Torino (about 850.000 inhabitants, 2.2 mln in the urban area) is one of the major cities in Italy. It is well known for its innovative soul, which is well represented by Torino City Lab and CTE NEXT. Both initiatives are born to allow testing and scaling of innovative urban solutions of public interest around the Smart City concept. The focus of the City is in fact on environmental sustainability at 360°, including food sustainability and nature based solutions (NBS) and welcoming new technologies and hybrid solutions. 

On the topic of NBS, Torino is working in different districts, implementing vertical and horizontal NBS. Similarly, the City is building up new recycling and circular practices. Nonetheless, the biggest challenge of such innovative solutions is related to people’s reactions: citizens might  see such solutions as a “luxury”, as  residents of some areas are facing more concrete and pressing needs on a daily basis (related to work, food, poverty, criminality). A transversal reading of these emergencies, in any case, must go hand in hand with the creation of a shared language. In fact, helping citizens get closer to the inherent potential of a “greener” urban habitat can serve as a glue between the urban setting, local communities and different social groups that feel currently very distant from each other. In order to achieve this, Torino is working through different projects to encourage individuals to adopt more sustainable, responsible behaviours. For example, on the topic of waste collection, the City is working on ad-hoc sensory systems to replace the current door-to-door waste collection.

Such actions contribute to the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030, as Torino is one of the Pilot Cities chosen by the European Commission for its Climate-neutral and Smart City Mission. 

On the topic of waste collection and circularity, Torino wants to reduce the quantity of unsorted and not collected Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and textile waste. On one hand this is caused by a lack of awareness and engagement of key stakeholders (citizens, businesses) in properly disposing of such waste, particularly non-wearable textiles and small WEEE. On the other hand, there is the need to favor recycling and reuse, as well as to improve collection methods by finding areas of improvement. Last but not least, mapping out and identifying ongoing sustainable circular practices is another important part to develop a comprehensive strategy. This is why Torino in collaboration with the waste collection provider of the City wants to act on such a crucial topic. In order to do so, the City has identified some key areas to work on: the production and collection of meaningful data to spot areas of intervention along textiles and WEEE end-of-life, the education and engagement of citizens and key stakeholders, the improvement and development of  more efficient disposal strategies thanks to data and participation.

CLIMABOROUGH will support the city to find solutions via an innovative public procurement that starts on July 6 at CTE NEXT premises, or online.

Picture credits: Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay