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Industrial ecology as 'best available technique': a case study of the Italian Industrial District of Murano

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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.

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

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