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4 Dec 2009

What It Looks Like When a Local Authority REALLY Gets Transition… the Monteveglio story….

monteveglio1So what might it look like when a local authority really gets Transition?  Earlier this week I received a very excitable email from Cristiano Bottone, one of the movers behind Transition Italia, and the Transition of his own town, Monteveglio, near Bologna.  “Monteveglio‘s local authority signs a strategic partnership with “Monteveglio Città di Transizione”….This is a revolution for this country, believe me. Thank you for all your help. I love you  ;-)”.    So what did the Monteveglio authorities actually sign up to, why is Cristiano so excited about it, and  what does it mean?

You can read the Italian version of the “Deliberazione della Giunta Comunale’ here. For those of you who do not read Italian, Deborah Rim Moiso of Transition Italia Translation Group has kindly translated some of its more exciting parts (it is a Council document after all) below.  Check this out….

monteveglio2D E C R E E S

the following objectives for the implementation of environmental policy as defined by the policy strategy approved by board decision. 54/2009.

  • Oil and fossil fuel depletion is this administration’s priority, to be implemented through an Energy Descent Plan to turn Monteveglio into a “Post Carbon” City.
  • Strategic partnership with the Association Monteveglio Città di Transizione [Transition Town Monteveglio] with whom this administration shares a view of the future (the depletion of energy resources and the significance of a limit to economic development), methods (bottom-up community participation), objectives (to make our community more resilient, i.e. better prepared to face a low energy future) and the optimistic approach (although the times are hard, changes to come will include great opportunities to improve the whole community’s quality of life).
  • Begin a participative and institutional process to promote Monteveglio as a Transition Town, with the direct participation of the whole community and a final statement by the City Council.
  • Define CO2 emission measurement tools and containment policies well beyond EU targets and in line with the global objective of 350 ppm.
  • Promote energy efficiency of public buildings, by upgrading existing structures through external insulation and other projects, installing photovoltaic and solar panels, and setting high energy efficiency targets for all new buildings.
  • To promote, together with other Municipalities involved, a review of the supra-municipal Building Code and Land Use plan in order for it to incorporate
  • Legislative Decree 115/08 and the Regional Guidelines for Energy Efficiency and Building Energy Certification (decision 156/08), particularly in reference to articles 13, 14, 15. Also, to commit to the promotion of further improvement of said regulation to progressively raise energy efficiency standards.
  • To advance with the Union of Municipalities a proposal for the designation of an Energy Manager whose role will be to collect and analyze data on energy use, promote renewable energy development projects and efficient energy use in public buildings, as well as to promote such policies throughout the area.
  • To encourage the use of renewable energy by private citizens, through:
  1. – the creation of a Supra-municipal Energy Office with the task of informing and assisting citizens in choosing amongst the various technologies on offer and with all procedures related to public incentives to renewable energy use, as well as holding public meetings to inform the community on these topics
  2. – supporting the Solar and Photovoltaic GPO formed within Transition Town Monteveglio by lending the use of the Environmental Office desk as GPO infopoint and holding a public meeting on the subject
  3. – mapping the energy efficiency of private buildings by employing Area Informational Systems to spread knowledge and consciousness on the subject of alternative energies, in partnership with the University of Venice
  4. – organizing other public meetings.
  • Monteveglio3To inform the community on the limits of a concept of development based on unlimited resources, on the need to reconvert an economy based on the massive use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources and on the benefits of a more frugal and sustainable lifestyle.
  • To endorse reforesting actions in the area, as a means of compensating CO2 emissions.

Let me just repeat the one from last there, because it is quite extraordinary…

“to inform the community on the limits of a concept of development based on unlimited resources, on the need to reconvert an economy based on the massive use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources and on the benefits of a more frugal and sustainable lifestyle”.

A local authority promoting frugality and the end of economic growth?  Amazing.  Also, does this make Monteveglio the first local authority to commit to 350ppm as a target for emissions?  Spare  a thought, as you read this, for Cristiano and his Transition Monteveglio colleagues who have been so skilfully collaborating with their local Council, and the daft grin and spring in the step they must have today, knowing that as a result of their Transition work, his Council have now written the following, which really they ought to get printed on shirts….

Strategic partnership with the Association Monteveglio Città di Transizione [Transition Town Monteveglio] with whom this administration shares a view of the future (the depletion of energy resources and the significance of a limit to economic development), methods (bottom-up community participation), objectives (to make our community more resilient, i.e. better prepared to face a low energy future) and the optimistic approach (although the times are hard, changes to come will include great opportunities to improve the whole community’s quality of life).

Wow.  How about that for a good news story just before Copenhagen kicks off?

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.

33 Comments

Kamil
4 Dec 8:37am

you people don’t stop to astonish me

Twitted by GreenFeed
4 Dec 8:38am

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Steve Atkins
4 Dec 8:45am

Did I just read that? That is amazing!

Marcin Gerwin
4 Dec 8:58am

Congratulations, guys! That’s a wonderful news :)

[...] Culture su Monteveglio By Cristiano Oggi Rob Hopkins ha pubblicato sul suo blog un post dedicato alla recente delibera della Giunta Comunale di Monteveglio e sono molto lieto che [...]

cristiano
4 Dec 10:28am

Thank you Rob, we are simply following the instructions in your book and it works (until now at least)… :-)

Jennifer Lauruol
4 Dec 11:00am

This post has made my day! Thank you all.

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by robintransition: Check out today’s post about Monteveglio, and what happens when a local authority REALLY gets Transition. http://tinyurl.com/ylpu3pp….

bill mckibben
4 Dec 2:12pm

This is the kind of news we need more of. Many thanks to Transition for making this sort of stuff happen–we’re doing our best to work from the top down in Copenhagen, but as you all know that’s going to help only a bit at best. Got to work it from the other end too!

Daniel Hurring
4 Dec 2:30pm

Wonderful!

terry
4 Dec 4:24pm

This is the kind of news that bringsm hope and boy do we need it!

Bill Byford
4 Dec 10:22pm

Amazing and inspirational!!! Let’s hope this combination of belief, attitude and action spreads everywhere. Thank you, thank you and thank you, again!!!

Matt Heins
5 Dec 4:48am

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

Anyone reading this in the States -even those who, like myself, are merely in the very beginning stage of chatting with a few key people about the possiblity of forming a Transition core group- should really take this groups approach and success to heart.

In Washington (where I live) as in many States, local councils and mayoral positions are strictly Non-Partisan. Whereas the polarization of our political culture has made even discussions amognst Citizens about local civic goals seem bitterly partisan. Several folks have expressed to me the feeling that they would trust such Transition initiatives coming from the City Council, but are wary of them coming from me, a well known hippie/pinko/leftist.

Its all in the Handbook, of course, but I thought this fantastic good news report might serve as a opportunity to reiterate.

-Matt.

Aldo
5 Dec 12:36pm

You probably didn’t notice the point in the document where they wrote about a “new residential area”. That’s to say — more development and, possibly, more people (from elsewhere, of course, considering the italian low birth rate). Not a good start.

See here for an interesting graphic:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monteveglio#Evoluzione_demografica

Nayeema Eusuf
5 Dec 6:50pm

I am part of a growing non-profit organization (close to 600) of people based in Phoenix, Arizona who are interested in local food and water security, resource conservation and reskilling. since recently, we also have a group of transition mullers, and I am heartened to hear this news. It is often that we think of local authorities as them, but they are also people sharing the same concerns as everyone else. Kudos to the Monteveglio transitioners for showing it can be done.

Clare
5 Dec 8:16pm

That is wonderful!! Whoopee!! Thanks for posting it.

Shane Hughes
5 Dec 8:59pm

The list of Transition’s successful engagements with political structures keeps on growing. What will happen when we hit a kind of critical mass in political engagement? exciting in its growth and implications. It heralds a kind of new era. The infamous bridge into the mainstream is being built, one brick and relationship at time.

I have to say that it’s a two way street; in reverse Transition is a mechanism for political structures to re-engage with people and residents and become more a part of our communities, dissolving the boundaries.

Shane Hughes
5 Dec 9:04pm

I wonder if there’s a political blog somewhere and loads of commentators are posting congratulations to Monteveglio’s local authority, saying well done for brilliant community engagement. maybe not yet!!

Cristiano Bottone
5 Dec 9:25pm

ha ha ha… no Shane, but things are moving, world is changing, this is just a small step, but every step creates the possibility for a new one… this is a wonderful time: we can do everything we can dream of.

[...] What It Looks Like When a Local Authority REALLY Gets Transition… the Monteveglio story…. » Tra… [...]

[...] What It Looks Like When a Local Authority REALLY Gets Transition… the Monteveglio story…. [...]

Alex Duffy
6 Dec 8:24pm

Hi Cristiano, great work !! I will use this in some of our presentations here in Ireland!! I will be in Damanhur next 14 – 21 January, any chance to meet up?

Cristiano Bottone
6 Dec 9:52pm

Alex, my love ;-) I have 2 trainings in Italy in January and many things going on here in Monteveglio, I can’t move. Will you come to the European Transition conference?

Josef
6 Dec 11:16pm

Excellent news! :-D

Very well done Cristiano et al!

Big smiles,

Josef.

Anne Milton
7 Dec 9:06pm

Christiano that’s absolutely wonderful. Well done.

Umberto Fonda
9 Dec 3:06pm

Hi everybody,
this is Umberto from the Monteveglio Local Council (and formerly member of the Monteveglio Steering Group). Thanks to Rob for his post and to you guys for your comments. It’s really a boost for what we’re trying to do here

Aldo
10 Dec 9:29pm

Could you please provide some more details about that “new residential area”?

Aldo
14 Dec 3:16pm

Isn’t my question about the “new residential area” worth an answer? Really?

cristiano
7 Jan 12:55pm

Aldo sorry, I’m part of the administration but I can try to answer. The “new area” is something already planned by the previous administration (I think you already know very well how all this works in Italy). The idea here is to transform a potential nightmare into an opportunity. A post carbon residential area will bring more people in, but can also be a very interesting experiment. We are operating in real life and we have to find real transition path making all the subject working together (including builders). We’re trying to work “with” and this can can create much more real effects than working against (including builders cultural evolution and transition). Consider that our area is 80% countryside and we already have a natural park. We can probably afford this expansion and make it an opportunity, I wouldn’t say the same in a different context.

Aldo
7 Jan 2:32pm

I don’t agree with you. Increasing population can’t ever be a good step. Indeed, you *are* working “against” — against the environment as a whole. Tackling with population is *the* priority, and there are no local places, in the italian context, where population can afford any further increase. Instead, I dare say that the Italian population has to *decrease* as fast as possible, and such a decrement should be planned at a local level. Too bad that our “representatives” keep on acting in the opposite direction, both by allowing immigration and by subsidising births. Making more room (e.g. building more infrastructure) is a way to encourage those higher population numbers we can’t afford.

cristiano
7 Jan 2:49pm

(sorry I’m NOT part of the administration). Ok Aldo, if you have a better solution and you know hot to “make it real” we’ll be happy to have your help.

Aldo
7 Jan 11:13pm

A good start could be “freezing” the so called “piano regolatore”. No more buildings, no more people. This is an easy step indeed.

Cristiano Bottone
8 Jan 8:02am

Yes, that’s easy and already done by the new administration. As I told you the project of the new area comes from the old one. As you can see on my blog I like Domenico Finiguerra, we know each other, and we try to work together when possible (see Monteveglio’s “delibera” about water)

:-)