People take a break sitting under the arcades near the 'Two Towers' in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Michele Lapini/Getty Images)

Regional Signal

Bologna’s climate neutrality: a bold bet for the future


Bologna, Italy

Anna Lisa Boni, once Secretary General of Eurocities, now serves as Deputy Mayor of Bologna, and is leading the charge towards climate neutrality in the city.

Her journey from the European Commission to the streets of Bologna epitomizes the transition from policy to practice in the fight against climate change, Eurocities reports.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cities is tough,” remarks Boni, acknowledging the magnitude of the task ahead. She underscores the need for cultural change, substantial resource investment, and innovation across public and private sectors.

Yet, despite the daunting challenges, Boni remains resolute in her commitment to the cause.

The mission for climate neutrality is not merely about achieving environmental targets; it represents a systemic transformation of cities. Boni emphasises the importance of breaking away from traditional siloed approaches and embracing a holistic, systemic mindset.

This paradigm shift is crucial in navigating the complexities of the climate crisis and reimagining urban landscapes for a sustainable future.

Bologna’s participation in the Mission of 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 underscores the city’s commitment to leading by example.

Despite the absence of direct funds, cities across Europe have embraced the opportunity to bolster their climate action efforts. For Bologna, the Mission transcends environmental objectives; it symbolises a paradigm shift towards economic accessibility, energy equity, and social inclusivity.

“The Mission is fundamental for the European Union,” states Boni, highlighting the pivotal role of cities in translating policy into practice.

Through local initiatives and community engagement, cities serve as catalysts for change, driving sustainable development and fostering resilience in the face of climate uncertainty.

Moreover, the Mission fosters collaboration among public and private stakeholders, laying the groundwork for collective action and shared responsibility.

Through climate city contracts, cities like Bologna are forging partnerships to amplify their impact and drive meaningful change at the grassroots level.

As Bologna navigates the challenges of the 21st century, Boni sees the Mission as a beacon of hope—a transformative opportunity to reimagine urban spaces and redefine the relationship between humanity and nature.

For Bologna, the Mission is not just about climate; it’s about building a brighter, more equitable future for generations to come.

In the face of unprecedented environmental challenges, Bologna’s bet on climate neutrality represents a bold step towards a more sustainable and resilient future.