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Spotlight on new Polis Member: Portoferraio, Italy

05 February 2019

The municipality of Portoferraio, the main town on the Elba island in Italy, has recently joined Polis as a full member.

Portoferraio, which counts 13,000 inhabitants, is the demonstration that networking and best-practice sharing is not only a prerogative of bigger and better-equipped cities.

As the main point of access to the Elba island, Portoferraio aims to encourage the use of sustainable urban mobility to better manage the mobility from and towards the port. The numbers are striking: on regular weekends during summer months some 4000 vehicles reach the island from the coastal town of Piombino, which is only 20 kilometres away. During the summer Elba’s population of 30,000 multiplies almost seven-fold, reaching 200,000 people in July and August. This makes Portoferraio a small town with the mobility problems of a medium-sized city.

In the past few years, Portoferraio has been experimenting innovative transport solutions within the CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project focussing on islands. Portoferraio had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of Valletta, Madeira, Rethymno and Limassol, especially in terms of public transport information systems and new mobility services. Becoming a Polis member, Portoferraio wishes to expand its networking activities and its participation in EU-funded initiatives.

A better management of parking spaces and the reduction of vehicles in the city centre are among Portoferraio’s top priority. Portoferraio has also joined other municipalities on the Elba islands and on the coast in the effort to work towards a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the whole area.

An interview with Angelo Del Mastro, Portoferraio’s Deputy Mayor for EU Affairs, was published in the latest edition of Thinking Cities. Please access the PDF version here.