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Siena z01.JPG

Sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Initiatives by topic[edit | edit source]

Arts, sport and culture[edit | edit source]

Social Street Italia

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:LIPU, the Lega italiana protezione uccelli (En. “Italian League for Bird Protection”) is an Italian charitable organisation, founded in 1965 and devoted to the protection of the country’s wildlife with a particular focus on birds. It has a membership of 42,000 and is the Italian partner of Birdlife International.

Coasts[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:Conservatoria delle Coste (Coastal conservation agency) (official name: Conservatoria delle Coste della Sardegna in Italian, Conservatoria de sas Costeras de sa Sardigna in Sardinian) is a Sardinian public agency created by the Regional Law N°2 of the 29th of May 2007, to ensure the protection of outstanding natural areas on the Sardinian coast.

Community currencies activism[edit | edit source]

Community energy[edit | edit source]

RESEDA, una ecocoperativa solidale dove possono lavorare anche persone disabili. La RESEDA opera nel settore della sostenibilità ecologica e sociale, per la diffusione delle fonti di energia rinnovabile e le tecnologie appropriate.

wikipedia:Renewable energy in Italy

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Office for Civic Imagination, Bologna[edit | edit source]

Four years ago, three residents were interested in taking care of a bench located in Piazza dei Colori in the suburbs of Bologna, Italy. They approached the city government, which fielded the request through five different departments, but it came to nothing. This is where the well-known "Regulation for the Care and Regeneration of the Urban Commons in Bologna" stems from — a thriving, citizen-led commons initiative. It now boasts more than 400 collaborative agreements for individuals and communities to work together to improve schools, public spaces, and more. This is what made a difference, what made Bologna win the Engaged Cities Award, an initiative underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies and promoted by the international non-profit organization Cities of Service.

Starting from one single need, one single bench to be cared for, the Bologna city government created a growing process for civic engagement. This includes the Civic Network, a public digital space where thousands of citizens have access to data or to voting, with almost 16,000 voters in the participatory budgeting project in 2017. It also includes INCREDIBOL, an initiative that has already given to creative communities access to around 35 premises and buildings owned by the Municipality of Bologna as well as the District Co-Design Laboratories and the Civic Imagination Office, that has so far organized 190 meetings and involved more than 6,000 people.

This year, participatory processes are happening in every district in Bologna, with regular public meetings and new community places. In the fields of culture, welfare, mobility, and sport, we find more and more projects where citizens are the promoters and the Bologna city administration is the enabling partner. What bonds all this is the Office for Civic Imagination, a multi-professional working group tasked with conceiving new solutions so that the city government can share the responsibility for the care of common spaces and places, for the sustainable use and the fair appreciation of local resources. The aim of this department is to manage relationships, find the necessary instruments for efficient co-production, and provide information.

At a time of disillusion toward institutions, many cities are building processes to enable citizens not only to take care of their own districts and cities, but also to be a partially governing force and figure out new solutions together. The scenario is still a little blurry, because of the continuous fight between those who have more capacities and resources and those with less, but there are examples of innovation in the urban democracy aiming at redistribution. Some cities invest resources to re-design the traditional models, trying to shift towards open and democratic co-design approaches. Urban space is often the source of contemporary conflicts, where forms of cooperation and extractive platforms assume new shapes. It's being aware of this tension, with citizens doing things, asking, demanding, and claiming their right to care for public spaces that makes Bologna a city that is able to regenerate in spite of the continuous conflict. [1]

Other links[edit | edit source]

Monithon, an independent civic monitoring initiative

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Critical Mass bicycle rides in Italy

Education for sustainability[edit | edit source]

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:CieloBuio-coordinamento per la protezione del cielo notturno (coordination for the protection of the night sky) is a non-profit organization that operates in Italy for the protection of the night sky by promoting a culture of eco-friendly lighting and raising public awareness on the phenomenon of light pollution.

ClairCity, Eu project about air pollution and CO2 emissions in cities, putting the power in the hands of residents to determine the best local solutions.

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Fairtrade settlements in Italy

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Banco Alimentare - Farmers Market Italy - Recup, Milan on facebook

Free stuff[edit | edit source]

Caffè sospeso is a tradition in the working-class cafés of Naples where a person who has experienced good luck financially pays for two coffees, but receives and consumes only one, the second being left until a person enquires later whether a sospeso is available. [2]

Localism[edit | edit source]

The Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy has more than 15,000 co-operatives, which contribute over one-third of the region’s GDP. [3]

Open spaces[edit | edit source], portal about parks in Italy

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]

Capannori's zero-waste strategy[edit | edit source]

The city council of Capannori, adopted its zero-waste strategy in 2007. The first article sets out the ambitious goals: achieve a recycling rate of 75 percent by 2011 and zero waste by 2020. Using what experts call the "waste hierarchy," Capannori's policy makers identified 11 high-impact tactics to reduce waste. The strategy includes everything from a door-to door waste collection scheme to a "pay-as-you-throw" waste tariff. Two of the more innovative tactics include tax incentives for small retailers who sell products loose or on tap (food and liquids), and the operation of a municipal reuse center.

At the reuse center, slightly damaged clothes, electronic devices, toys, footwear, and more are repaired and then donated to people in need or sold at low prices. The center has also held free classes on upcycling techniques, from sewing to woodwork, since 2014. The results have been dramatic. According to a case study on Zero Waste Europe's website, the city reduced waste by 39 percent between 2004 and 2012, achieved an 82 percent recycling rate in 2013, and now hundreds of cities are following its example. As planned, most of the gains in waste reduction came from focusing on tactics high on the waste hierarchy, like prevention and reuse, rather than recycling — which is low on the hierarchy. [4]

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Cohousing in Italy

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

petition: Help Save Grandma Oak!

News and comment[edit | edit source]


May 28 Bologna pioneers a model of municipal housing cooperative [5]

Apr 21 Milan announces ambitious scheme to reduce car use after lockdown [6]

Apr 7 Valsamoggia: making the local visible [7]


Nov 13 Venice floods: Climate change behind highest tide in 50 years, says mayor [8]

Jun 11 Italy becomes first country to require climate change studies in schools [9]


Real Bread Campaign welcomes Italy’s new fresh bread law, Dec 19 [10]

Free beer (and ice cream) for cycling in Bologna, local retail services for volunteering in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Communities can incentivise themselves, Dec 14 [11]

What Italian cities can teach us about how to establish urban commons - and their value, Nov 19 [12]


Castelbuono, the Sicilian town where young Africans are the hope for the future, Nov 6 [13]

The Italian Region Where Co-ops Produce a Third of Its GDP, Jul 5 [14]

The Nidiaci Garden of Florence, an Oasis of Commoning in a Busy City, Mar 28 [15]

Can Venice Save Itself? Feb 10 [16]


There is a renewed sense of civic participation in Italy, Dec 13 [17]

Milan leads fight against food waste – with ugly fruit and Michelin-starred soup kitchens, Oct 16 [18]

Italy adopts new law to slash food waste, Aug 3 [19]

CO-Bologna runs towards new cooperative forms of governance of the commons: a focus on Bolognina site. Jun 15 [20]

How a regulation turned Bologna’s civic pride into action, Apr 12 [21]

Italy passes law to make supermarkets give wasted food to charity, Mar 17 [22]


Italy smog: Milan bans cars for three days to fight pollution, December 24 [23]

The Miracle of Mals, September 30 [24]

Milan Is the Latest European City to Embrace a Car-Free Future, July 13 [25]

Bologna Celebrates One Year of a Bold Experiment in Urban Commoning, June 8 [26]

Milan introduces 1,000 e-bikes to city bike scheme, June 10 [27]

Interviewed: Professor Christian Iaione on the City as Commons, February 17 [28]


CO-Mantova as the trigger for a co-cities movement, Nov 27 [29]

Shaking hands with the Mayor of Bologna, November 1 [30]

Siena starts the New Year as Europe’s first carbon free city, January 22 [31]


The historical importance of the Italian referendum and victory for the water commons, [32] November 27

Can Italy carry off its plastic bag ban? [33] January 3


Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops, [34] December 31

Resources[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability[edit | edit source]




Sharing economy, ecco le app made in Italy contro lo spreco, October 20, 2014 [35]

Maps[edit | edit source]

“ZAPPATA ROMANA”: community-run green areas, by studioUAP: About 50 community-run green areas mapped: little urban gardens, play yards, edible gardens and areas for walking, resting, or simply talking. Citizens and associations acting together to reclaim the abandoned areas in Rome.

Interwiki links[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Italy - Italy, Environment - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano National Trust of Italy - Italia Nostra (Our Italy) Italian not for profit campaigning organisation, dedicated to the protection and promotion of the country’s historical, artistic and environmental heritage - Legambiente Italian environmentalist association with roots in the anti-nuclear movement

External links[edit | edit source]

Cittaslow Italy, (slow cities)


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