Lecce, also known as the “Florence of South Italy”, is a medium sized city of 95,200 inhabitants, a city of art with a very old history. Lecce is located in the southern part of the Apulia region, in the Salentine peninsula, overlooks the Adriatic Sea in a cross-border position with Eastern Europe, and covers an area of approximately 238 km2

Lecce’s historic center is an important tourist destination characterized by a rich Baroque architectural monument made of a local stone called “Pietra Leccese” (Lecce stone). In terms of industry, this stone represents one of the city’s main exports, because it is very soft and malleable, thus suitable for sculptures. Lecce is also a university city and agricultural center, chiefly for its olive oil and wine production. Building relationships and being aware of its bordering culture characterize the Lecce territory’s spirit. Crossroads of cultures and connection with the South of Europe and the Mediterranean countries, Salento is the heel sustaining Europe’s future.

Lecce Municipality joined the Covenant of Mayor and delivered the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) in 2014. Lecce has been in contention as Capital of Culture 2015 and developed some initiatives to increase the energy performance of the existing building stock through the promotion of energy saving solutions and the use of renewable energy sources. Moreover, the municipal policy supports the creation and development of green spaces in the urban built environment in order to improve the air quality and, in general, the quality of life.

Experiences & Learnings

By participating in SmartEnCity, Lecce Municipality hoped to improve its quality of life by reducing GHG emissions with the help of the valuable experiences provided by the project’s three Lighthouse Cities.

Lecce Municipality started its SmartEnCity journey towards a low-emission and climate-resilient future by analysing and studying the five-steps methodology developed in the project, to help with the definition of its own Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and its related Roadmaps

  • Step 1 - “Engage”: Lecce Municipality created a local working group within the Public Work office, including municipal employees and external experts, with the support of RINA. The creation of this cooperative task force was fundamental to ensure good results along the entire process: the mix of expertise and knowledge between the city and its local stakeholders enabled effective management of all aspects related to the project. 
  • Step 2 - “Analyse” was carried out to define the city’s characteristics based on six domains, covering the most relevant sectors: local conditions, energy supply and consuming patterns, building stock and retrofitting needs, urban mobility, ICT infrastructures and services, as well as citizens and stakeholders’ engagement. The examples provided by the Lighthouse Cities were important to better understand the type of data to be collected to obtain a precise baseline of Lecce. 
  • Step 3 - “Diagnose”: Lecce’s  strategic question was “How can we reduce the CO2 emissions by 40% until 2030?”.
  • Step 4 – “Envision”: The realisation of a SWOT analysis with the identification of Lecce’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the main four sectors (energy, mobility, ICT and governance), alongside an identification of Smart City trends, represented the main activities to organise the Future Scenario Development Workshop. The event involved more than 40 stakeholders coming from public institutions, university, public and private companies and associations. Learning from Lighthouse Cities’ experiences was fundamental to organise an effective workshop where a scenario was voted as the most desirable for Lecce by 2030: “Collaboration and information: the first steps towards change”.
  • Step 5 – “Plan”: The definition of the IEP was the most delicate phase of the process. It was realised through a list of new and innovative actions, more detailed in the roadmap, for a sustainable and efficient use of natural resources per sector, tailored to both the interests of the Municipality and the solutions offered by the stakeholders involved in the process. The realisation of Lecce’s IEP and roadmaps was guided not only by the analysis of the Lighthouse Cities’ templates, but also by a solid collaboration with the local working group, also inspired by the results of the Future Scenario Development Workshop, that gave a strong and real perspective about which solutions could be implemented and how to realise them. 

Lecce Foresight Workshop 9th of July 2019. Credits@Lecce Municipality.

Lecce’s target of CO2 reduction until 2030