Sustainability has become an increasingly significant issue, although practical implementation remains difficult. In Italy, promoting sustainability is particularly problematic at the provincial and municipal level, where the lack of resources and expertise, and the effects of uncoordinated policies make it difficult to achieve minimum requirements to make sustainable policies operational. One essential requirement is knowledge of baseline environmental conditions in each municipality. In the province of Reggio Emilia (Northern Italy) Legambiente, an environmental association, launched an initiative called ‘Ecopaese’ aimed at gathering data on environmental conditions and stimulating local administrations to implement sustainable policies. To this end, the state of the environment in the 45 municipalities within the province has been monitored using 25 indicators. Their values have been used to rank the municipalities by multiple criteria analysis (MCA). The results of this comparative approach provide information about the level of sustainability attained in the province as a whole as well as in the single municipalities. It is hoped that it will provide the basis for direct action plans at the provincial level by identifying areas for remedial action, as recommended by Agenda 21, the declaration adopted by many countries attending the Rio Summit in 1992.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2001
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