Green efforts of Italian cities rated

Urban environment still under pressure, but some towns making progress, Legambiente reports

Italy's cities are under environmental pressure, but some are showing they can rise to the challenges of waste disposal, rising traffic levels, air pollution and urban planning, according to a report by environmental group Legambiente.

The NGO's "Urban Ecosystem 2000" ranks 103 towns and cities according to their environmental quality and efforts to improve it. None achieves an "excellent" rating, though the northern town of Pavia is judged to be "good". Italy's capital Rome comes over half way down the ratings. Milan in the north and Naples in the south are both "inadequate".

Though air pollution remains one of the biggest problems in Italian cities, some are taking action, Legambiente reports. It particularly praises a one-third increase in public transport use in Milan between 1998 and 1999. Separate waste collection is also increasing, according to the report, and eight cities now recycle 30% of domestic refuse or more. Urban sewage treatment remains an area where more progress is needed, though here too improvements are being made, according to Legambiente.

Follow Up:
Legambiente, tel: +39 06 862 681.

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