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Nardella to Italian cities: set ambitious goals on environment

15 July 2021

By cooperating with Europe-wide initiatives to set more ambitious environmental targets, Italian cities could be frontrunners towards a greener and healthier Europe and improve Europeans’ quality of life, Eurocities President Dario Nardella has said.

Nardella, also the mayor of Florence, encouraged a group of Italian cities to join forces towards common sustainable and ambitious targets for cities and communities by signing up to initiatives such as the European Commission’s Green City Accord.

“I want to encourage other cities, especially Italian cities, to sign the Accord, a new initiative to leverage political leadership. We can share our objectives, ambitious results and inspire each other,” Nardella said.

“When we join forces and work on common objectives, we make a difference and generate significant impact. By signing the Accord, we can trigger the same effect by pursuing ambitious environmental policies for our cities, real agents of change, and for Europe. We can accelerate the implementation of the relevant environmental laws of the European Union,” the Mayor added.

Extra commitment for the planet

Florence’s city council approved the city’s decision to join the Accord in June, joining 57 other cities in 12 different countries in setting more ambitious targets to protect the environment in five key areas: improving air and water quality, preserving and improving urban biodiversity, moving towards a circular economy, improving waste management, and reducing noise pollution.

“These elements are essential to the well-being of citizens,” Nardella told the representatives of 33 Italian municipalities.

Cities are expected to set baseline levels in these focus areas and then set targets that go beyond minimum EU legal requirements within two years of signing of the Accord. They will then report on their progress every three years and are expected to meet their targets in nine years’ time.

In Italy, many signatory cities are already making significant progress in tackling environmental issues. Florence, for its part, has established ‘quiet areas’ to tackle noise pollution. The city will identify and define parts of the city that will be turned into quiet urban spaces for citizens and visitors alike to escape from the noises associated with urban life.

Italian cities innovating

Florence joins other Italian cities in tackling issues in the priority areas. Arezzo, for example, is embarking upon a journey to become a zero-waste municipality, by upgrading its waste recovery plant in San Zeno.

Cesena, for its part, is looking to reduce air and noise pollution with a mobility plan that will promote a shift towards sustainable and active transport and improve electric vehicle infrastructure and vehicle fleets.

If you want to learn more about the Green City Accord, visit the initiative’s website.

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Fraser Moore Eurocities Writer

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