Postal service company Poste Italiane plans to transform 7,000 post offices in small towns into digital one-stop shops that will be open 24 hours a day.
The Polis project aims to give access to public administration services in 7,000 communities with fewer than 15,000 inhabitants. In addition to postal, banking, logistical, insurance and telecommunications services, citizens will be able to request registry and civil status certificates, electronic identity cards, passports, tax codes for births, social security and judicial certificates and a variety of other services. With Polis, citizens will be able to use totems and ATMs operating seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Polis will also contribute to increased energy efficiency and green mobility by installing 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations and 1,000 photovoltaic installations. Poste Italiane will also launch the ‘Spaces for Italy’ initiative, which will result in the establishment of 250 smart, interconnected sites generated from the valorization of company-owned buildings.
Polis was approved by Decree Law 59/2021 and funded with €800m (US$871m) from the National Plan for Complementary Investments to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The renovation and technological upgrading of post offices began immediately after the European Commission gave its approval at the end of October 2022. The company has since completed 40 post offices and opened 230 work sites. By the end of 2023, it is expected that renovation works will have begun on 1,500 new Polis offices.
Maria Bianca Farina, the president of Poste Italiane, stated, “With Polis, we want to continue to offer support to Italy by accompanying its transformation. Nobody understands and lives the country like we do at Poste Italiane, bolstered by our century-long experience and optimism for the future. Polis is aimed at communities that represent most of the national territory, full of life, of excellence, but which over time have lost population, strength and wealth. Poste Italiane will help to bridge the significant infrastructure gap between cities and small towns by providing necessary services with the goal of increasing citizens’ quality of life.”
Matteo Del Fante, CEO of Poste Italiane, explained, “The Polis project was developed to ensure that 16,000,000 Italians living in communities with fewer than 15,000 inhabitants have equal access to the many services provided by the public administration, bringing them closer to the state. Polis aims to simplify the lives of those citizens, minimizing their inconvenience thanks to Poste Italiane’s digital solutions available in post offices. Its implementation also helps to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. Poste Italiane has been able to create value in recent years through an inclusive approach that has delivered increasingly advanced services to a growing number of people, and Polis is its inevitable continuation.”
Giuseppe Lasco, co-general manager of Poste Italiane, said, “Polis is the tool with which Poste Italiane may confirm its mission as a system company supporting the economic development, cohesion and social solidarity of the country. I would like to express my gratitude for a project that is now fully operational as a result of recent initiatives. Polis is a project for the country, which is becoming a reality thanks to the commitment of all Poste Italiane employees and the project’s virtuous collaboration with the involved institutions.”