Policies and Practices of Housing Energy Retrofit in Northern Italian Cities

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Natalia MAGNANI, University of Trento, Italy
The paper focuses on policies and practices of energy retrofit in the city of Bozen, in Northern Italy. Among Italian cities Bozen is characterized by a special sensitivity to environmental issues and by the search for a urban development limiting the environmental impact of the capital city on the Alpine surroundings. In particular, in order to promote the energy upgrading of existing private buildings in the capital city three main types of policy tools have been adopted by the province and by the municipality. These include regulatory instruments, centered around the role played by energy certification, which in the city is compulsory for any important retrofit intervention and is undertaken by a nationally renowned provincial agency. In addition, volumetric incentives aimed at stimulating the construction sector and bounded to the achievement of certified high energy standards have been adopted. Finally the municipality is also taking part in EU co-funded projects addressing the retrofit of both private and public buildings. In spite of this variety of policy tools, in the city the number of renovated buildings is very low. A social practices approach can help to understand this shortcoming. On this basis in my contribution the socio-technical process of energy retrofit implemented in some cases of multi-apartment buildings will be analysed. The aim is to uncover the role that social practices and dynamics have in mediating effects of policy tools and in conditioning their efficacy.