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ANSA/Metropolitan cities cohesive factor says ESPON

'Central role in fight against climate change' says Nardella

(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, JUN 24 - Focusing on metropolitan cities by recognising their fundamental role in tackling socio-economic, environmental and territorial challenges and by introducing programmes and instruments managed at a metropolitan level - that was the message from the seminar organized by the Metropolitan Cities of Turin, Florence, the Politecnico University of Turin, and the University of Florence, which discussed the results of the Espon Metro project, from the Espon study programme, which specializes in regional analyses.
    A project which, according to Turin Mayor Stefano Lo Russo, highlights "the importance of the metropolitan cities, a factor of cohesion and development at an EU level and a systemic unit of territorial reference to be seen also in light of future European planning.
    "In the metropolitan cities," he added, "we can develop the required social, demographic, and industrial processes, including the most cutting-edge, the most innovative".
    Florence Mayor Dario Nardella echoed Lo Russo saying that "in the metropolitan and European cities we see the heart of the challenge of fighting climate change, of the energy and digital transition, of the transformation of our territories via the regeneration of whole parts of the major metropolitan areas." Nardella recalled that metropolitan cities, in Italy and Europe, consume almost 80% of energy and produce almost 80% of carbon dioxide, and so it is here that we must concentrate our instruments and resources".
    Giancarlo Cotella, a lecturer in urban planning at the Politecnico di Torino, presented the results of the Espon Metro project,which saw the participation of nine European metropolitan areas and the same number of research institutes, stressing how the metropolitan dimension presents in Europe various levels of heterogeneousness, due to the territorial, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the functional urban areas, to the level of institutionalization of metropolitan cooperation, as well as the models of governance and spacial development tools.
    The seminar was also an occasion to present the results of the Espon project with particular regard to the two metropolitan cities being studied, Florence and Turin.
    As far as Turin was concerned, the study underscored the unequal impact of EU cohesion policy instruments in the metropolitan territory, according to the type of fund, governance of the instrument and capacity of local actors to take part in the programmes and benefit from the projects financed.
    Similar critical issues emerged also in the case of Florence, in which the distribution of cohesion funds was not uniform, although they have positive repercussions in the construction of projects of a metropolitan interest which are shared by various institutional levels, also thanks to strategic metropolitan plans. (ANSA).


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