The concept of Eco-municipality was introduced in Italy through Eric Ezechieli, who founded and chaired The Natural Step Italy, now become Nativa.
The concept was first and mostly developed in Morbegno, Ezechieli’s hometown. In 2007, the city adopted the sustainable principles and started a project to become a leader in sustainability : “Morbegno 2020”. The project involved the population in a participatory design process and was based on back-casting – with the help of The Natural Step and Sustainable Sweden, a vision of what the people living in Morbegno wanted to create in the long term was designed and a strategic path to move towards the vision from the present reality was chosen.
The Morbegno 2020 project led to the creation of the association VentiVenti, a province level sustainability governance which aim is to “promote culture and actions for sustainable development in the province of Sondrio”. The association has realized projects like 100 Tetti (=100 roofs), a local renewable energy program now achieved. The initiative led to the installation of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of 57 families for a total of 300 KW. This project took place in the frame of the Valtinella 2015 project, which promotes Valtellina and Valchiavenna as a learning lab for sustainability.
All of those initiatives in Morbegno and in the province of Sondrio were realized thanks to a large community mobilization, as well as to efficient partnerships between different public or private organizations. The city received several awards (Five Star Municipality award 2008; Soladitas Social Award 2009), and still applies sustainable principles in its decisions and policies.