Valtellina: a "Learning Valley" Towards Sustainability, Italy
Valtellina, one of the most important tourist destinations in Northern Italy, is home to about 175,000 people in a valley of the Italian Alps near the Swiss border. After one and a half years of intensive capacity building, Valtellina is moving towards sustainability using The Natural Step Framework as a compass.
Work began in 2007 with leaders in the small town of Morbegno. So far, thousands of people, including schoolteachers, community leaders, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, and municipality officers, have been involved in intensive learning programs on sustainability.
Building on this experience, a new independent non-profit organisation, simply called “2020” was founded this February with the goal of making Valtellina a “Learning Valley towards Sustainability” helping the community build on its diversified economic texture, which includes light industry, agriculture, hospitality, financial and other services. This new project will be led by TNS Italy and "2020", working in a close partnership, with the support of the CARIPLO foundation and the local Economic Development Agency.
Ken Melamed, mayor of Whistler, BC, Canada, is currently visiting the region, sharing his learning and insight with local leaders and citizens about the opportunities and challenges of pursuing sustainability. He is helping to spread the Valtellina experience across Italy through presentations and initial engagements in Milan, the host city of the EXPO 2015, and Bari in Southern Italy, one of the 10 largest Italian cities.