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  • The EU bank is funding Bologna’s 2021-2023 Investment Programme for upgrading of schools, green transition, sustainable mobility and gender equality.
  • The EIB will also offer technical assistance to develop a system for monitoring gender equality in the city.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting the Municipality of Bologna and its inhabitants via a framework investment of €50 million in support of its 2021-2023 City Investment Programme.

The EIB’s support will mainly finance the construction, upgrading, renovation and energy efficiency of public buildings, particularly schools, nurseries and administrative buildings. The Sustainable Urban Plan also provides for the purchase of electric buses and construction of pedestrian areas and cycle paths to enhance sustainable mobility in the city.

This operation will help the Municipality of Bologna to bolster resilience against COVID-19 through new spaces adapted to adhere to social distancing and current working conditions and develop a more sustainable urban model with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and negative security-related externalities. The project also includes investments in parks and open spaces, making the city more resilient to climate change.

The operation is enhanced by the proposed activities implemented by the Municipality of Bologna aimed at reducing gender inequalities, giving priority to female employment and inclusion. In this respect, the EIB will offer free technical assistance in order to develop a system of indicators measuring the impact of such initiatives on gender equality.

A significant share of the projects supported under this operation are located on the outskirts of the city, helping to improve social cohesion, geographical mobility within the city and employment rates.

This operation strengthens further the relationship between the parties, with as many as six operations over the last 20 years totalling more than €400 million of EIB financing supporting renovation of public buildings, restructuring and upgrading of the urban environment, development of sustainable transport, parks, open public spaces and other municipal infrastructure, including sports amenities.

Bologna intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 via the construction of new public buildings, cycle paths, housing, urban lighting with reduced energy impact, and sustainable mobility through the introduction of electric buses, in accordance with the guidelines of the Paris Agreement.

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “The EIB and the Municipality of Bologna together aim to develop an urban ecosystem that promotes sustainable mobility and employment, particularly for women, and social inclusion for the good of the people of Bologna. These are the investments required to tackle climate change and build a resilient and sustainable future taking the lead to make Italy and Europe greener.”

Matteo Lepore, Mayor of Bologna, said: “The Municipality of Bologna has a healthy budget and solid investment capacity, which are fundamental conditions for implementing the transformation policies that will impact the city on such key topics as environment, mobility, social and gender inclusion. This EIB loan will make us stronger and enable us to move forward faster, particularly in terms of our energy efficiency and school upgrading targets. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, these investments will improve the quality of space and learning”.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2020, the EIB Group provided €23 billion in financing for projects in Italy.