A rural town in northern Italy is the country”s first “transition town” moving towards solar and geo-thermal energy.
Valsamoggia, on the outskirts of Bologna, is part of a community project to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
The local primary school, with its 300 students, has solar panels and heat pumps that make it self-sufficient.
Constructed in 2011, the school’s system adjusts temperature and luminosity according to the external weather conditions.
Daniele Ruscigno, the Mayor of Valsamoggia, said people never thought that this kind of project would be possible.
“They told us we were crazy and we would never do it. Instead, we have done it and we were able to build the first school in Italy with zero-energy consumption, powered by renewable sources only,” Ruscigno said.
“We took an existing project in the belief of being able to transform it using the principles of energetic transition: therefore building a school at zero-energy consumption and completely fossil fuels-free.”
As part of the “transition” they are also working on making decisions differently by focussing their decisions on what is best for the public.
Cristiano Bottone, co-founder of Transition Italia, explained that the community project stemmed from dialogue and understanding the issues at hand.
“Through the awareness of climate and sustainability issues, the community was able to eliminate the original project and to transform it into a completely innovative project,” Bottone said.
“We did this through dialogue and understanding of the problems and through putting the meaning of things at the centre of what we were doing.”
This allowed this municipality to organise home delivery services for people during COVID-19 lockdown and to apply European legislation on energy locally.
Watch the full report in the video player above.