Training for municipal and regional stakeholders in Modena

On 10th November, GrowGreen hosted a training session for the urban planning department in the GrowGreen city of Modena, as well as other internal and external stakeholders. The training session focused on the implementation of nature-based solutions in existing urban infrastructure, in order to solve problems such as heavy rainfall, flooding, and the urban heat island, which are becoming increasing problems in Modena.

Center for Neighborhood Technology

Center for Neighborhood Technology/Flickr

The webinar started with an introduction to several existing nature-based solutions that address urban climate change challenges. Examples were given from bioswales to prevent flooding in Dublin, Ireland, rain gardens in Nottingham, UK, and large-scale implementation of combinations of nature-based solutions in the EcoCity Augustenborg, Sweden.  GrowGreens six implementation cites, and its resources for integrating nature-based solutions into a city’s policy framework were then introduced.

David Ifould, principal landscape architect at Groundwork London, presented a project to use nature-based solutions to create climate resilience in social housing landscapes. A key part of the success of the project was an effective partnership, which led to a number of win-wins. For example, working with local councils and businesses allows opportunities to be identified for including nature-based solutions when assets are renewed. For example, bin shelters in the housing estate needed to be re-waterproofed, presenting an opportunity for green roofs to be installed over the new waterproofing.  Mr Ifould specified that ‘the green roofs prevent UV light from getting to the waterproof membrane, meaning that it stays intact for longer, and also reduces floods and promotes biodiversity’.

Carmen Salvaggio, Comune di Milano, spoke about the Milan 2030 Territorial Governance Plan, which focuses on five key objectives and nine associated strategies to make Milan a resilient city. Of these, Strategy Five aims to make space for the environment with projects that focus on soil and water and Strategy Six introduces sustainability standards, including for re-naturalising and maximising permeable surfaces in the city. Ms Salvaggio explained that the plan allows the ecosystem services, including climate change adaptation, provided by transformed buildings or urban areas to be calculated. The calculations then demonstrate whether the standards have been respected in urban developments, and indicate where adjustments should be made.

Emilia Barone, Comune di Milano, presented the city’s work with the Clever Cities Horizon 2020-funded project, which aims to make nature-based solutions a key part of Milan’s regeneration. As part of their work, they have begun to map existing nature-based solutions such as green roofs and walls and to understand how citizens are using existing green spaces. Ms Barone highlighted the need to understand how the use of nature-based solutions can be incentivised, as well as to demonstrate opportunities for governments to co-design and manage them with residents.

The training session presentations are available:

Introduction to Nature-Based Solutions

Climate Resilience for Social Housing

Integrare le NBS a Milano: l‘esperienza di CLEVER Cities

Milano 2030 – UNA Citta’ Green Vivibile e resiliente

Photo credit: Center for Neighborhood Technology/Flickr