• 25 Oct 2018

    Covenant twin towns discuss effective climate and energy policies

    As part of the Covenant of Mayors Twinning Programme, the town of Xirivella (Spain) visited the town of Formigine (Italy) on 17-18 September.

    The aim of the twinning programme is to identify common challenges and to discuss effective climate and energy policies. Formigine hosted the first visit, showcasing its current achievements.

    Efficient public lighting

    The Italian city demonstrated that using energy performance contracting for smart lighting systems is a solution to improve energy efficiency without increasing final costs. The new lamp posts cables are also used to increase Internet connectivity throughout the city.

    Developing soft mobility in car-dominated cities

    In both cities individual car transport remains very high and the promotion of the train faces serious challenges. In Formigine, integrated regional planning with surrounding municipalities is a corner stone to promote a more efficient use of public transport. Xirivella is engaged in similar regional plans and understands the difficulty of such negotiations. Any such strategy also resolves around the integration of urban planning and bike planning, converting streets into areas in which cars are no longer the protagonists. That is why the number of bike paths will be doubled within a period of five years. Xirivella illustrated their bike sharing concept which is gaining popularity, particularly among young people.

    Refurbishing buildings for environmental and social purposes

    Formigine demonstrated how old buildings can be reused for social sustainability and climate mitigation purposes. A former hospital has been refurbished as a place for elderly people in need of assistance. The roof was equipped with a PV system which covers the building’s warm water demand.

    Visitors from Xirivella also visited Formigine’s new school building which has a PV system on the roof to cover the buildings heating demand. The building is also equipped with smart light sensors that automatically turn off the lights if no one is around. It has a very efficient acclimatization system as well.

    Cross-border cooperation to be continued...

    Before the second visit to take place in March 2019, both cities will carry on discussing on how measures can be transferred. For example, the sharing of mobility-related data from Formigine will contribute to preparing the visit to Xirivella. Both cities were very happy with the cross-border cooperation as part of the Covenant of Mayors twinning programme and look forward to the next steps!

    Learn more about the previous twinning experiences

    • "Lecce visits its Covenant twin city Serres: Soft mobility, bioclimatic restoration of the city centre..." Read article

    • "Covenant twinning pairs Leeds-Breda and Vaasa-Ghent discuss common climate and energy challenges" Read article