Looking for the greenest cities in Italy? The annual report Ecosistema Urbano, issued by the Italian non-profit organization Legambiente, shows Italy from a “green” perspective and ranks Italian cities according to their eco-friendly performance. Still interested? Keep reading to find out more about this report

Being a green city is not just an issue of sustainability, it is also an essential ingredient for a high-quality life. A recurring idea in the Legambiente report, a sort of mantra used by the association to promote the creation of healthy urban environments. This project started in 1993 with the publication of the first edition of Ecosistema Urbano, jointly with Ambiente Italia and the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

The report shows how Italy’s sustainability has been evolving over the years and it assesses if and at what pace Italian cities are improving their green practices. The main cities of the Italian provinces are under examination, a sample of 104 cities. They have been ranked by looking at 18 indicators belonging to 5 macro-areas (air, water, waste, mobility, and environment). The number of trees and solar panels, efficiency of public transport, water consumption, the extension of urban green spaces and pedestrian zones; these are just a few examples of what comes into play in this investigation.

The report was presented on the last 28th of October in Mantua, the greenest Italian city of 2018, and the winner of the current edition was announced. Can you guess which cities are standing on the podium this year?

Bolzano Bozen

Bolzano, Bozen
Bolzano, photo by Mattes via Wikimedia

Bolzano won’t move from the podium. Like last year, the main city in Alto Adige ranks number three, while slightly improving its general score. Its performance is characterized by a more efficient public transport and improvements in the air quality. A special mention goes to increasing safety levels in public-school buildings.


Mantua, photo via Wikimedia

Mantua loses the first place, but the performance does not decline. The level of air pollution keeps dropping slightly every year, leaks in the water supply system have been reduced and the separate collection system of urban waste is getting more and more efficient. The bike path extension, second only to Reggio Emilia, promotes active mobility.

And the winner is…

Trento, the greenest Italian City

Trento, photo via Wikimedia

Trento moves from fourth to first place and overtakes Mantua as the greenest Italian city in 2019. Nonetheless, this victory does not come as a surprise. The main city in the region Trentino-Alto Adige has been collecting great results over the past few years and finally, the city got promoted to the top of the class thanks to improvements in the air quality. In addition to that, the number of people using public transport has slightly increased and more attention has been devoted to improving cycling mobility.

But what about the biggest and most famous Italian cities?

Rome, photo by Christopher Czermak via Unsplash

It looks like most of them have some issues with traffic, waste and water use inefficiency. Naples, Bari, Turin, Palermo, and Rome are all in the last twenty places, on the other hand, Bologna, Milan, and Florence have been doing quite a good job keeping up their score in the first half of the ranking. But not everything is dark as it seems. They have all been implementing good practices and most of them kept improving their performance over the years.

Bosco verticale in Milan
Bosco verticale in Milan, Photo by Gábor Molnár via Unsplash

This year’s report depicts a challenging, but promising future. Italian cities are implementing green choices and improving their sustainability. Nonetheless, a limited amount of good practices is not enough to fight the threat of climate change and improve the quality of life. What could be a possible solution? According to the Legambiente report, Italy needs to adopt a national urban agenda that helps cities become a better and healthier place to live in. In a nutshell, team play is the key to success.

Cover picture: photo by Matteo De Stefano/MUSE on Unsplash

Author: Eleonora Silvani

Hi, I’m Eleonora and I’m 25 years old. I’ve been living in Bologna for a year now to study for my master’s degree in Language, Society, and Communication. Before that, I moved around Italy and Europe for fun, work and study. Travelling is my passion and my way of learning new things.
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