Mayor Merola, why is Bologna a progressive city?
Bologna has always been a progressive city and plans to stay this way. We were the ones who invented daycare centers (crèches) and social housing already at the beginning of the 20th century. Nowadays, we fight for sustainable development and for helping our young people find work. For the future, which we assimilate to progress, we aim at living in solidarity and strive to work together.
Which concrete actions did you put in place in Bologna to help the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
We have just launched a €61 million plan to give homes to citizens in need. As a result, we will have in two years over 1000 accommodation rented to citizens who need them. We approved the new tram project, we want cars to be electric, we have car and bike sharing and we are the first city to use bike sharing for citizens in Europe.
Bologna signed in 2017 the Pact of Bologna for the Environment, which aims at engage the biggest Italian cities to achieve the environmental targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as circular economy, energy transition, and sustainable mobility.
How is the European Union supporting you?
The European Union has granted us €40 million to invest in our city’s public spaces and social services. Thanks to the European funds, a lot of urban regeneration is taking place in different parts of the city.
Virginio Merola has been Mayor of Bologna, Italy, since 2011 and a member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions since 2019. He belongs to the Democratic Party.
Photo by Bogdan Dada on Unsplash