrastructures.
During the EIA procedure, any discrepancies between the intervention and the PTPR adopted must be taken into account, with the possibility of exceeding the PTPR forecast with stringent reasons. Everything that is greenfield (new developments), regardless of where the land is located, cannot be built until the approval of the PTPR. The function of the Region would be enhanced and it can be demonstrated that the experience and capacity of regional officials are put at the service of an effective power of guidance and direction in a delicate sector that is experiencing the contrast between the need to restart the economy of the country, not hindering too much the operators who intend to invest their resources in the region, and the need to safeguard environmental values.
By combining the EIA and verification of compatibility procedures with the provisions and guiding principles of the PTPR, the Regional Legislator could achieve the purpose and demonstrate that the mistakes of the past have now been transformed into an opportunity.