Mayor Feduzi, why is Fermignano a progressive city?
Fermignano is now a progressive city, because in recent years we have implemented a series of policies that create a sense of community. There are two important dimensions to this. First of all, we have to regain our humanity, which is the basis of a progressive city. Secondly, sustainable development. For example, when I took office as Mayor of my city, the recycling rate for waste was 39 per cent. We are now at 82.5 per cent because we have put in place sustainable development policies. At the end of June, the city of Fermignano received a prize from Legambiente as the best municipality of the Region of Marche and among the best in Italy with regard to recycling. This was a prize won by all inhabitants of Fermignano for their commitment to the future of our environment and future generations. We will continue to work in this direction, always seeking to improve.
In addition, in Fermignano, we have introduced new alternative forms of energy for our schools and administrations.
Finally, we have invested passion and energy to develop a European awareness and sense of belonging to the European Union in our community, especially among young people, which is needed more than ever.
How has the European Union helped you in your sustainable development policies?
The European Union has been key to us because it is thanks to European funds that we have managed to bring almost EUR 7.2 million over two and a half years of administration.
Thanks to European funds, we will build the new school, which will be a NZEB school (Nearly Zero Energy Building), i.e. an almost self-sufficient building in energy and thus consumption, the first NZEB structure throughout our region. Thanks to European funds, we are currently restructuring the entire sports facilities of the city. And, especially thanks to European funds, we are involving our citizens in opening up our city to other cities through the programme “Europe for Citizens”.
So we are working on many projects and have at least five open European projects, thanks to which we will have not only millions of euros and new investment opportunities, but above all opportunities for growth for our city.
What does Fermignano do to promote sustainable development?
In Fermignano, we are working for sustainable development because we know that we need to create a new development model. For example, as I mentioned earlier about recycling, I am now proud to say that, since my election, we have transformed the city into an almost “waste free” municipality, bringing the separate waste collection to 82.5 %. We worked to turn the old school into a fully sustainable and zero-emission building. All the old boilers of the various buildings of the municipality of Fermignano, for example sport and all other public facilities, have been replaced by new generation boilers. We are currently building a photovoltaic park, which will cater for the energy needs of both the stadium itself, the tennis courts and the whole sports area. So, in reality, we have radically transformed the city from a place that was not at all environmentally friendly to a very eco-friendly city. We are already putting in place further initiatives such as the initiative to save water, in an effort to reach out to the whole population.
From a social point of view, we have also worked to double the social funds within our budget, making more resources available for social services. For example, we have reduced fares for kindergartens and have extended school hours, creating the possibility for children to attend a full-day school, thus giving more support to families. We have set up a family centre dedicated to new families and support to parenthood, providing expertise aimed at parent development. Furthermore, Fermignano is the only city in the Marche Region which has become a health prevention centre, where together with the health structures of the Region we are developing and implementing positive actions to enable prevention within our region, with specific screenings and awareness raising of the importance of prevention.
Finally, we have set up social meals that involve all associations in our region, which support those people who are at risk of poverty or who still have difficulties in finding the daily bread for their families. Through the creation of a network of associations that support these families in poverty, our administration is trying to help people in trouble to get back to work, finding them a job and providing them with the economic support they need.
Emanuele Feduzi is mayor of Fermignano (Italy) since 2016. He is member of the Partito Democratico.
Photo credit: Daniele Marzocchi / Flickr