Reggio Emilia (Italy)

Reggio Emilia (officially Reggio nell’Emilia) is an affluent city of 171.655 inhabitants, situated in northern Italy. It is the main municipality of the Province of Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia is a  homeland of “Tricolore”, the Italian national flag born in 1797 in the current City Hall. Worldwide known for the “Reggio Approach”. Strong economy, with SMEs playing a key role; main sectors: manifacture (mechanics, plastic, electronics), agriculture and agrifood, processing, building, ceramics, textile. Among the first cities in Italy for its export and employment rates, as well as a city in continued economic growth, thanks to its many industries. Culturally and socially vibrant due to the large number of organizations, services and the University.

Reggio Emilia is connected to all the major cities of central and northern Italy via the Autostrada del Sole. Traffic and congestion levels can be extremely high due to the increasing demand for transportation infrastructure from dynamically growing companies in the industrial district outside the city. Modernization projects and the construction of a ring road have been under way for several years. “Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana” train station is one of the main high-speed stations in northern Italy and one of the most important junctions in the midst of the Po valley. The Reggio Emilia-Mediopadana HS Station is the only stop between Milan and Bologna. The HS station is called “Mediopadana” because of its vocation to not be a station for one city, but for all the neighbouring provinces.

A Sustainable city:

  • Leadership in environmental sustainability: top Italian city for separate waste collection, green areas per capita, and cycle lanes lenght;
  • Hub of research on renewable energy for farming, with business experiences in the production of bio-methane, biogas, as well as bio-building, waste management and environmental accountability techniques;
  • high expertise in urban planning, urban regeneration and sustainable buildings

Mobility in Reggio Emilia:

  • Motorisation rate: 660 cars/1000 inh
  • lenght of cycling network: 204km (118,84m/100 inh- 1st city in Italy)
  • Number of EVs: 450 (one of the highest vehicles/inh ratio in Europe)
  • Strategies: PUM and BICIPLAN (2008), SUMP (2017)

Urban Mobility Plan (2008):

set of instruments and integrated policies with short, medium and long term strategic interventions and high investments on environment, mobility and safety

 Main challenges:

 • improving air quality by decreasing air pollutant emissions,

 • reducing road accidents and fatalities,

 • increasing the public transport use,

 • bringing the traffic out of the city centre.

Main actions:

• Parking plan, accessibility of the city centre and Park and ride scheme

 • Cycle Friendly city: Biciplan and traffic calming

 • EVs policies

• Mobility management for schools

Modal Split (2015): walking (10.5%), cycling (23.1%), car&motorbike (58.1%), bus&train (8.3%)

Modal split200620112015
car & motorbike68.46958.1
bus & train6.94.28.3


Reggio Emilia has a remarkable experience with EU projects, both as LP and as PP: Mmove, INVOLVE, SUM, (Interreg), CIVINET and Mobility 2.0 (7 FP), RESOLVE and School Chance (Interreg Europe).

School mobility management:

Reggio Emilia invested time and resources in promoting policies in favor of home-school journeys which are safe, sustainable and autonomous through an interdisciplinary approach coordinating the planning of public areas with educational actions and the management of mobility demands. From 2009, the City promoted the adoption of a “Manifesto” to involve various entities in Reggio Emilia in a joint plan and to develop together actions and projects on home-school mobility. The following lines of actions were developed: education, communication, promotion, safety, services, and planning. In Reggio Emilia all schools are required to have a mobility manager, who links the municipality and the schools. Some of activities that were implemented to improve schools mobility are: Bicibus and Pedibus, Temporary car-free zones, Awards and competitions, Traffic Snake Game, Events, Communication and awareness raising campaigns, Workshops, Field trips by bike, Safe home 2 school infrastructural programme, First steps: "mobility activities for kindergartens". The City believes that in long term this will have a positive impact on raising awareness among children and families, reduction of congestion and car use.

In October 2017, under the CIVITAS Satellite project, peer exchange programme organized for 6 cities from 6 different countries (Kruševac – Serbia, Labin – Croatia, Leon – Spain, Strängnäs – Sweden, Soissons –France, and Sarajevo – Bosnia Herzegovina). The 2 day study visit consisted of various presentation under the topic “School mobility management- policies, projects and activities” and field visits by bike to school and kindergarten. Two cities, city of Kruševac (Serbia) and the City of Leon (Spain), as a direct outcome of the CIVITAS Study Visit, are already implementing lessons by developing the position of Schools Mobility Managers in their schools and will take additional actions to implement measures that have proven their success in Reggio Emilia. The City of Leon bought balance bikes for municipal kindergartens, following the Reggio Emilia’s project “First Steps”. The City of Kruševac did a lot of things as outcome of the Study Visit: adopted the SUMP (first SUMP in Serbia) and established the network of mobility coordinators in schools and kindergartens (in urban and rural area).

Reggio Emilia was the winner of the  CIVITAS “Take-up” Award 2018




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