Bari,Italy The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Sustainability and Innovation: Bari's Role in the Eurocities Network

Contributions and Roles of Bari in the Eurocities Network

Innovation and Sustainability

Bari is actively committed to sustainability and innovation, aiming to create a greener and smarter city. The city’s goals include substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and the promotion of green technologies to enhance urban living.


  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030.
  • Promote the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Encourage public and private sectors to adopt green technologies.

Smart City Initiatives

Bari leverages cutting-edge technology to address urban challenges, improve quality of life, and ensure sustainable growth. This includes deploying smart technologies for environmental monitoring, enhancing healthcare, and optimizing public services.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Installation of smart sensors to monitor air quality and traffic flow.
  • Development of a smart healthcare platform to streamline patient management.
  • Implementation of smart water management systems to reduce waste and improve water quality.

Cultural and Social Projects

Bari places high importance on cultural and social engagement, actively supporting projects that enrich the community and assist vulnerable groups. Efforts include promoting cultural heritage, offering social housing, and organizing community events.

Official City Website:

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Restoration and promotion of historical landmarks and museums.
  • Social housing projects for low-income families and refugees.
  • Cultural festivals and public art installations to foster community spirit.

Urban Planning and Development

Bari undertakes significant urban development projects aimed at enhancing livability and addressing climate change. These projects are designed to create a balanced urban environment that supports economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Redevelopment of waterfront areas to include green spaces and pedestrian pathways.
  • Expansion of public transportation networks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles.
  • Energy-efficient building codes to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Youth and Education

Bari is invested in creating a vibrant, inclusive environment for students and young professionals. The city offers numerous educational opportunities, skill development programs, and youth-led initiatives to prepare the next generation for future challenges.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Partnerships with universities to provide internships and research opportunities.
  • Entrepreneurship programs and startup incubators for young innovators.
  • Community centers offering free or low-cost educational workshops and courses.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

Bari’s active participation in the Eurocities network brings numerous benefits, including access to shared best practices, collaborative projects, and funding opportunities. Additionally, the city gains visibility on an international platform, fostering greater cross-city cooperation and policy influence.

  • Enhanced access to European funding programs and grants.
  • Opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration with other member cities.
  • Increased influence on European urban policy development.

Bari, Italy


Bari is located on the Adriatic Sea in the Apulia region of southern Italy. It is positioned on the southeast coast of the Italian Peninsula, roughly halfway down the “heel” of Italy’s “boot.” The city benefits from a coastal climate and is known for its long waterfront, which spans about 40 kilometers.


The population of Bari is approximately 320,000 people. The demographic profile of the city includes a mix of young professionals, families, and an aging population, reflecting a broad cultural and socioeconomic diversity.

Economic Overview

Bari’s economy is robust and diverse, driven by several key industries such as commerce, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. The port of Bari is a significant hub for trade and transport, connecting Italy to the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The GDP of Bari is strong, with a significant contribution from the agricultural sector, known for its olive oil and wine production.

Historical Significance

Bari boasts a rich history, dating back to ancient times when it was a Greek colony before becoming part of the Roman Empire. It gained prominence during the Middle Ages as an important port and trade center. Key historical events include the Crusades, during which Bari served as both a rendezvous point and a place of departure for soldiers heading to the Holy Land. The city’s historical architecture reflects its diverse past, with notable landmarks such as the Basilica of Saint Nicholas and the Norman-Swabian Castle.

Cultural Attractions

  • Basilica of Saint Nicholas: A major pilgrimage site, housing the relics of Saint Nicholas.
  • Bari Cathedral: An impressive Romanesque church dedicated to Saint Sabinus.
  • Norman-Swabian Castle: A historic fortress that dates back to the 12th century.
  • Piazza del Ferrarese and Piazza Mercantile: Vibrant squares in the historic center, often hosting cultural events and markets.
  • Petruzzelli Theatre: One of Italy’s most famous opera houses.

Education System

Primary and Secondary Education

Bari’s education system includes numerous public and private primary and secondary schools, providing comprehensive educational programs. The city emphasizes bilingual education and has several institutions incorporating international curricula.

Higher Education

The University of Bari Aldo Moro is one of the city’s cornerstone educational institutions, offering a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Notable faculties include Medicine, Law, and Economics.

Transportation Infrastructure

The transportation network in Bari is highly developed. Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport offers national and international flights. The city’s public transit system includes buses and a metro network, connecting residents to various parts of the city and neighboring towns. Bari’s central railway station is a crucial hub, offering train services to major Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, and Naples.

Urban Development Projects

Bari is undergoing significant urban development aimed at enhancing sustainability and quality of life. Projects include the regeneration of the waterfront, the creation of green spaces such as Parco 2 Giugno, and the modernization of public housing and transportation infrastructure.

Environmental Initiatives

The city has implemented various environmental initiatives, focusing on renewable energy, waste management, and reducing carbon emissions. Bari has invested in expanding green spaces and promotes sustainable urban mobility options like bike-sharing programs and electric public transport.

Quality of Living

Residents of Bari enjoy a high quality of living, with access to excellent healthcare services, numerous public amenities, and recreational facilities. The city is known for its relatively low crime rates and vibrant social life. Healthcare is bolstered by several well-equipped hospitals and specialized medical centers.

Quality of Life Indexes

  • Livability Ranking: Bari is often ranked among the top cities in southern Italy for quality of life.
  • Health Index: The city scores highly on health indexes due to its accessible and quality healthcare services.
  • Environmental Quality Scores: Bari is committed to maintaining a clean and sustainable urban environment, reflected in strong environmental quality scores.

Mayor Profile


Antonio Decaro

Current Position

Mayor of Bari, Italy

Political Affiliation

Democratic Party (Partito Democratico)


  • Degree in Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Bari

Professional Background

Before becoming mayor, Antonio Decaro worked in various capacities both in the public and private sectors. He has held several positions in local government, including:

  • Director of Traffic Technical Service at the Puglia Region
  • General Director of the Municipality of Bitonto
  • Regional Councillor in Puglia, where he worked on transportation and public works

His experience in the private sector includes working as a civil engineer, further contributing to his expertise in urban planning and development.

Achievements as Mayor

As Mayor of Bari, Antonio Decaro has initiated and implemented several key projects, including:

  • Sustainability Initiatives: Advanced the city’s renewable energy projects and promoted the use of public transportation and cycling to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Urban Development: Led the regeneration of urban spaces, including the redevelopment of waterfront areas and the improvement of public parks and green spaces.
  • Technological Advancements: Implemented smart city initiatives such as free public Wi-Fi, smart traffic management systems, and digital citizen services.

Vision for the Future

Antonio Decaro’s vision for the future of Bari includes:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Expanding digital infrastructure and employing data-driven solutions to enhance public services and urban living conditions.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Continuing efforts to increase green energy use, recycling programs, and urban green spaces while promoting sustainable practices citywide.
  • Community Engagement: Fostering a sense of community through participatory decision-making processes and increased transparency in local governance.

Personal Life

Apart from his professional responsibilities, Antonio Decaro is known for his commitment to family and community. His hobbies include:

  • Cycling
  • Reading, particularly books on urban planning and environmental sciences

He is actively involved in community activities and environmental preservation projects, often participating in local clean-up campaigns and educational outreach programs.

Awards and Honors

Throughout his career, Antonio Decaro has received several accolades, including:

  • 2017: Appointed President of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI)
  • 2019: Recognized by the President of Italy for distinguished service in public administration

Bari, Italy: A Blend of Quality Living and Reasonable Costs

Quality of Life


Bari boasts a commendable safety index of 60.68. Residents and visitors can expect a secure environment, contributing significantly to the overall sense of well-being within the city.


The city’s healthcare system is highly reliable, reflected in the healthcare quality index of 66.94. Bari offers an array of medical services and facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare when needed.


With a pollution index of 44.83, Bari maintains a relatively clean environment. This low level of pollution is indicative of the city’s efforts to ensure a healthy, sustainable living area for its residents.


The transportation index in Bari is recorded at 25.49. The city’s public transportation system is efficient and widely used, featuring buses and regional trains that connect various parts of the city and surrounding areas, making commuting convenient for daily travelers.


Bari is home to several esteemed educational institutions, the most notable being the University of Bari Aldo Moro. The university is renowned for its academic excellence and research facilities, making it an important educational hub in the region.

Cost of Living


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately $578.10 per month, making housing accessible to a range of incomes.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs for a single person amount to around $248.54.
  • Dining out at an inexpensive restaurant typically costs about $18.13 per meal.


The average monthly utility costs for an 85m2 apartment are about $139.47, covering essentials such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage.


A monthly public transport pass is priced reasonably at around $35.25, offering unlimited access to the city’s bus and train networks.


  • Fitness clubs: $33.89 per month.
  • Cinema: $9.07 per movie ticket.

Bari within the Eurocities Network

As a vibrant member of the Eurocities network, Bari plays an integral role in the economic, political, and social development across Europe. The city benefits from shared ideas and best practices that come from being part of this network, continually enhancing its residents’ quality of life through innovative and collaborative efforts.

Overall, Bari, with its balance of high quality of life and reasonable cost of living, emerges as a desirable location for both residents and visitors, showing how the city’s participation in the Eurocities network contributes to its progressive and enriching urban environment.

Source: Numbeo

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