Enel has just published its third study on circular cities, titled “Circular cities – Cities of tomorrow”, addressing the topic of how the urban landscapes of tomorrow can achieve environmental sustainability, social inclusion and economic competitiveness.
The study has been carried out with the contribution of Arup, a world leading sustainable building company, bank Intesa Sanpaolo Group, a pioneer on circular economy financing, and Future Food Institute, an NGO focused on the future challenges of food in a circular perspective.
Michele Crisostomo, Enel Group Chairman, commented: “It is within cities that our society pulsates with life and evolves. Cities all differ in their architecture, culture and historical background, but were all created from our ancestors’ inclination to gather and form communities. Urbanization has sharply accelerated in recent years, as cities today are home to more than half of the world’s population and generate over 80% of global economic output, alongside all the social, economic, environmental and, as recently witnessed, health challenges. This is why it is key to promote in our cities economic competitiveness, social inclusion and respect for the environment, considering these objectives within a vision that brings together innovation and sustainability, and which is most effectively expressed in circular economy. The transition towards a more circular living and production is the best solution to the issues cities are facing today, and an essential step towards improving the quality of life in those of tomorrow.” Francesco Starace, Enel Group CEO, commented: “Long before humankind could see the glow of city lights from space, Paris was called the ‘City of Lights’, which underlines the striking achievement of public lighting at that time. We have come a long way since public lighting was invented, and in our cities we use more and more energy, especially in the form of electricity, for our work and daily life. Electricity is, and will increasingly be the lifeblood of cities due to growing electrification. As a key power player, we want to contribute to the development of a sustainable urban vision for the future. To do so, we started by bringing together economic, social and environmental sustainability goals, taking into consideration all the sectors and elements that go into a city. This vision, even more urgent considering the current challenging period, is reflected in the study we are launching today and implemented across the circular city projects we are carrying out worldwide, which represent a further contribution towards a more sustainable future.” Enel, which operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania, is strongly committed to circularity. The Group is engaging all relevant stakeholders in the transition to circularity applied to cities, promoting an approach to circular economy based on clear goals and targets and with a governance which is not just “top-down” but also “bottom-up”, as well as encompassing all key business areas. In Genoa, Italy, Enel is undertaking a City analytics solution for real time analysis and optimization of transport, including the installation of a city-wide EV charging infrastructure, with more than 200 charging points. In the University of Genoa campus in Savona, since 2017 a living lab has been set up in order to develop and test smart grid technologies in a real and controlled environment, since the living-lab has real electricity loads, produced by the campus itself, alongside distributed generation facilities, including PV, Co-generation, electricity storage, and CSP (Concentrating Solar Power). In addition, the Group is replacing 33 million first-generation smart meters in Italy with second-generation devices and, as old meters are disassembled, plastic, various metals and electronic components are suitably processed for use in the production of secondary raw materials.