The results of research conducted by the University of Perugia in collaboration with Sviluppumbria in the framework of the Zen Project on the sustainability of cultural events have been published in the prestigious international publication, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, and included in the academic portal www.tandfonline.com. The study contributes significantly to the field of sustainability of events in relation to the use of transport, highlighting the positive effects on the host community.
“The collaboration with Professor Cecilia Chirieleison of the Department of Excellence of Political Science of the University of Perugia”, says Mauro Agostini, Managing Director of Sviluppumbria, “has allowed us to produce research very useful for our territory, which every year is affected by events that attract millions of visitors. The events are, from a cultural, tourism and economic point of view, a great resource for the whole of Umbria and the project has made it possible to identify a common methodology to reduce the impact of events that attract a large public both on the cultural heritage of the city and on the environment.”
Being able to measure the relationship between events and sustainable transport is useful to promote synergies, thus allowing policy makers, event organisers and other stakeholders to have ever more tools to promote sustainability. The research, which examined the use of the Perugia Minimetrò to the events that take place annually in the city, has shown a positive influence between the sustainability of the event and transport. In fact, harmful emissions and sharp deterioration in air quality that can result from traffic congestion due to spikes in mobility on the days of the event can be reduced by the use by visitors of sustainable urban transport. At the same time, sustainable events that invite participants to use public transport can contribute to the economic sustainability of green transport. The results suggest that sustainability is a win-win proposition, demonstrating that sustainable events can make a significant contribution to the economic sustainability of modes of transport with a low environmental and social impact.
The research takes into account a long time span, from 2009 to 2016, examining both the event data through an advanced statistical analysis and the balance sheet data of the Minimetrò with a precise accounting analysis.
“Data in hand showed that, if there were no Minimetrò, the mobility of visitors to the major events of Perugia would generate 44.8 tons more CO2,” says Prof. Chirieleison,co-author of the study with Prof. Alessandro Montrone and Prof. Luca Scrucca of the Department of Economics of the University of Perugia, “while events make a fundamental contribution to the economic sustainability of this low environmental impact transport system. Without Umbria Jazz and Eurochocolate the Minimetrò’s balance sheet would be significantly worse, with an increase in the cost per passenger of 6% and a decrease in revenues of 14% on an annual basis.”
If not for the major events, the Minimetrò would have shown a loss instead of a profit in 4 of the 8 years considered, while without the Minimetrò, the traffic during large events would have gone crazy.