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A possible, even necessary, Renaissance. Photography of cities contained in the latest report “urban ecosystem” of Legambiente, Ambiente Italia and Sole 24Ore, shows a panorama quite stagnant. Italian cities, with few exceptions, are not making significant progress in terms of pollution control, recycling, improvement of public transport, cycle networks and other “green” indicators examined by the report.

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However, according to the same authors of the report, there is a way to exit the stagnation and there would be the resources to continue, too. In particular, Legambiente deploys three proposals. First, an eco-neighbourhoods project, in order to achieve a real environmental, energy and social regeneration in 100 Italian cities. In addition, the new European directive on energy efficiency and structural funds 2014-2020 should push energy upgrading and statics of existing buildings. Finally, a breakthrough in transport policies in Italy, moving resources from great works of Target Law to urban areas to the new mobility, with the establishment of a fund to devote more resources to public transport, collective and non-motorized.

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Sure, the idea of eco-neighbourhood seems far removed from the reality of our municipal governments in difficulty. But we’re not talking about environmental utopias, but a practically forced way to exit a building crisis of unprecedented proportions. Federcostruzioni says so in the “report on the state of innovation” that focuses on sustainability for the revival of the sector. In particular, the health industry Manufacturers Association talks about 10 billion invested in innovation in the last three years.

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We are in a historic shift when the objectives of economic development and the improvement of the environment and the quality of our lives tend to coincide.

It is time to face these issues out of conference rooms. The eco-neighbourhood should be an achievable goal for investors, for those who build and those who buy the house. Efficiency, quality of materials, project sustainability must become priority elements in the creation of the value of housing. Despite the loopholes in the law and chronic delays.

We have to begin to build the neighborhood projects on our own!

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