Etnambiente SRL is a public-controlled company that works in the field of environmental politics in the Province of Catania, within which there are five municipalities located on the slopes of Mount Etna. Around 300,000 people reside in Catania, mainly in its coastal areas. The population declined recently due to migration from the city centre to uptown residential areas. Around 98% of the population is Italian, with the largest immigrant group from sub-saharan Africa. The predominant occupation is in the services , but the unemployment rate is twice the Italian average. The main flow of people, goods and economic activity is on the coast; the inner areas are mainly agricultural and sparsely populated. The harbour is a fundamental resource for Catania’s economy, and tourism is growing due to the appeal of Mount Etna.
Etnambiente manages the Municipalities' environmental infrastructure (roads, parks, open spaces, parking and water distribution); provides environmental services, and is responsible for producing the environmental strategy and raising environmental awareness amongst the population. It plans and carries out many initiatives onlocal development, environment development, and promotion of social cohesion and international cooperation. Etnambiente is involved in the regeneration of Catania, which is suffering from inner city decay and urban sprawl. Although experienced in managing, the impact of high temperatures, due to its high base temperature and exposure to the Saharan climate zone, the progressive sealing of agricultural land along the slopes of Mount Etna has increased the risk of flooding in high-density populated zones and there is frequent temperature inversion phenomena.
With the assistance of GRaBS partners and with the Province of Catania, the University of Catania and the local community, Etnambiente will develop a climate change adaptation action plan and implement a campaign to raise awareness amongst professionals (city planners, architects, technical specialists) responsible for planning and implementing regeneration strategies in order to stress the role and multi-functionality of green and blue space infrastructure in climate resilient development.
Etnambiente is currently involved in producing the regional spatial plan on 'Energy and Development' focusing on sustainable energy production including photovoltaics. The Sicily Region has no clear criteria to follow to implement green infrastructure incentives and/or regulations on energy and water provision and management is poor. The climate change adaptation action plan and exchange of best practice will help address these issues, and influence regional planning.