Interview with Paolo Pomponi, Mayor of Montaione, Italy.
You have achieved early the goal set in your Covenant of Mayors action plan for 2020! How did you meet this challenge?
I can proudly say that this is the outcome of great efforts made in the energy and environmental fields in the last 10 years. The first step undertaken was the definition of a clear vision for the future: we wanted Montaione to play an exemplary role both at local and national level. Then we developed a cross-sectorial strategy and designed tangible and feasible actions. Just to mention the most important ones, in 2011 we adopted the bio-building regulation that sets high environmental standards for new buildings and refurbishments and we have largely promoted the use of energy from renewable energy sources. As regards mobility, we have adopted a Sustainable Mobility Plan and we are constantly boosting low-impact mobility modes. The adoption of energy management systems (ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and EEA) has also proven to be helpful as they have allowed us to have a more accurate knowledge of the situation, to point out the key issues to tackle, thus to make the most adequate decisions.
You have been encouraging your citizens to participate in the strategy development and to take action. With what results so far?
Since the beginning it has been really important for us to communicate our intentions to the inhabitants and the stakeholders of Montaione and to get their support. Being a small municipality has made it easier for us to raise awareness amongst citizens, who have proved to be very active. We have taken into account all the suggestions received over the years: the important Castelfalfi conversion project (one of the most important tourism projects of recent years in Italy, for the construction of a tourism resort on a 1,100-hectare agricultural estate), for example, was approved through a particularly efficient participatory process. We have also been carrying out continuous exchange of ideas through both public meetings and social media channels. The positive results of this process are clear: it couldn’t have been possible to go beyond the SEAP’s goal without the strong support of a responsible community. In the meantime, we are already preparing an ambitious program of actions for the next years relying, of course, on the citizens’ and stakeholders’ support to design the future development of our area.
How do you see Montaione in 2050?
Click on the beautiful watercolour illustration to enlarge!
Our goal for the next years is to transform Montaione into a Smart Land:
See Montaione's Covenant of Mayors signatory profile.