City of Modena

The Italian city of Modena is known for its university and industry, especially renowned for its automobile firms. But Modena is also committed, notably through the Covenant of Mayors and Energy Cities’ Board of Directors, to fighting climate change. The city works on both climate change adaptation and mitigation. In 2020–2021, the city approved several ambitious guidelines to ensure its sustainable urban development. Additionally, Modena is involved in many European projects. Between 2010 and 2020, the city reduced its carbon emissions by 28%.

Standing for sustainable urban development

In February 2021, the city approved a Sustainable Energy Climate Action Plan (SECAP). The Plan includes measures to reduce energy consumption by 55% (compared to 2009). Moreover, it includes adaptation strategies to anticipate extreme events related to climate change. This document is the first step to move towards a zero-carbon city by 2050.

After a long period of working alongside local inhabitants to draft the document, a General Urban Plan will complement Modena’s transition measures. The document will serve the vision of a culturally ‘green, healthy and strong’ city. Among other things, it will include the renovation of 38 districts.

Involving citizens to change mobility habits

In 2020, Modena voted for a flexible strategic plan on urban mobility, SUMP2030. The plan promotes the shift from private car use to ‘soft’ modes of transport, cycle and pedestrian mobility by 2030. To design a viable strategy to change the transportation habits, the city built a task force of citizens and outside technicians. This process enriched the debate with users’ experiences and contributed to the awareness of sustainable mobility.

Today, safe and quiet areas have been created, as well as pedestrian streets, bike lanes and bike shelters in the historical centre. Citizens and stakeholders were given the opportunity to provide input before each project launch. Finally, the city is considering how to encourage the use of public transport, electric bikes and cargo bikes.

Acting together towards a green future

The other commitment of the City Administration is referred to European projects’ implementation. Modena acts against climate change by cooperating with many partners in line with the European goals and UN’s 2030 Agenda. The city is mainly engaged in two European projects:

  • The Horizon 2020 GROW GREEN project is dedicated to create climate and water resilient, healthy and liveable cities by investing in nature-based solutions (NBS). Modena plans to adopt a local NBS strategy and to steer actions for water management and heat stress.
  • Zero Carbon Cities, co-financed by the URBACT III programme, supports the elaboration of local Integrated Action Plans for the promotion of zero carbon cities by 2050. For this reason, Modena built a local group of stakeholders (URBACT Local Group) where more than 70 participants provided inputs for the Plan.

Sources: official website of the Covenant of Mayors; official website of the URBACT programme – the European Territorial Cooperation programme; official website of the Municipality; Italian online media UrbanPromo; PDF of the European Interreg programme concerning the SUMP2030 Modena;


City of Modena is a member of Energy Cities since 1998


180 641 Inhabitants