European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU-funded post-Covid National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) includes six billion euros to reduce Italy’s exposure to natural disasters, such as floods and landslides.
On a visit to Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, von der Leyen spoke about the need to work with nature to protect the country from natural disasters.
“Tin bota. Europe is with you,” said von der Leyen using a phrase in Emilia Romagna dialect meaning ‘Stay strong’.
Work with nature
Europe is present also to help “restore the distorted balance between nature and the constructed environment,” she continued.
Speaking at the Venice architecture biennale, she continued, “The Next Generation EU provides 6 billion euros for Italy to reduce the risks of floods and landslides. For example, the Po River bed is to be restored, with the removal of concrete and the revival of greenery along the river banks, to make room for nature.
“We must make nature our partner in the fight against climate change,” added von der Leyen.
“Man-made damage is particularly tangible here in Venice,” she continued. It is crucial, she added, that to avoid the worst-case scenario Italy must act quickly.
“Reducing emissions from buildings is crucial to achieving climate neutrality and slowing the rise in sea level. For us, the concept of solidity translates into sustainability. Palladio believed that buildings should stand the test of time,” said von del Leyen referring to the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
“Buildings will only pass that test if they are sustainable,” she stressed.