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Profile of the municipality of Dolo 


The municipality of Dolo is located on the south-east of Veneto Region, in the Province of Venice. The Veneto region is one of the strongest economic engines in the country (it counts around 10% of Italian GDP). The core economic areas are the tertiary sector (65%)and industry (33%), while agriculture/primary sector is residual (2%). Service sector is growing, bringing upwards consumptions of residents. The Region has overall remarkable infrastructural assets, only the Provinces of Venice and Belluno lack a bit behind. A recent phenomenon in the industrial sector has been the “displacement” of the production phase of several companies, leaving the motherland to foreign countries. Overall 460.000 companies contribute to the vibrant economic system of the region. Tourism plays a pivotal role (14% of Italian arriving visitors and touristic presences ), with positive effects on jobs creation and local expenditures of visitors, thanks to the cultural heritage and natural richness of this land. 

The region has had a population increase in the last 35 years, actually counting around 5 million, mainly due to the arrival of foreign people (7% of the residents), balancing the usual negative birth / death balance at the national level. Nowadays, the share of the over 65-year-old resident population is around 23%. By 2030, the number of residents is expected to slightly decrease due to this aging population. 

With some 15.000 inhabitants, the municipality of Dolo ranks 60th in the municipalities statistics of Veneto Region measured by population size.  

The Italian municipalities (overall 7.900) vary widely in size, but those between 60.000 and 5.000 inhabitants are the most frequent (53%, respectively 23% for 20-60.000, 16% for 20-10.000 and 14% for 10-5.000). 

Status and future urban Development of SMM-A 

The Municipality of Dolo extends in the north-west area of the Province of Venice, along the axis determined by the course of the navigable river “Naviglio Brenta” and is located halfway between Padua and Venice, so in the past, it was the intermediate stop for the diligence that led to boarding for the city of Venice.  

The population is 15.276 inhabitants, and the municipality area covers a surface of 24,17 km2, with a density of 630 inh/km2.  

The old city center is located on the two banks of the river, while the two municipality’s hamlets (Arino and Sambruson) are located respectively to the north and south of its course. Dolo is the district center of the so-called “Municipalities of the Riviera del Brenta” since it constitutes the heart of the economy and craftsmanship of the Riviera (riverside). 

The historic center is full of picturesque and particular views, such as the ancient mills and the only venetian ‘squero’ (ancient shipyard for boats of Venetian origin) on the mainland, perfectly preserved. 

The local industrial sector is strongly characterized by the presence of companies belonging to the footwear district of the “Riviera del Brenta”. Most of the small businesses are distributed within the town, resulting in an urban fabric characterized by a mix of residential, commercial and craft functions. Most relevant industrial zone is called “Arino”, it is  close to the border with the Municipality of Pianiga, immediately south of the highway Midland-Venice. 

Other production sites are distributed in the territory, especially near the Brenta river. 

The road infrastructure network that affects the Municipality of Dolo, which supports the large traffic crossing the municipality, is made up of three large subsystems: 

  1. The large scale connection infrastructure: 
  1. Highway Miland – Venice which intersects the northern part of the Municipality of Dolo, from west to east, skirting the suburb of Arino. 
  1. The regional route  n. 11 “Padana Superiore”, which crosses both municipalities from west to east, running through the entire municipality of Dolo along the Naviglio del Brenta  
  1. Some  highway connections, as “Tollbooth 9 – Dolo-Mirano Motorway”, complementary work of the Venice Passante, passing through the municipality of Dolo and skirting the town of Arino to the west and “Roncoduro” which starts from the intersection with the regional road n. 11 about 1 km east of Dolo, proceeding to the Dolo-Mirano motorway exit; 
  1. the provincial network, connecting the inhabited centers and the fractions of the neighboring municipalities: 
  1. the municipal road network within the residential and built areas. 

The Veneto Region law n°11 on sustainable urban planning adopted in 2004 makes mandatory to all municipalities to renovate the traditional urban planning tool called PRG (Piano Regolatore Generale)  by splitting it into a strategic masterplan called PAT (Piano di Assetto del Territorio) followed by an operative zoning plan called PI (Piano degli Interventi).

Dolo adopted the PAT (Piano di Assetto del Territorio – Strategic masterplan, at reference scale 1:10.000) in 2018, jointly designed with the adjacent Municipality of Fiesso D’Artico, as the two territories share the main development challenges and ambitions. The PAT foresees that major interventions should accomplish a Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure (EU DIR 2001/42/CE) before the approval, including adequate mitigation and compensation measures.  

The PAT is complemented by some envisioning of possible future development and transformation scenarios. 

Later, in 2018 and 2021 the Municipality adopted the PI (Piano degli Interventi – zoning plan, at reference scale 1:5000 / 1:2000). Following the strategic environmental directives of the PAT, the PI shrinks by 120.000 square meters, the amount of agricultural land previously allocated to new developments. This implies an overall reduction of theoretical construction of 65.000 cubic meters (residential buildings) and 21.000 floor square meters (industrial buildings). 

In 2012 Dolo designed and adopted the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), supported by the Province of Venice – as many other municipalities did at that period -, unfortunately without developing internal skills to follow step by step and manage its implementation. 

The SEAP targeted -21% CO2 reduction by 2020 in comparison to baseline year 2005, which according to IPCC emission factor calculation resulted in 5 CO2 tons per capita and 18.8 MWh/year  consumption per capita (counting buildings and transport sector only), and 274.000 GWh/year overall consumption. 

The -21% target implies an annual reduction of 16.000 tons of CO2 from about 73.000 (2005) to 57.000 tons of CO2, to be achieved by implementing 21 actions referring to energy efficiency in buildings, transport, awareness creation and public engagement. 

In 2014 the JRC approved the SEAP with some technical adjustments; in 2015 the first monitoring has bene done, as foresaw by the Covenant of Majors agreement, and the second in 2018 (based on 2016 data). 

The trend shows an increase of emission between the baseline year 2005 and 2010, counterbalanced by a sequent decrease, leading to -11% emissions in 2016 compared to 2005. Therefore, the Municipality is on the good track and should have meet the 2020 target, reversing the previous increasing trend. 

Some relevant projects and interventions recently concluded by the Municipality of Dolo on energy issues concern:   

  • Energy efficiency intervention / refurbishment of the “Giotto” primary school in via Tintoretto; 
  • Energy efficiency intervention / refurbishment of the “Daniele Manin” primary school in via Canaletto; 
  • Energy efficiency intervention / refurbishment of the “Isola del Tesoro” nursery school in via Canaletto; 
  • Project Financing for the energy requalification of public lighting systems in the entire territory of the Municipality of Dolo for a total of 3000 lamp posts , replacement of 5 municipal service cars with new E-Vehicles and the installation of 6 charging points for E-Vehicles in the municipal area; 
  • Planting of 150 new trees in the municipal area: 
  • Extension of green areas in viale dello Sport and via Fondamenta; 
  • Replacement of the “Gandhi” secondary school heating system in via Brusaura; 
  • Replacement of windows and doors in the southern side of the “De Amicis” primary school in via Vittorio Veneto; 
  • Energy efficiency intervention on public lighting in via Arino. 

The municipality is also a member of the association “Foreste di Pianura” (Flatland forests), promoting renaturalization of agricultural abandoned land, urban forestry, etc. 


The future development towards a sustainable and resilient SMM  has been discussed intensively over the last years in Dolo and is on the top of the local political agenda. 

The Municipality is currently analyzing and discussing how to restructure the technical department into a unique functional area, to break the traditional “siloed” approach in which each department works quite independently from the other, limiting the interaction to the formal procedures. This will empower the integrated sustainability vision and reduce frictions, by developing cross-sectorial competences.  

The top priorities for the local community are: 

  • Revising upwards the energy/environmental targets, by undertaking the challenge to achieve -50% of emissions in the next decades (compared to 2005), namely -45% by 2030 and – 50% by 2050; 
  • Empowering the civil servant, especially those working at the technical sectors, training them on energy-environmental issues, with the final aim to define an internal “integrated sustainability manager”, able to coordinate the urban planning/environmental policies/public works areas, by introducing ambitious environmental and performance criteria to shape the administrative action of the Municipality 
  • Fostering the good practice exchange  and enhancing the dialogue with environmental associations already engaged at local Level, and sustaining citizen-led initiatives, to achieve that targets; 
  • To earmark adequate internal resources and to look for additional funding (e.g. from Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan) and international projects, as well as implementing private-public partnership and innovative business models to sustain the energy and climate transition. 

The major and local politicians also promote the vision of Dolo as a “friendly municipality”, aiming to improve the quality of life for people, developing well-being opportunities and taking care of historical heritage and environmental areas through: 

  • Introducing slow speed area in the city center (30 km/h), avoiding crossing motorized traffic; 
  • Creation of and urban beach along the riverside; 
  • Continuation of the cycling paths to reach the small suburbs; 
  • Rehabilitation of several historical buildings (some damaged in past years by a storm/tornado) using innovative but compatible techniques and energy efficiency  
  • Realization of public services and infrastructures by implementing Public-private-partnerships to achieve high levels of quality and functionality. 
  • Enhancement of green areas and creation of urban forests/green belt. 

Among the main challenges identified there are: 

  • Lack of skills and understanding of sustainability/energy issues in internal human resources; 
  • Lack of dialogue among some departments and agreement on the overall strategy by some internal elements; 
  • workload of internal human resources, almost dedicated to solving bureaucracy and daily issues.