A city of 195,000 inhabitants in Emilia-Romagna Region, Parma is the gastronomic centre of the “Italian Food Valley”. With 30.5% of the labour force working in the agri-food and gastronomic industry, the sector has forged the city’s history and remains the driving forces of the local economy.
Most notable products of the territory are the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the Parma ham. Very important is also the food industry, with multinational food companies and companies specialised in food processing and food packaging machinery. From 2015, Parma is also UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy: the city testifies to its culture-led development plan by recording nearly 3,000 creative businesses.
Making Parma a greener, stronger and more united community is on the top of the list. With the signing of the “Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy” the Municipal authority has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (and possibly other greenhouse gases) at least by 45% by 2030 and go carbon neutral in 2050. These targets will be included in the SECAP in 2020. To respond to the worldwide mobilization of youth, in July 2019, the City Council declared the Climate and Environmental emergency engaging the Mayor and the City Board to take action in the following 6 months to reinforce further the GHG reductions, renewable energy use, climate adaptation measures through the elaboration of a dedicated plan and energy efficiency measure in urban planning, mobility and buildings sectors. Parma is engaged in a long-term strategy for sustainable apartment buildings to implement the energy and architectural upgrading of part of the condo buildings located in the suburban area.
Through the allocation of innovative financing instruments, the Town Council has initiated a building stock renewal process with potential impact on local employment. In the coming years this development process will receive a powerful thrust from the FEASIBLE project: Fostering Sustainable Living cities (approved in the framework of the Horizon 2020 program) whose specific objective is the enhancement of the energy performance of “living spaces”.
Parma is also working on the social dimension of energy. The Municipality is tackling energy poverty with an energy bonus (1 million euro per year) providing to those who cannot afford energy bills with a discount of the utilities. Within the PAES (2014), the Municipality has also signed a protocol with ACER (the Regional Agency for social housing) to foster the energy efficiency of 44 of the buildings managed by the Agency through maintenance and energy efficiency interventions to reduce energy consumption of 20% by 2020.