Poste Italiane’s new Polis project, whose proposing party is the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, was officially launched earlier this year. It aims to improve digital inclusion for around 16 million citizens across Italy to ensure “no one gets left behind,” as the country continues to accelerate its digital transformation.The project, which meets targets of UN Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequalities, is divided into three pillars.
The first one, “Sportello Unico”, will give Italian citizens residing in almost 7,000 municipalities, with less than 15,000 inhabitants, the opportunity to be equipped with a multifunctional post office to easily use public and postal services, round the clock. Work on the project began in 2022 and is due to be completed in 2026.
This project pillar will support the development of a better relationship between citizens and the public administration, by providing citizens with a single access point right in the areas where, traditionally, digital services have been less used compared to other areas in Italy.
To develop the “access points” Poste Italiane will transform its post offices into hubs for physical and digital services. These hubs will offer self-service stations for the use of public utilities, evolved ATMs, lockers for the 24-hour use of mail and parcel services, e-commerce, as well as interactive information screens for communication with citizens, and ultra-fast fiber connections. Post offices will be equipped with photovoltaic systems, smart building systems, and environmental monitoring sensors, while many outdoor spaces that were not used by post offices will be adapted to host cultural, health and wellness initiatives. Moreover, to support the delivery of public services in a multi-channel mode, a special IT platform is also being developed.
The second pillar, “Spazi per l’Italia”, will see the creation of around 250 new shared workspaces throughout the country, some of which will be established in historical buildings.
Poste Italiane will offer the largest network of capillary, digitized co-working spaces, accessible at reduced rates. Eighty of these spaces will be installed in the selected municipalities where the new multifunctional post offices, part of “Sportello Unico”, will be made available. These spaces will provide more than 10,000 workstations overall.
The third project component will see the installation of around 5,000 electric vehicle-charging stations.
To conclude, Polis aims to accelerate the country's digital transformation, thanks to an inclusive strategy that Poste Italiane has already been implementing for several years, by providing an increasingly advanced type of services to a growing number of people. In Italy, 6 million people out of those living in the smallest villages are over 65. This demographic often finds it harder than others to obtain even a simple certificate. With Polis, it will be possible to guarantee citizens in those municipalities tangible help and a rich suite of services that will save them time and money.