The Silver Coast goes green
Boats between Orbetello and the beaches of Feniglia and Giannella. Other boats between the beaches of Feniglia and Giannella and Monte Argentario in addition to bicycles scooters, car sharing and a shuttle service between Orbetello railway station and the local towns, all of which fully electric.
The project Life for Silver Coast over the next two years is set to transform an already unique habitat into a territory with mobility that is almost zero impact. The initiative is the work of three councils (Monte Argentario, Orbetello and Isola del Giglio), which for the first time will be adopting an integrated system for alternative and eco-compatible transport: e-boats, e-buses, e-bikes, city cars and electric scooters.
The project, presented on 28 July in Monte Argentario, obtained finance from the European Commission as part of the 2016 edition of LIFE, the EU programme for the environment and climate action. Project costs have been estimated at over 5 million euros of which 60% will come from European coffers, while the plan is based on the use of exclusively electric vehicles that will provide accessibility to the towns in the area that are currently not served by public transport.
“Tourists that come to Italy want Italy to remain the most beautiful country in the world,” explains Francesco Venturini, Head of the Global e-Solutions at Enel, one of the main project partners, “this is why we are investing in projects like this one and we will invest even more if we find local administrations as enlightened as the three that have given life to this project.”
The hope of Arturo Cerulli, mayor of Monte Argentario, is that “the unique brand and the duration of four years of collaboration can contribute to the creation of a single council for the Silver Coast.”
“Sustainable tourism can be achieved by developing systems and offering an image of a territory in its entirety,” added Andrea Casamenti, mayor of Orbetello.
“The islands are particular territories and are at a disadvantage but this project allows us to make a great leap forward and helps us to make up the gap with the mainland,” explains the mayor of the Isola del Giglio, Sergio Ortelli.
From the environmental point of view the territory of the Silver Coast, in Maremma, is considered very special. “For researchers it is particularly challenging because it has almost unique territorial features, with the lagoon, the sea and the mountainous landscape being very close together and forming part of the same habitat,” explained professor Fabio Massimo Frattale Mascioli, of the Centre for Sustainable Mobility (POMOS) at the University of La Sapienza in Rome, coordinator and scientific director of the project.
Electric boats will transport people via sea and across the lagoon. In strategic points of the territory city cars, electric scooters and e-bikes will be available, with an innovative bike sharing station (“ElectricHub 360”), equipped with photovoltaic panels and a shelter that houses 13 pedal-assist bicycles, protecting them from vandals and bad weather. Some electric vehicles, the boats in particular, will be equipped with innovative storage systems, which are robust and long lasting.
The different parts of the project will be in communication through an info-mobility platform, which will provide information to the managers and users, enabling the purchase of tickets and allowing users to leave comments, photos and reviews of the new forms of transport. The entire intermodal mobility system, moreover, will be equipped with a network of fixed and mobile sensors to collect useful data and evaluate the health of the territory. Monitoring of the impact and the environmental benefits was a fundamental aspect in order to obtain the European finance.
Life for Silver Coast will be fully operative for the summer of 2019: it includes an experimental phase lasting two years, at the end of which, the service will enter into operation and will become an integral part of the local public transport system. Even in this initial phase, the project aims to make the local citizens and operators protagonists who, with their knowledge of the local territory, can intervene with suggestions and observations.