Taranto is located in southern Italy and had a population of approximately 190,000 in 2010.
The city is a significant commercial and military port and is also highly industrialised, with well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries and food-processing factories.
Today, Taranto is addressing significant economic and environmental challenges. The city was declared bankrupt in 2006 and is the most polluted city in Italy and western Europe. In July 2011, a new pollution and environmental program developed by Ilva, the largest integrated steelmaking plant in Europe, was approved by the City of Taranto. The program marks a new era in the relationship between Taranto and the steelmaking industry as the it introduces more restrictive pollution quotas.