An intelligent and sustainable city is a physical place, but also a virtual space, within which public and private, institutions and citizens must meet, to face problems, propose solutions, welcome ideas.
According to a recent definition by the National Observatory of smart cities, the smart city is an “ abstract projection of communities of the future, an applicative and conceptual perimeter defined by a set of needs that find answers in technologies, services and applications that can be traced back to different domains, such as smart building, inclusion, energy, environment, government, living, mobility, education, health, people and much more”.
Making a city smart, just like Lahore smart city means subjecting it to a series of coordinated interventions aimed at improving its sustainability, energy and environmental, and the quality of services to citizens, such as to guarantee participation and active citizenship. In short, in a truly smart city, every problem is no longer addressed individually, but becomes part of a complex system and a new global vision of urban space.
For all this to really work, an integrated network is needed, that is to say a common platform, coordinated by a single governance that prepares the necessary funding to achieve that political and social identity typical of smart cities.
The presence of a large technological infrastructure is also what harmonizes all these needs, generating inclusion, integration and efficiency applied to everyday life.
The challenge? Sharing a new way of understanding and building the common good in compliance with the principle of environmental sustainability.
The smart city between present and future
Our existence takes place almost entirely in an urban space. We live in a highly anthropized environment, within cities and metropolises where wealth is created and small and large economies come to life. But above all else, competitiveness is generated: cities capable of ensuring both a better quality of life and boosting economic activities are destined to grow faster than others, favored by the increase in social mobility. And it is precisely for this reason that the issue of the smart city is increasingly at the center of national and EU policies.
The smart city seems to be, for Italy as well as for the rest of Europe, the most effective response to another pressing problem: the reduction of waste and, with it, of public spending.
The technology advanced and integrated at all levels of the urban ecosystem seem, to that effect, the only ones able to untie this knot and provide significant savings to public administration offices without compromising the quality of services offered, even increasing it.
And even if the skeptical front is still very compact, no one can deny that technology and innovation are already proving their ability to create virtuous circles and economic dynamism.
It is true, the most important results will only come in years and with the help of adequate financial engineering, but the pilot projects in which this revolution seems to be already visible are many and multiply right before our eyes.
Smart for real
We said that the identity of the smart city must be built around some fundamental concepts whose common denominator is environmental and energy sustainability.
Building, inclusion, energy, environment, government, living, mobility, education, health, people: these are the 10 pillars on which the future of smart cities will need to be built.
Between saying and doing, our commitment is also involved, because if the city is smart, citizens cannot be outdone.
This is why participation becomes a key step in this transformation process, which passes through words such as computer literacy, inclusion, training, awareness and involvement.
And here are some of the most deserving examples thanks to which several Italian cities – large and small urban centers – have taken their first steps on the road to sustainability and smart living.
Smart-Building in Savona
The campus of the Ligurian city is a good example of a 360-degree university smart grid. A totally self-sufficient structure from an energy point of view, which uses geothermal energy to power the heating system and photovoltaic energy to produce electricity.
In the first case, the heat is distributed in the systems through a 45 kWth pump consisting of 8 probes that travel more than 100 meters deep into the ground.
For lighting and everything related to electricity, there is a 23 kWp photovoltaic system.
A truly intelligent and also clever model of sustainable architecture , given that the energy management necessary to power the flows constantly dialogues with the control room of the Campus and with the network of sensors present in every passage of the building. The system suggests in which areas to divert the energy produced, activating and deactivating heating and electricity where and when needed.
Furthermore, in the building’s gymnasium, students also contribute to the sustainability of the complex thanks to special machines that transform human movement into energy.
LED lighting, latest generation materials for thermo-acoustic insulation and rainwater recovery systems are just some of the other features that complete the smart identity of this campus.
An experiment, or rather, an anticipation of what the homes of the future should be: self-sufficient, intelligent and environmentally friendly.
The e-government of Bologna
With its participatory governance model, Bologna is one of the smartest cities in Italy.
The municipal administration has invested several resources on the creation of a digital city agenda that guarantees free access to Wi-Fi networks, the involvement of citizens in the political and administrative agenda, open data (free access to public administration data) and technological innovation for the benefit of startups and new businesses.
Some of the projects already operational in the metropolitan area of the capital of Bologna concern public mobility within reach of smartphones , the supply of new-concept technological solutions for the production of electricity and heat, and a complete range of innovative services for culture.
For this reason, the “Bologna Smart City” project platform was created, promoted by the Municipality, the University and Aster (the Emilia-Romagna consortium for innovation and technology transfer). The goal is to develop innovative and eco-sustainable solutions for the management of urban and social criticalities and problems, putting technology at the service of people.
Smart and green: the energy that moves Genoa
Genoa is the first European city to have been awarded all three EU calls for financing smart cities with as many projects: Transform, Celsius and R2CITIES.
The first is a real manual that teaches how to convert cities into smart cities. Operationally, it links technologies and best practices to promote a series of interventions in an eco-sustainable key. For example, it allows the exploitation of renewable energies in public and private buildings.
The CELSIUS project, on the other hand, made it possible to create an energy micro-network for district heating and cooling, while R2CITIES is the tool thanks to which the city has started an ambitious redevelopment plan of the degraded suburb of the ‘Dam’, in Begato.
The project is also active in the green port environmental and port energy plan , created to guarantee the energy supply of the port area of the Ligurian capital starting from wind micro-plants , electrification of docks, automation of port services, development of electric mobility, installation of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems on the roofs of port buildings.
With its many research centers, businesses and university and academic centers, Milan began building its future as a “smart” metropolis in 2012. Like? Through the creation of thematic working groups corresponding to the traditional pillars of smart cities.
In addition to the giant steps that the Milanese capital has already made in these directions, the “Milano4You ” project has been active since 2016 which, even in its name, seems to perfectly summarize the principles that inspire the philosophy of smart living : avant-garde architecture, concept innovative and citizen-friendly urban planning, environmental sustainability.
The idea is to create a real smart district in the Cascina Merlata area, in Rho-Pero, on the outskirts of the city, on an area of 300,000 square meters where the 2015 Expo was before. “A harmonious combination of three concepts - defined by the creators - where architectural design, energy design and digital design converge”.
Man and the environment are the protagonists at the center of the project which aims to create multifunctional buildings with low environmental impact and high energy efficiency surrounded by greenery. A city at no cost, or almost, where there is no room for waste and technology is really at the service of citizens to improve their quality of life in terms of safety, participation and services. Is this the city of the future?
Smart mobility: the Ferrara model
In Ferrara, 32% of the total movement of the inhabitants takes place by bicycle. The city boasts 150 km of cycle paths and an operational program of interventions for the moderation and safety of traffic, both on the street and in public spaces. To discourage the private use of the car, the Municipality of Este has installed several bike sharing and car pooling stations. More recently, a bicycle-cargo freight transport service was created and car parks equipped with photovoltaic panels and electric charging stations are active at the city poles.
It is precisely here that the European Mobility Week is held every year, an awareness-raising event on the theme of sustainable mobility and alternative mobility to the car. Finally, with the adoption of the SEAP and the Climate Plan, Ferrara aims at a 24% reduction in CO₂ emissions by 2020.
Mini-smart cities grow
In our country there are almost six thousand municipalities with less than 5 thousand inhabitants involved in the transformation and digitization process induced by the advent of smart cities . Changes that, also in this case point, suggest greater sustainability, as envisaged by the 2030 Agenda, and a greater attention to the livability of the urban space.
Let’s take the example of Torraca, a small town in Cilento with just 1,246 inhabitants. Torraca is considered a true LED city, the first in the world to be equipped with a fully LED public lighting system. Streets, parks, tunnels are illuminated with this low-impact technology that allows you to reduce electricity consumption by up to 60%, with all due respect to the old incandescent lamps.
In short, that of the smart city is a bet that everyone, even the little ones, must be ready to take. Intelligent countries must grasp the great changes in the global scenario and apply them locally to the specific needs of the territory and their communities. Technologies and infrastructures remain essential factors, but at the local level collaboration between institutions, citizens and businesses is fundamental. And then there is the link with the territory which represents an inestimable value and which must also be safeguarded from the point of view of innovation.
In this complex scenario, the Cooperative Credit Banks do not limit themselves to financing the initiatives of the communities, but suggest ideas, propose ideas and get involved to promote the territory by creating collaborative networks between residents and tourists, between populations and local administrations. , between citizens and businesses. Because it is with everyone’s work that the best results are achieved.
The economy that looks ahead
It was the year 2013 and on the cover of the March issue of The Economist appeared for the first time a title dedicated to “Sharing Economy”, the new philosophy of the shared economy destined to mark the beginning of a great global change.
The idea was clear right from the start: to promote the culture of exchange and sharing of goods and services with a view to collaborative and circular community consumption, with economic, environmental and social benefits already evident in the short term. A few years later, the transformation triggered by the Sharing Economy has done all this and much more. It made possible the explosion of the great American platforms – Airbnb, Uber, Depop, etc. – it created supply chains, enabled new services, dematerialized goods and gave life to entire circular ecosystems.
Starting from the success of Airbnb, for example, realities such as CleanB & B - which supports hosts in the administration and management of apartments – but also Guesty, which allows the management of homes on all portals in the sector, were born; not to mention products such as Keycafe, the virtual box for managing apartment keys via an application that is installed directly on the smartphone.
In short, new needs that stimulate the creation of new services and radically transform the identity of some sectors, such as tourism, food and mobility , in the wake of an evolutionary process that, on closer inspection, is much more cultural than economic.
Dominating this scenario is also a changed perception of the space-time dimension in which some experiences mature. The spaces (physical and virtual) are the real protagonists of this new way of understanding the concept of living, living and working in the name of sharing. Just think of the increasingly viral phenomenon of coworking , crow-founding , car-sharing and all those digital and territorial “ecosystems” that have effectively overcome the dichotomy between analogue and digital space, making the boundaries between a production sector and other more and more unstable and synergistic.
It is the philosophy of “sharing services “which does not only circulate goods but above all services, knowledge, skills and time. It connects individuals, organizations and communities – even with different purposes and interests – in the unique and dynamic flow of the network.
Consumption that generates wealth
What the collaborative economy must absolutely be able to do can be summarized in 5 points:
- promote the full exploitation of resources;
- enable this possibility on a platform;
- manage the circulation of goods and skills starting from the people who will use them;
- foster collaboration and equal relationships between community members;
- Make the most of the potential of digital technology.
Furthermore, analysts tend to divide the most current examples of collaborative consumption into 3 macro-categories.
The first group corresponds to that of the redistribution markets. A redistribution market, such as Swaptree for example , is one that is created from an asset used by a previous user and sold to those in need through a continuous lending chain that is promoted and managed remotely. Redistributive markets represent perhaps the most tangible application of the 5 r’s rule (reduce, re-use, recycle, repair and redistribute) because they lengthen the life cycle of a product and reduce waste.
Practical examples are open source communities and platforms that exploit distributed access to goods and services. Through these “virtual structures” a hybrid market model is created that repositions the concept of “good” halfway between ownership and gift. And this is how new realities and ever-changing experiences are designed.
The second group is that of collaborative lifestyles. It is a philosophy of living the ownership of goods and services in a 360 ° circular and community sense. In fact, it includes the sharing of economic resources, skills and even time.
Traslochino, for example, is the first sharing economy platform dedicated to removals, transport and domestic evictions. The idea of sharing such a requested service comes from three Roman students who have created a community that connects those who need a move with those who have the means and the time to help do it. By downloading the App you can quickly find the cheapest provider and book a complete service with just a few clicks.
The third group is that of rental products. In this case, a fixed fee is paid to be able to use a product without necessarily having to buy it. And it can really be anything from an electric drill to a trendy dress. Anything can enter the big circle of pay-per-use.
In Milan, three friends launched “MiMoto”, the first eco-fleet in Italy of fully electric rental mopeds. The motorcycle sharing service provides free pick-up and release (very similar to car2go, so to speak) and the “more you rent the less you pay” formula rewards loyal users with really advantageous rates.
And in Italy?
The data concerning the growth of the sharing economy in Italy and in Europe are encouraging, although some uncertainty still prevails in our country. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index (Dise) - the European Commission’s index that measures the degree of digital diffusion in EU countries – our country occupies the third last position in the ranking.
The delay is mainly due to the lack of digitization of the economy and society, which hinders access to the opportunities and services offered by the sharing economy. In EU countries, estimates speak of a turnover of 570 billion euros by 2025 while in Italy the business generated by the collaborative economy could represent 1.3% of GDP within the same year.
The driving force will be above all the sharing-transportation platforms such as Uber, BlaBlaCar, Car2go , which, as we have seen, are already redefining the identity of the rental vehicle sector.
The cooperation, therefore, is the main source of inspiration for the new collaborative economy models and the mutual banks reproduce this value with their civil finance and geo-circular: the BCC enhance the savings of members and customers, reinvesting the territory in the form of financing the real economy, generating inclusion and sustainable development in compliance with the values of civil finance. A finance model based on the principles of reciprocity, participation and the exchange of resources. A model that creates wealth, keeps it in the territories and distributes it among the members of the community that generated it.
Escape from the Earth
Climate change and forced migration are phenomena that coexist in an ever closer relationship.
Many areas of the world have become the scene of a mass escape from hunger, drought and extreme weather events involving millions of people
Entire communities forced to leave their countries of origin. Crumbling economies. Lost cultures and traditions. The environmental migration is a painful reality shared by millions of men, women and children fleeing from the dramatic effects of climate change on the environment. Disasters caused by the reckless action of man, which some still persist in calling “natural disasters” even if they have very little natural.
“The number of environmental migrants is constantly increasing, as is the number of victims caused by the deterioration of ecosystems”.
It is a fact: the number of environmental migrants is constantly increasing, as well as that of victims caused by the deterioration of ecosystems. Landslides, floods, droughts, hurricanes, sea level rise and soil desertification are just some of the very serious effects of “Global Warming “in the most vulnerable areas of the world. Blame for greenhouse gas emissions and rising levels of pollution that continue to poison the Earth.
But who are the environmental refugees, from what and from which places they flee, and above all: are we really sure that the “Promised Land” they are looking for really exists somewhere else in the world?
The latest World Bank Report on the phenomenon of environmental migration has more the tones of an alarm than of scientific research. According to projections prepared by experts, by 2050 the world migration flow will count another 143 million environmental refugees (forced or voluntary), most of which concentrated in the countries of the Southern hemisphere. People, families, communities, entire populations will leave their lands to escape the direct and indirect effects of global warming.
Those most affected are developing countries and Africa, particularly the sub-Saharan regions from which 86 million people will move. 40 million refugees will leave rural areas of South Asia to seek shelter in neighboring countries. Another 17 million will leave the most critical areas of Latin America. These are the numbers of an existential, economic and social emergency that has very few precedents in the history of humanity.
Yet, the authors of the dossier write, “the number of environmental refugees could be reduced by tens of millions with global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and with long-term development planning ”. In other words, the proportions of what looks like an announced humanitarian crisis could be reduced by 80% if only more sustainable community development plans and policies adapted to the management of internal climate migration processes were adopted.
Heat, wars and poverty
According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), from 2008 to 2014, 150 million people were forced to migrate due to extreme weather events. Storms and floods (85%) are the phenomena with the greatest incidence on displacements recorded in 6 years. Not only people are affected by the effects of climate change, but entire economies, traditions and cultures. It is the dark side, and perhaps more disturbing, of a phenomenon that obviously cannot be understood with numbers alone.
“It is not just people that are affected by the effects of climate change, but entire economies, traditions and cultures”.
Movements within the borders of the same nation represent the most marked trend. The problem is that in P AESI poor or politically unstable this ends up aggravating the scarcity of food resources, overcrowding and, consequently, the conflicts and social disintegration.
History teaches us that every forced mass migration carries a dense and complex web of factors that are difficult to understand. The case of Syria is the most striking example of this lesson: between 2007 and 2010 the most severe drought of the last 40 years caused the depopulation of the countryside and the collapse of the country’s agricultural production, accelerating, in fact, the explosion. Of internal conflict.
The displacement of 1.5 million migrants from rural areas to the outskirts of urban centers (already crowded with Iraqi refugees) has exacerbated a climate of political and social instability already on the brink. A fate that seems to unite the Syrian people to that of many other Middle Eastern populations, where climate change, food crisis and geopolitical instability come together in a “mix” that is ever closer to collapse.
Migrants, refugees, refugees: a question of terms
Although the link between poverty and climate change is one of the most powerful drivers of environmental migration, the Geneva Convention does not recognize the status of “refugee” to refugees from “Global Warming”. This means that these people are not guaranteed legal protection, simply because international law does not provide it. The United Nations itself has never formally recognized the definition of “climate refugee” or “environmental”, limiting itself for the most part to generic formulas such as “environmental migrants”.
For this reason, last December, at COP24 on climate, UN representatives met to approve the Global Compact on Migration. An agreement that commits 164 states to combat climate change with common actions and to promote plans and policies for the safe management of migration in the most vulnerable countries. The document is not binding and does not affect the sovereignty of individual states, but hopes for fruitful cooperation to support the enormous weight of this global emergency.
Italy did not sign the agreement, choosing to entrust the discussion to Parliament. Same line of conduct for the United States, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Bulgaria and Switzerland which were not even present at the Marrakech Summit.
Yet, on February 18, 2018, a historic ruling by the Court of L’Aquila took a first and significant step towards the legal redefinition of the right of asylum in favor of environmental migrants.
In an exemplary order, the Judge granted humanitarian protection to a Bangladeshi citizen who had lost his land during a flood and, with it, the main source of income and livelihood for himself and his family.
The ruling invoked the principles contained in Article 2 of the Italian Constitution on inviolable human rights and those of the Circular of 30 July 2015 adopted by the National Commission for the right to asylum. In the document, among the reasons justifying the recognition of protection for humanitarian causes, there are also “serious natural disasters or other serious local factors that hinder a repatriation in dignity and safety ”.
“Develop policies to support and encourage the return to a sustainable economic system that is advantageous for local communities“.
In the motivations of the sentence there is therefore an explicit reference to the effects of climate change on the rural economy of Bangladesh, to the phenomenon of “land-grabbing” and to deforestation, considered as contributing causes of forced migration like political persecutions.
Issues that must also make us reflect on the need to develop adequate policies for the most vulnerable areas of the planet, capable of supporting and encouraging the return to a sustainable and advantageous economic system for local communities.
In developing countries, in fact, cooperative finance helps to keep environmental migrants in their places of origin and to trigger circular economies that allow them to move from subsistence to exchange agriculture. This is what Cooperative Credit has done in Ecuador (and to varying degrees in Togo) by allocating 50 million dollars for the development of popular rural funds accessible to local communities.
The integrated and generative strategy of the mutual banks aims precisely at promoting a cooperative economic model to promote change. A replicable model, based on the principles of reciprocity, participation and the exchange of resources, which creates wealth, retains it in the territories and distributes it among the members of the community that generated it.
Furthermore, in the National Collective Labor Agreement of the BCC / Rural and Artisan Banks it is established that, in continuity with the good practices adopted in the System, the banks are willing to adopt any suitable organizational solution – also with reference to working hours and ” opening of branches – so that continuity of service is guaranteed to communities affected by natural disasters.
Below, the main findings of the survey conducted at national level on the resilience of our SMEs to natural disasters, summarized by the offices of the United Nations, after the round-table held in Brussels on 24 October last.
A fragile country
The numbers of hydrogeological instability in Italy show a country that is fragile and unprepared for changes in the climate and the extreme meteorological phenomena connected to them.
Landslides and floods represent hydrogeological risk factors for 91% of Italian municipalities
For Italy, 2018 was the hottest year ever: according to Legambiente there were 148 “anomalous” atmospheric phenomena that hit the entire peninsula with their long trail of death, devastation and damage to the architectural heritage and to businesses. A succession of floods, tornadoes, river floods, hailstorms, landslides and landslides that have once again highlighted the vulnerability of our country in the face of hydrogeological risk.
In addition to the artificial causes that lead back to the action of man, the hydrogeological instability is also exacerbated by a mix of natural factors and atmospheric pollution from which intertwining situations of high danger arise that characterize the mapping of almost the entire boot. For ISPRA (Higher Institute for Environmental Research) Italy is one of the European countries most affected by erosion, landslides and floods: over 7 million people reside in vulnerable areas and 20% of the national territory is seriously threatened by these. Phenomena.
These are not “exceptional” events, much less sporadic or limited to a few areas. Italy, like other European and Western countries, must deal with the consequences of a changing climate, adapt its infrastructures, protect territories and communities from the risk of an impending environmental disaster that suggests apocalyptic scenarios.
“Italy is one of the European countries most affected by erosion, landslides and floods”.
But what are the causes, the figures and above all the possible solutions to limit the damage?
Italy and hydrogeological risk
The latest ISPRA report on the data of hydrogeological instability in Italy tells a far from reassuring reality: 91% of Italian municipalities, over 3 million families and about one sixth of the national population are at risk. 50 thousand square kilometers of soil in our country are at high risk of landslides and floods and about 13% of the buildings are located on areas with high or very high hydrogeological hazard.
Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy are the regions most exposed to the risk of landslides and floods, but things are not going better in Campania, Valle d’Aosta, Veneto, Abruzzo, Calabria, Basilicata, Marche, Sardinia and Trentino. On closer inspection, the map of the municipalities directly or indirectly affected by the hydrogeological instability covers 91% of the total. Besides the communities, industries and services, the Italian Cultural Heritage is also in danger. The latest estimates speak of 38 thousand works and assets located in areas of medium-high erosive or landslide hazard to which are added the 40 thousand monuments in areas at risk of flooding.
“91% of Italian municipalities are at risk, over 3 million families and about one sixth of the national population”.
Climate change, unauthorized building, planting errors are the main culprits of this disaster. And then there is the urbanization and the wild overbuilding which over the years has led to a profound compromise of the vegetation cover on the national territory. To all this are added other artificial risk factors that aggravate or activate alluvial and erosive phenomena, such as:
- wrong hydraulic works
- deforestation of entire slopes
- badly constructed embankments
- bridles, reservoirs, dams and bridges that “cut” the slopes
- massive withdrawals of sand and gravel from riverbeds
- soil waterproofing
- abandonment of agricultural terraces
- use of intensive monocultures
Then there are the natural factors, or rather the predisposition of the Peninsula to hydrogeological risk. Ours is a fragile territory due to its geological, morphological and hydrographic characteristics. A geomorphologically young and unstable country, rich in friable and impermeable rocks that favor the sliding of rainwater on the surface and a climate that alternates long periods of drought with moments of intense rainfall concentrated in short periods of time.
In this scenario, a flood - which in itself represents a natural phenomenon that is not necessarily dangerous – easily becomes a concrete threat. Landslides and floods are added to the reckless action of man and to policies of bad management of the territory that over the years have aggravated an already very complex picture.
Intervening after certain phenomena have already expressed their destructive potential is of little use. To counter the risk of hydrogeological instability, adequate preventive interventions and a profound awareness of the danger against which institutions and citizens have to fight are needed. Just as the only way to mitigate the danger of such events is to remove the underlying artificial and natural causes. But how?
Approaches and possible solutions
What seems to be lacking in our country is the will to prevent risks. We limit ourselves to containing the damage, to patch up river banks and basins with containment works and superficial drainage systems, but almost nothing is done to prevent certain phenomena from occurring.
The culture of prevention is the approach that experts and researchers continue to invoke to counter the effects of environmental deterioration. Prevention means intervening with an easily feasible and sustainable planning, actively involving the population and immediately stopping the consumption of the soil.
“The culture of prevention is the approach that experts and researchers continue to invoke to counter the effects of environmental deterioration”.
That’s right: we must stop building other buildings, especially in areas of natural fluvial relevance and stop the urbanization of the suburbs. This self-destructive trend has caused the waterproofing of the soils, a process that determines the inability of the soil to retain rainwater with the consequent exasperation of alluvial phenomena, floods and flooding of rivers, streams and streams.
The sharing of strategies, tools, and data in order to build and train active communities is the other change of mentality needed to take the right direction. The emergency plans of the Civil Protection are useless if the population is not fully aware of a problem that jeopardizes public safety. And then there are the hydrogeological risk mitigation strategies. Those indicated by ISPRA include:
- Census and mapping of flood and landslide areas
- The hydrogeological risk assessment area by area
- The elaboration of an adequate territorial planning
- Securing and targeted restructuring of high-risk residential areas
- Communication and dissemination of information to citizens
- Recovery of good agricultural and pastoral practices
- Reforestation of the territories
- Design and implementation of a monitoring and alert network
ISPRA also launched the IFFI Project (Inventory of Landslide Phenomena in Italy) in collaboration with the Regions and Autonomous Provinces. They have the task of collecting data on past events and taking a detailed survey of landslides to allow the processing of statistics and thematic maps. The action criterion, therefore, is and must be multidisciplinary and shared, such as to allow the adoption of diversified practices. Only in this way can the mitigation and protection plans of the territory be translated into effective interventions.
Trees and plants on our side
An important contribution in the perspective of reducing hydrogeological risk in Italy could be provided by the redesign of wooded and agricultural areas and by other similar naturalistic engineering interventions, aimed at the requalification of agro-forestry-pastoral areas. The recovery and afforestation of agricultural land in a state of abandonment as well as degraded pastures is essential for the natural stabilization of the more superficial layers of soil and of the watercourses that flow there.
Planting trees and shrub rows of indigenous, resistant and “anti-erosion” species, particularly in steep or sloping land, is just one of the most easily pursued and low-cost strategies. The roots of the trees create a dense network of natural drains in the soil that favors the drainage of water and its slow distribution in the various layers of the soil.
On the contrary, waterproofing reduces the absorption of rain in the earth (in some cases it prevents it altogether) and opens a dangerous passage to the devastating force of water, with all the tragic consequences that it implies.
In a land rich in vegetation and adequately wooded, the water is able to penetrate deeply much faster than it would on an uncultivated land and this prevents it from gaining strength by sliding away. A nice advantage, therefore, not to mention the positive ecological effects on biodiversity, climate and local fauna.
“Cooperative Credit Banks have always been dedicated to environmental protection“.
If green is apparently the color of hope, for the mutual banks it is a real way of living, doing and thinking. The Cooperative Credit Banks have always been dedicated to environmental protection, sensitive to the issue of energy saving and the conscious use of resources, in line with the statutory provisions that commit each BCC to promote responsible and sustainable growth in the area in which it operates. Banks that believe and invest in the sustainable development of the territories and communities of which they are actually an active part: a solidarity DNA and a historical attitude to feel the needs of local realities as their own, of which they are, through their partners, a direct expression.
The BCCs alongside citizens to deal with the damage caused by bad weather
The violent storms that hit our territory this summer have caused extensive damage both in the construction and agricultural sectors. To deal with them, the mutual banks took to the field by providing resources and financing to support customers, families and businesses in difficulty.
The Credito Cooperativo di Brescia , for example, has offered a ceiling of 10 million euros while the Banca di Monastier del Sole Credito Cooperativo has allocated 5 million to be allocated to the works for the Treviso area of the Piave right. In the province, the BCC Agrobresciano and Cassa Padana also intervened with a ceiling of 10 and 15 million respectively.
In Emilia Romagna the contributions have been no less: in support of farmers and entrepreneurs in the area, the BCC of Ravenna, Forlivese and Imolese has reactivated a specific ceiling of 10 million euros against natural disasters, while the BCC of Western Romagna has granted an 18-month mortgage moratorium.
5 million is instead the amount made available by Credito Cooperativo Romagnolo , which allocated the loan ceiling for flood damage, and by the board of directors of Banca Adri Colli Euganei Credito Cooperativo whose contribution was destined for operators in the damaged sectors to deal with the restoration of the warehouses, equipment and crops damaged by water bombs.
You are never too young to make a difference
The BCCs, small local banks, are banks that care about the environment in which they live because they find their raison d’être in it.
On September 27, 2019, Fridays for Future will be the protagonist all over the world, the international movement created to ask governments and claim actions to combat climate change and global warming. Fridays for Future gathers millions of students, and beyond, led by the well-known Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Greta with the first march perhaps did not know that she would start a movement of global reach to draw attention to the climate crisis and to the urgency to act to stop it.
His little voice has gotten bigger and bigger since millions of other young people have joined his protest and now this voice shouts loudly that the only possible future is the one that passes for the respect of the planet.
Even the BCCs, small local banks, are banks that care about the environment in which they live because they find their raison d’être in it. Green for a BCC is the color of sustainability, of support for the sustainable economy, of contributions to Italian agricultural supply chains. It is a green hope, but with foundation.
Our ecological footprint
After the financing activity for the diffusion of renewable energy carried out in partnership with Legambiente (270 million euros for 5,700 loans), in 2017, the mutual banks disbursed around 38 million euros for green loans to 1,171 beneficiaries between families and businesses.
In 2018, the mutual banks and their member companies or customers belonging to the BCC Energia Consortium - which promotes the purchase of energy from renewable sources only – used 115,626,422 kWh of green energy at favorable conditions, saving 33,941 tons of CO 2 in the atmosphere and over 4.1 million euros.
From the birth of BCC Energia to today, the total savings are over 16.8 million euros.
The Cooperative Credit has joined, for the eleventh consecutive year, the initiative promoted by the Caterpillar broadcast of Rai Radio2 M’illumino di Meno with many initiatives carried out in the territories by the BCCs with the involvement of young member groups who have involved members, employees, customers and local communities.
BCC Energia, a consortium of the Cooperative Credit for energy services, deals with the renegotiation of the energy supply conditions for the benefit of the member mutual banks and their shareholders and customers, as well as the companies in the category. It currently has 124 consortium members (105 mutual banks, 10 federations, 9 system companies) and 44 client companies of the mutual banks.