Sustainability, mayor Vecchi: “Ecological and energy transition for increasingly sustainable cities”

“Reggio Emilia is a city that historically has a culture rooted in people’s rights”

“There is a need to take on what is the most important challenge of our contemporary cities: the ecological, environmental and energy transition to become increasingly sustainable cities”. Thus, the mayor of Reggio Emilia and regional president of Anci Emilia Romagna, Luca Vecchi, spoke on the sidelines of the awards ceremony of the VIII edition of the “Cresco Award Sustainable Cities” contest, created by the Sodalitas Foundation in collaboration with Anci (National Association of Municipalities Italians) and with the patronage of the European Commission, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security and CSR Europe, during an event held as part of the 40th Annual Assembly of the ANCI at the Genoa Fair.

For Vecchi, the recognition is ‘a journey, a project and an important prize because it is aimed in particular at those cities that are constantly engaged in projects linked to environmental and social sustainability’.

“Cresco Award Sustainable Cities” for the mayor of Reggio Emilia is also an opportunity to grasp useful ideas “to improve the system of public policies to improve – consequently – the quality of life of our citizens and our communities. We participated with this belief, bringing several of our projects, several of our good practices that we have progressively set up and worked on consistently with our strategies over the years.”

“Reggio Emilia is a city that has a historically rooted culture in people’s rights from which structured public policies on the system of personal services derive – continues the mayor of the Emilian municipality – I am thinking of nurseries and nursery schools where we have levels of education of nursery schools at 60% and almost 100% in nursery schools. I am thinking of what is the more general welfare system, of what is a public policy on civil rights, on citizenship rights, on human rights. Within this context, however, one of the most important contemporary challenges undoubtedly concerns the energy transition and ecological – remarks Vecchi who adds – We recently obtained an important recognition in the Legambiente rankings. We are now one of the most sustainable cities in Italy: on the one hand there is the ability to invest in people and the community; on the other, a very competitive economic system at an international level which leads the city to have an unemployment rate below 4%”.

For the mayor, the ‘Cresco Award Sustainable Cities’ contest “It was an important day with three awards among the many projects carried out in recent years. The first is ‘Reggio Emilia city without barriers’, a very particular project that outlines an innovative approach to the topic of disability through the participation of hundreds of families and the co-planning with them of initiatives, ideas, projects and services that have brought our city not only to address the issue of overcoming architectural barriers, but also and above all to address very complex cultural barriers in an unprecedented way – underlines the mayor”.

“We were then recognized for the local action plan against discrimination, hatred and racism. Reggio Emilia is a city with 170 thousand inhabitants, 25 thousand citizens of foreign origin and over 100 nationalities present. For us, coexistence and integration have been fundamental elements of commitment in the last 10-15 years. And finally – he concludes – we had an important recognition on a public art project which saw the field of healthcare meet culture, an important experiment which, through the participation of many associations and citizens, saw the construction of a large collective public work centered on the theme of combating violence against women. An important stimulus for discussion, cultural growth and greater awareness starting from the meeting between the community, people’s rights, violence against women and, on the other hand, art, culture and creativity”.