Summary of the Viabile model
Urban roads have always represented a cost for the relevant Local Governments. It need not be so: roads, when correctly monitored and managed, can become a resource for the Local Governments.
A new opportunity that can be seized by implementing a structured management model, encompassing maintenance, survey, formalisation and collection of the potential revenues that the road can generate and that transforms a section of urban road into an economic resource that can be used to meet the needs of the citizens-consumers and the structural and economic requirements of the community.
The strength of the Viabile model developed by Romeo Gestioni lies in its simplicity: leveraging the knowledge of the roads to formalise and manage them through a Control Room that integrates all the services.
Romeo Gestioni successfully implemented this model in managing complex geographic areas.
In this case, knowledge means surveying the roads, identifying and recording every element on the streets or the sidewalks. During a few months we map all the roads of an urban area using specially-equipped vehicles, acquiring millions of data points on every square centimetre of the surface. We accomplish this using laser equipment with infrared and conventional cameras that take three photos in three different directions every 10 seconds. The photos are later analysed one by one to create a data base with millions of georeferenced data points, i.e. accurately located on the map, thanks to constantly connected devices (in the case of Rome, the data base contains 50 million data points collected by 9 connected satellites).
But the roads evolve as if they were alive, and the data points need to be updated: every day and night a fleet of cars proportionate to the size of the network managed cover all the roads, patrolling and automatically reporting any apparent anomaly, while another vehicle drives around at night to detect what is not visible to the eye using infrared cameras.
Formalisation and Management
Formalisation means ensuring compliance with regulations by carrying out extraordinary maintenance work and without disrupting the city's traffic, thanks to already planned innovative techniques.
Management means leveraging the knowledge acquired to plan ordinary and extraordinary maintenance, to deploy emergency response teams 24/7, and to coordinate the operations of public service providers, who often need to dig holes in the roads.
At last, a form of coordination in an area that has always lacked it, because, while in the past we did not have the necessary "knowledge", now it is possible to plan ahead. This means "promoting" the roads, consistently with the relentless transformation of the city, requiring to integrate modernity and history, as well as economic considerations and the quality of life, in the best possible way.
A challenge that Romeo Gestioni accepted and succeeded in, managing the roads under concession using the innovative Viabile model.
The innovative model and the methodological approach
The methodological approach adopted consists in the adaptation of the classic principle of quality management manuals, "plan, do, check, act", updated by introducing planning techniques based on historical data about the length of interventions, swift execution causing minimal disruption to the citizens, and innovative techniques for measuring results (not just the tangible ones) based on objective measurements, and therefore on verifiable parameters, such as the traction coefficient and carrying capacity.
The continuous measurement of the overall characteristics of the roads' surface and structure following the interventions ensures the network remains in good working order, and generally prevent driving comfort from deteriorating—including by means of appropriate corrective actions—, thus improving safety.
Romeo Gestioni set up a Control Room to manage in an integrated manner all the aspects of the road network under concession. The Control Room performed call centre activities using an operations control centre available 24/7.
The purpose of the Control Room is to perform the following activities:
The Control Room is also responsible for planning, supervising and coordinating ordinary maintenance and restoration works on the roads.
All operational teams are constantly tracked using the TIGER Viabile IT system that, through GPS technology, allows to accurately locate each maintenance operation in real time.
The operational teams carry out continuous surveillance and emergency response operations on the road: the 24/7 emergency response operations, as well as scheduled and on-request maintenance, are constantly carried out across the whole area every day of the year to resolve and report any critical situations and maintaining the roads in good working order.
Ordinary maintenance is carried out according to a work schedule. The Concessionaire prioritises work based on the overall deterioration of the assets as well as reports from the operational surveillance teams, municipal police stations, municipal and departmental offices, the national civil protection service, and citizens through a 24/7 toll-free number (a dedicated call centre) or alternatively by fax or e-mail.
Assessing the deterioration and risk indicators for the area, calculated using state-of-the-art techniques specifically designed for the urban setting, is crucial.
This may result in ordinary and extraordinary maintenance which, in the case of urban roads, consists in restructuring and restoring the existing network (sidewalks, driveways, signs, safety barriers, drain systems, etc.) in coordination with the Local Government.