IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Energy retrofitting of urban buildings: A socio-spatial analysis of three mid-sized Italian cities


  • Magnani, Natalia
  • Carrosio, Giovanni
  • Osti, Giorgio


The current paper analyses the issue of energy retrofitting of buildings in Italian cities. In particular a mixed-method approach is used combining the socio-spatial analysis of data on the most relevant policy tool, namely tax deduction, together with qualitative analysis of three case studies of middle-sized cities. The results show that on the one hand tax deduction has not been very effective in promoting a deep renovation of buildings and it may exacerbate already existing inequalities. On the other hand, it emerges that progress in eco-retrofit of buildings depends mainly on creation of new intermediators and intermediation incentives. They are increasingly necessary in an urban panorama that has become inevitably polycentric.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnani, Natalia & Carrosio, Giovanni & Osti, Giorgio, 2020. "Energy retrofitting of urban buildings: A socio-spatial analysis of three mid-sized Italian cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:139:y:2020:i:c:s0301421520300987
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111341

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harro van Lente & Marko Hekkert & Ruud Smits & Bas van Waveren, 2003. "Roles of Systemic Intermediaries in Transition Processes," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 247-279.
    2. Beau Warbroek & Thomas Hoppe & Frans Coenen & Hans Bressers, 2018. "The Role of Intermediaries in Supporting Local Low-Carbon Energy Initiatives," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-28, July.
    3. Grandclément, Catherine & Karvonen, Andrew & Guy, Simon, 2015. "Negotiating comfort in low energy housing: The politics of intermediation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 213-222.
    4. Virkki-Hatakka, Terhi & Luoranen, Mika & Ikävalko, Markku, 2013. "Differences in perception: How the experts look at energy efficiency (findings from a Finnish survey)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 499-508.
    5. Kivimaa, Paula, 2014. "Government-affiliated intermediary organisations as actors in system-level transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1370-1380.
    6. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    7. Pelenur, Marcos J. & Cruickshank, Heather J., 2012. "Closing the Energy Efficiency Gap: A study linking demographics with barriers to adopting energy efficiency measures in the home," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 348-357.
    8. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry, 2008. "Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 152-174, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. D'Adamo, Idiano & Gastaldi, Massimo & Morone, Piergiuseppe, 2020. "The post COVID-19 green recovery in practice: Assessing the profitability of a policy proposal on residential photovoltaic plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    2. Noriko Akita & Yasuo Ohe & Shoko Araki & Makoto Yokohari & Toru Terada & Jay Bolthouse, 2020. "Managing Conflicts with Local Communities over the Introduction of Renewable Energy: The Solar-Rush Experience in Japan," Land, MDPI, vol. 9(9), pages 1-20, August.
    3. Adriano Bisello, 2020. "Assessing Multiple Benefits of Housing Regeneration and Smart City Development: The European Project SINFONIA," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(19), pages 1-28, September.
    4. Diana D’Agostino & Milena Esposito & Francesco Minichiello & Carlo Renno, 2021. "Feasibility Study on the Spread of NZEBs Using Economic Incentives," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(21), pages 1-16, November.
    5. Ahlrichs, Jakob & Wenninger, Simon & Wiethe, Christian & Häckel, Björn, 2022. "Impact of socio-economic factors on local energetic retrofitting needs - A data analytics approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    6. Zhang, Dongyang & Mohsin, Muhammad & Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad, 2022. "Does green finance counteract the climate change mitigation: Asymmetric effect of renewable energy investment and R&D," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    7. Beniamino Murgante & Giuseppe Borruso & Ginevra Balletto & Paolo Castiglia & Marco Dettori, 2020. "Why Italy First? Health, Geographical and Planning Aspects of the COVID-19 Outbreak," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-44, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kivimaa, Paula & Boon, Wouter & Hyysalo, Sampsa & Klerkx, Laurens, 2019. "Towards a typology of intermediaries in sustainability transitions: A systematic review and a research agenda," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 1062-1075.
    2. Feser, Daniel & Runst, Petrik, 2015. "Energy efficiency consultants as change agents? Examining the reasons for EECs’ limited success," ifh Working Papers 1 (2015), Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).
    3. Jonathan M. Lee, 2015. "The Impact of Heterogeneous NOx Regulations on Distributed Electricity Generation in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 15-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Aurélie Cardona & Cristiana Carusi & Michael Mayerfeld Bell, 2021. "Engaged Intermediaries to Bridge the Gap between Scientists, Educational Practitioners and Farmers to Develop Sustainable Agri-Food Innovation Systems: A US Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-13, October.
    5. Bregje van Veelen, 2020. "Caught in the middle? Creating and contesting intermediary spaces in low-carbon transitions," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 38(1), pages 116-133, February.
    6. Paula Kivimaa & Wouter Boon & Sampsa Hyysalo & Laurens Klerkx, 2017. "Towards a Typology of Intermediaries in Transitions: a Systematic Review," SPRU Working Paper Series 2017-17, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    7. Farrelly, M.A. & Tawfik, S., 2020. "Engaging in disruption: A review of emerging microgrids in Victoria, Australia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    8. Clarke, Ian & Klerkx, Laurens & Ramirez, Matias, 2016. "Learning and innovation in developing economy clusters: Comparing private and non-profit intermediaries in cluster governance," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 16712, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    9. Antje Klitkou & Suyash Jolly & Nina Suvinen, 2023. "Systemic intermediaries and the transition toward forest-based bioeconomy in the North," Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 321-348, July.
    10. Samuel Howard Quartey & Olamide Oguntoye, 2020. "Promoting corporate sustainability in small and medium‐sized enterprises: Key determinants of intermediary performance in Africa," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 1160-1172, March.
    11. Héloïse Berkowitz & Antoine Souchaud, 2024. "Filling successive technologically-induced governance gaps: meta-organizations as regulatory innovation intermediaries," Post-Print hal-04228083, HAL.
    12. Delorme, Donatienne, 2023. "The role of proximity in the design of innovation intermediaries' business models," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    13. Rohe, Sebastian & Chlebna, Camilla, 2022. "The evolving role of networking organizations in advanced sustainability transitions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    14. Selviaridis, Kostas & Hughes, Alan & Spring, Martin, 2023. "Facilitating public procurement of innovation in the UK defence and health sectors: Innovation intermediaries as institutional entrepreneurs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(2).
    15. Mignon, Ingrid & Winberg, Lisa, 2023. "The role of public energy advising in sustainability transitions – empirical evidence from Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 177(C).
    16. Curtis, E. Mark & Lee, Jonathan M., 2019. "When do environmental regulations backfire? Onsite industrial electricity generation, energy efficiency and policy instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 174-194.
    17. Kern, Florian & Rogge, Karoline S. & Howlett, Michael, 2019. "Policy mixes for sustainability transitions: New approaches and insights through bridging innovation and policy studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(10).
    18. Prodi, Elena & Tassinari, Mattia & Ferrannini, Andrea & Rubini, Lauretta, 2022. "Industry 4.0 policy from a sociotechnical perspective: The case of German competence centres," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).
    19. Moeller, Simon & Bauer, Amelie, 2022. "Energy (in)efficient comfort practices: How building retrofits influence energy behaviours in multi-apartment buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 168(C).
    20. Catherine Willan & Kathryn B. Janda & David Kenington, 2021. "Seeking the Pressure Points: Catalysing Low Carbon Changes from the Middle-Out in Offices and Schools," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(23), pages 1-21, December.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:139:y:2020:i:c:s0301421520300987. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.