Keywords: industrial ecology, industrial districts, urban revitalisation, industrial symbiosis, BATTER, voluntary agreements, Italy, urban regeneration, Venetian Lagoon, environmental regulations, air quality, water quality, stakeholders needs, environmental pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, Venice
Industrial ecology as 'best available technique': a case study of the Italian Industrial District of Murano
This paper describes an attempt to revitalise a declining urban industrial area in the Venetian Lagoon in accordance with environmental regulations. Among the revitalisation initiatives, the environmental ones were defined through the discussion and signing of a voluntary agreement by all stakeholders. This agreement contained new and more stringent limits than those set out by environmental legislation. The application of BATTER, a tool that indicates the best environmental scenarios for a territory, identified the best technical solutions: only the application of Industrial Ecology (IE) principles would allow the achievement of advantages regarding air quality (emissions reduced up to 65%), water quality (pollution reduced between 20 and 30 times), water and energy consumption and CO2 emissions (reduced up to 60%). As compared to other applications of Industrial Ecology, the Venetian case differs in the attention paid to the stakeholders' needs and their involvement in the decision-making process. It provides an example of how fruitful the application of IE to existing industrial regions can be.