Italian Cities going green
Nine Italian cities have been invited to participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission.
The Cities Mission is part of the Horizon Europe program. It aims to support 100 European cities in achieving systemic climate neutrality by 2030.
Which cities are these, and how will they invest?
In recent days, the European Commission has announced the 100 EU cities that will participate in the Mission “100 smart and climate-neutral cities by 2030”, the so-called Cities Mission.
Bergamo, Milano, Torino, Bologna, Firenze, Prato, Padova, Parma, and Roma: these are the nine Italian cities chosen by the European Commission to become, by 2030, actual smart cities with zero climate impact.
Just after selection, cities will need to develop and sign Climate City Contracts (CCCs). To clarify, these contracts will include goals, targets, and strategies. Moreover, they will contain a roadmap for achieving the transition, as well as a list of involved stakeholders and responsibilities.
Therefore, cities will develop the contracts in collaboration with local governments and citizens, with the help of the international consortium NetZeroCities. Furthermore, the contracts will include specific goals and actions to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. In conclusion, they will be a genuine political commitment to the EU and its citizens, paving the way for a more inclusive, climate-resilient, and sustainable future.
Let’s look at the three main areas of action and the funding for this EU Mission. The actions under these calls will cover a wide range of topics, including climate-neutral urban planning and design, sustainable urban mobility, as well as positive and clean energy districts.
Sustainable urban mobility
First of all, the mobility revolution is probably the main challenge of the Mission. It delivers a visible result, solves the problem of traffic jams, sources of stress, and inefficiency, and fulfills the right of the citizens to live in clean and healthy cities.
Nevertheless, it requires to develop some knowledge, technologies and services:
- Carbon-free propulsion systems and new energy-efficient vehicles
- Mobility as a Service and a mobility purpose-oriented “societal sector coupling” regarding new service-oriented and carbon-neutral business models.
- Promotion of public transport and active modes of mobility
- Carbon-free energy ecosystems for transport (e.g. hydrogen, biogas, etc.)
- Smart multimodal and integrated transport systems and solutions
Climate-neutral urban planning and design
Moreover, a model for integrated urban planning and operations is another fundamental step of the mission. Approaching urban development and projects using an integrated urban system can result in solutions with efficient use of resources. It can also provide significant benefits for cities, their citizens, and the economy.
A common perspective on how to plan, build and run this integrated urban system still needs to be developed and implemented for all cities in Europe. In this case, the intersection of clean and sustainable urban mobility, near-zero or positive energy buildings and green energy production can be a starting point.
Clean energy district
On the other hand, to reach the full potential of energy efficiency – especially in the buildings sector – stakeholders should engage in actions. First of all, they should capitalize on the existing technologies, in particular those developed within the framework of Horizon 2020.
Moreover, they should identify the areas where cutting-edge solutions, such as smart digital technologies, and innovative and nature-based materials are still to be developed.
The Cities Mission will receive €360 million in funding from Horizon Europe for the period 2022-2023. The mission’s goal is to launch innovation pathways toward climate neutrality by 2030.
The selected Italian cities
In conclusion, the European Commission has chosen nine Italian cities to develop and sign Climate City Contracts. These contracts will outline specific goals and actions to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.
The selected cities will be financed by the Horizon Europe fund. They will be focusing on urban planning and design for climate-neutral cities, sustainable urban mobility, and positive and clean energy districts.