Thursday, June 5, 2014

Green EU Capitals for better living. Where is Italy?!

In Italy the best to be "green" for a politician is take a picture on top of a bicycle, or inaugurate a park without trees, or garden without flowers.  Despite that in Europe there are examples of cities that have decided to take it  seriously with policies that go beyond one legislature. We talking on long-term projects, choices that are beyond any political formation. Increase bike path, reduce the number of circulating cars, enhance transport, planting trees, are not chosen for the right or left wing, are choices of common sense, far-sighted choices, sustainability seeds planted by past administrations for the benefit of future generations .Every year in Europe a city be awarded for the ' real commitment in developing sustainable choices and "green", we are talking about the European Green Capital .Stockholm was the first to win this award in 2010 for good policy. 800 million inhabitants. Public transport that uses recycled fuels,  25% cut off in greenhouse gas since 1990. 95% of the population is less than 300 meters from green areas . A city into bike and public transport, used by 90% of its inhabitants. Stockholm also uses cogeneration systems to produce 80% of its home energy.Hamburg was awarded the prize in 2011. 's Second largest city of Germany with 1.8 million inhabitants. Since 1990 15% reduction in CO2 per capita. One project already under development to make greener its suburbs and its center : 3000 acres of parks, 1900 acres of orchards, 245.000 new trees The already approved project to enclose in a tunnel, over a distance of 3 km,  the A7 highway that from Hamburg reached Scandinavia,  millions of vehicles every day . The plan is for the long stretch of the A7 highway that crosses the municipalities of Schnelsen, Stellingen and Bahrenfeld  and it will construct a 34-meter wide tunnel that will contains the entire stretch of highway which on top will be covered by a green area with lots of parkland, gardens, bikeway, footpaths and gardens. There are already 15 bicycle path, with appropriate signals and constant maintenance, for a total of 400 km. Ingenious is the project called "my tree" where an interactive map indicates areas free of buildings where you can plant trees. Here the citizens makes free donations when the amount reaches 500 Euros , the government puts the same  and it is time to plant the tree. Since 2011, there are already 3100 new shrubs. 

But there's not only northern Europe, for the year 2012 the award went to the Basque town Vitoria-Gasteiz. Despite the crisis Spain, especially the north part, it is increasingly sensitive to environmental issues that are transformed into concrete actions by the municipalities .The Basque town has a population of 240,000 inhabitants. Transport in a radius of up to 300 meters for every citizen, and almost all use environmentally friendly fuels . There are 97 km of bike paths, 457 bicycle parking for a total of 5000 seats. Public gardens with organic crops . Large numbers of participation and information for people with conferences , demonstration, forums, discussions , contests for children. The mayor recalled that the city carries out environmental and sustainable policies for more than 30 years, beyond  political and ideological symbols . In addition, the Administration proposes a Green Pact for companies, inviting them to join with clear ideas and revised each year to reflect its commitment to improving the environment, everyone with their own resources, with the aim of moving towards a ' low-carbon economy .2013 is the time of  Nantes, the French city of 600,000 inhabitants. The prize for more than 20 years of environmental policies and sustainability. The nature and its fundamental role in the urban area of Nantes are an example for Europe. Over 100,000 trees, 4 zones known as " Natura 2000 ", along the Loire river, where biodiversity is the key aspect : 19 endangered species and 15 red line endangered  in these areas. 15,000 hectares of agricultural areas in the metropolitan area , 330 farms and work for 1400 people.2500 parking spaces for bikes, car sharing , re-introduction of the electric tramway , 80 % of transport that moves with the natural gas. In 2010 , less than 50 % of all trips were made ​​by car with only the driver on board ; and as many as 150 families have participated in a workshop on climate change, driven by the desire to translate into ecological actions their creativity and enthusiasm. The " Watch Pollen Garden" indicator that allows to estimate the amount and quality of pollen in the air, to safeguard the health of citizens. 60% of the territory of Nantes is covered by greenery due to thickening of urban projects. € 40 million has been invested in 4 years , from 2010 to 2014 , for the construction of bike paths . Water control with the average consumption per capita fell from 139 liters in 2004 to 123 liters in 2011.For 2014 we already have a winner , is Copenhagen . Cities from 600,000 inhabitants and cutting edge for what concerns the environment, transport and sustainability.Waste separation at 55% , reductions of 4.2 tons of CO2 per person. The ultimate objective of zero emissions from 2025 with carbon. Tourist buses entering the city center , electrical. Bicycle paths that extend for 160 km , with half of the citizens who use it for their journeys. Another important aspect is the spread of restaurants that use produce zero kilometer and fresh seasonal produce.In this context, also the hotel are adequate, so that more than 60 % is certified green. The structures, in fact, comply with the environmental standards for the cleaning, consumption and waste disposal .Here, 30 km off from the coast there is the largest offshore wind farm . The climate plan also provides for the sustainable restoration of the buildings belonging to the Municipality and sustainable urban design .Bristol is the last city in our list, which won the award for the year 2015. Centre UK , 500,000 people, has skillfully used a combination of investments and information for involve the citizenship . Bristol has committed a budget of € 500 million for the improvement of transport by 2015 and up to EUR 300 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020.The environmental sector of the economy that has the potential for 17,000 new jobs in 2012 alone grew by 4.7 % . Since 2005, over 3800 trees have been planted , thanks to the efforts of citizens in sponsoring and "adopt" a plant. New trees but 3/4 meters tall so as to provide immediately visible results in terms of aesthetics and public welfare. There is an Action Plan for Biodiversity, launched in 2005, involving  associations, businesses, individual citizens to protect, promote, improve and educate on various aspects of the nature. In 1990 returned to nest the peregrine falcon, the fox is among the most populous in the various city parks, the commitment to preserve the native plant species of the area. Concrete actions for traffic reduction , funding for public transportation , bike lanes , transportation by rail. This has generated in a short time about 1,000 less cars per day on the streets of Bristol, vehicles with a single driver has been reduced from 15% to 65% , halving the traveling time to the city.How then does not mention the brilliant Berliner project named " Poo Power" which literally produces biogas from manure canines in city parks , with baskets specially designed to facilitate the process of energy production.Or sensors for lighting the road that regulate the light intensity, more intense when are passing by bicycles, cars , pedestrians and buses, less if the road is deserted.Then we read the latest report of Legambiente (Italian Environment Group) on the situation of bicycle lanes in Italy 's "A- bike cycling " where we discover that the town in which services are great for cyclists do not have the explosion of two-wheeled vehicles expected : Brescia got excellent infrastructure, bicycle parking , excellent signals, among the first for length of bike trails in Italy, yet only 3% moves by this vehicle, Ferrara, another town,  is very similar but 27% of his countrymen ride dail . So in addition to improving the roads, signages and  equip the city with new cycling routes,an important role is due to educate to the bike. To involve the public , to promote the two wheels , compete in offers , planning over the years. The pictures of political while riding a bike or smiling at the opening of 50 meters of bike path, without a maintenance plan for the future, leave things as they are. Politicians who have not realized the importance of sustainable design for its urban city, they are useless as their ideas.According to the report Legambiente the traffic is still too much motorized with cars and scooters. In Bolzano uses the bike 28% of the population , 27% in Ferrara , 17% in Pisa , just 7% in Florence , which has no rivals as use of scooters , 26% .56% of the Florentines use motorized vehicles for his movements , compared with 48 % in Milan that uses a lot of public transportation.If we look at the number of  km per capita of cycle tracks  Reggio Emilia leading the rank, followed by Mantova , Lodi , Verbania , Vercelli , Cremona , Verona ranks 24th ,  Bologna the 32nd , Cosenza 44th , 50th Turin, Florence at the 52nd, Milan to 66th , 78th to Rome , Naples 88th place.The country that invests in high-speed trains with every comfort, but that clears and cut funding for commuter trains, what kind of country is?!! Here the  "top" for a bike path is to recycle some sidewalk, or reuse forgotten roads without signs, without security, without maintenance. These are the actions of many mayors whose should take a trip to Europe to learn and then resign for their total ignorance on key issues for the present and the future of all of us.You can change, and indeed in many European and world cities are doing it for years. Be right wing, left wing, above , below or to the side has not  importance at all, it is just the usual trick to delay , confuse and excuses . The lack of funds as above, Spain, battered by the crisis, teaches . 
My Florence is in this condition , they talk about the lines of the tramway as a mysterious object with constant delays, waste and promises that bounce from the Mayor to another one. The bike paths are incomplete, poorly served, some dangerous same pictures all over the years, but if they inaugurated a few hundred meters of new path people must bend forward? They open the "gardens " with no future plans , and a few years later everything is down the drain , they are interventions spot, fake champions of green, wasting time and resources.A country still light years away from towns such as Bilbao, Hamburg and Bristol, who have nothing more than us except a more pride population that love themselves a little more. MaremmaCinghialaaaaaaaaaaaa


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