Resilient and sustainable cities: Genoa’s Lighthouse City strategy


The Council of Europe Development Bank financed the city of Genoa to support the development of a resilience plan to meet ecological, economic and social challenges. Due to its particular territorial morphology the city has experienced four major floods in the last 50 years, making it more vulnerable to natural disasters. Today, Genoa is one of the urban areas where climate change is projected to significantly increase the risk of flooding, sea level rise, storm surges and landslides. Alongside its susceptibility to natural disaster, the city also faces the social challenges of demographic change and an ageing population, and the economic challenges of diversifying its economy and creating high-value jobs.

In November 2019 Genoa’s city administration approved a Resilience Strategy to help strengthen the city’s capacity to adapt and grow in the face of stresses and shocks. “Genoa’s Resilience Strategy aims to make the city resilient to the impact of urban transformation, and the challenges of climate, demographic and technological change” stated Stefania Manca, the Genoa Resilience Manager, explaining what are the objectives of the local resilience strategy. She also added that the strategy offers a roadmap that will make Genoa able to adapt effectively and quickly. It uses a new framework to analyse challenges, recognise opportunities and adopt solutions while the Action Plan, the implementing tool of the Resilience Strategy, focuses on changing local legislation to support territorial resilience,  identifying new models of public-private partnerships, ensuring actions/interventions are sustainable and last but not least monitoring outcomes and impacts.

The Strategy will be implemented through the city’s investment planning process, in particular the Municipal Investment Plan, where the focus will be placed on public infrastructure and services, flood control works and the urban regeneration of the historic city centre. The citizens and businesses of Genoa can expect to see short, medium and long-term benefits from the Resilience Strategy, and they will play an active part in the shaping and implementation of projects.


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