WIT Press

Insula: Urban Maintenance System


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WIT Press


R. Todaro


Insula is a public limited company set up by the Venice City Council in 1997. The Council has 52% of the share capital, the four underground utility companies having equal 12% shares. Insula’s task is maintenance of this city on the lagoon: it has to dredge canals so that the waterways remain navigable, restore bridges and raise pavements to allow pedestrian passage even at high tide, repair embankments to ensure the stability of buildings, keep the sewer system running to provide the best possible sanitary conditions and renew and complete the underground service grids (water, electricity, gas and telephones). Insula has equipped itself with a geographical management system to run and control the maintenance process: a set-up based on the city features (canals, embankments, pavements, buildings, etc.) identifies the various elements, roles, rules and actions, applying them to the geographical information system. The heart of the system is the organisation of geographical information levels in a database engine, which not only finds references in accordance with the principles that have been established for it, but ensures simultaneous accessibility and editing for users with different roles in various parts of the area covered, thus ensuring the solidity of the database. In accordance with the same principle, application instruments have been designed according to a weborientated logic. This allows the information and instruments to be shared among different categories of operator, such as the authorities, citizens, the company and third parties. The planning, design and execution processes of the maintenance works are managed by dedicated applications. Taken from the basic map, the geographical features involved in the work are designed, and thus the general characteristics of the job and the details of each single element in the planning of the area as a whole are identified. In the planning and design of underground works, the management and geographical system provides a working level for cooperation among the different bodies concerned, making detailed information available regarding underground service systems and the planning of the work to be done on an area basis. The execution of maintenance works is supervised by on-line collaboration among the site engineer, the job manager and the authorities. Keywords: maintenance, to dredge canals, waterways, bridges, high tide, embankments, sewer system.


maintenance, to dredge canals, waterways, bridges, high tide, embankments, sewer system.