Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), through wireless communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm, are the enabling keys for transforming traditional cities into smart cities, since they provide the core infrastructure behind public utilities and services. However, to be effective, IoT-based services could require different technologies and network topologies, even when addressing the same urban scenario. In this paper, we highlight this aspect and present two smart city testbeds developed in Italy. The first one concerns a smart infrastructure for public lighting and relies on a heterogeneous network using the IEEE 802.15.4 short-range communication technology, whereas the second one addresses smart-building applications and is based on the LoRa low-rate, long-range communication technology. The smart lighting scenario is discussed providing the technical details and the economic benefits of a large-scale (around 3000 light poles) flexible and modular implementation of a public lighting infrastructure, while the smart-building testbed is investigated, through measurement campaigns and simulations, assessing the coverage and the performance of the LoRa technology in a real urban scenario. Results show that a proper parameter setting is needed to cover large urban areas while maintaining the airtime sufficiently low to keep packet losses at satisfactory levels.
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