For Cecilia del Re, deputy mayor on tourism, environment and sustainability, innovation, technology and smart city of the Florence municipality, Florence recovery strategy starts by becoming “a polycentric, welcoming, accessible and sustainable city in which good mobility becomes fundamental, especially due to the pandemic.”

Alessandra Barbieri, manager of fundraising and European projects, explains that they have set objectives for 2050 to reach the European targets of climate neutrality. She explains that it was also possible to align with the recent Ready for 55 package, which gathers proposals on climate, energy, land use, transport, and taxation adopted by the European Commission. The aim? Reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Indeed, the plan envisages an even more significant reduction in emissions in the city of up to 60%. 

According to an analysis conducted in 2021, 34% of the pollution of Florence comes from mobility. In the Italian city, 100.000 out of 650.000 daily travel are by car.

Vincenzo Tartaglia, Director of infrastructure and mobility of the municipality, said that Florence “is aiming to become the national cathedral of electric mobility” and is looking for sustainability since solar panels will power the charging point for a completely green experience.

The goal is sustainable development to walk towards a zero-emissions city. This is the aim with which the Italian town participates in User Chi. For the city, the availability of safe docking stations becomes a challenge that limits the private ownership of e-vehicles. The user-centric solution is to create safe docking and recharging points for people to drop off their bikes. Tested in Florence, it will be upscaled in the future by using solar panels for a fully sustainable experience. 

Indeed, Florence is the second city globally in launching a bike sharing service that allows companies to deploy their bikes on the street. The infrastructures are in place, but the use of bicycles in daily travels is still low (only 7%). However, according to Giorgetti, 24% “will want to use the bike. This means an important change in mentality for our road system.”

Since 2015, the local administration has invested in e-charging infrastructure, creating and managing about 200 charging stations. The plan is to add another 100 through private investments. Shared mobility has invested in e-vehicles by buying 1000 e-bikes, 900 scooters and 600 Vespa-type scooters. E-bikes use was adapted to the city for journeys like homework or home-school and mixed with public transport.

One year before, Florence had promoted the use of free-flow car sharing with a substantial number of e-vehicles. The Italian city is also the national leader in innovating on free flow bike-sharing and introducing the service. Three hundred thousand users registered before the pandemic, and more than 1.5 million km were biked in a year. Today they have added an e-scooter sharing service with 900 vehicles and 600 motorbike sharing. 

As Alessandra Barbieri stated: “Conscious and sustainable choice is our goal. Smart mobility is the tool.”

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