The Sangone torrent, the waterway that surrounds the city to the south and the Piedmont Park area in the Mirafiori district offered the opportunity to create an ecosystem path capable of redeveloping neglected areas and at risk of „heat island effects” with agricultural, horticultural and beekeeping activities. The NBS fostered involvement, participation and awareness-building processes among local residents. Citizens living in the surrounding area developed a sense of identification and affection for the territory, leveraging community ownership and maintenance of the site.
The former traffic barriers and small gardens lacked character and were hence poorly used by inhabitants: enhancing the street by planting grasses, shrubs and few trees made the area more attractive to residents while improving the environment for pollinating insects and birds that feed on them. In order to enhance the access to natural heritage of Mirafiori district and raise awareness about proGIreg NBS in the neighbourhood, information totems and a set of visiting path have been designed, accompanied by guided tours organized from spring 2021 to the end of the project.
The „Green Corridor“ is developed in incremental sections along via Rodolfo Morandi between via Castello di Mirafiori and via Palmiro Togliatti: the first section lies between via Castello di Mirafiori and via Rodolfo Morandi n.17
The NBS addresses societal and environmental issues that improve living conditions inluding:
- Creating an ecosystem path to redevelop areas that lacked character
- Implementing NBS in an area with risk of „heat island effects“
- Fostering processes of citizen engagement and raising awareness among residents
- Increasing biodiversity by planting pollinator- friendly species
- Developing a sense of community, spatial belonging and co-ownership to ensure co-maintenance by residents together with the city administration
Planning and preparatory activities (administrative and technical procedures)
Key steps carried out to allow the NBS implementation included:
- Meetings with City of Turin to plan and coordinate with other NBS actions
- preparing and clearing the site
- carry out training to establish the activities for constructing the Green Corridor, also in regard to maintenance
- organize groups of citizens for light maintenance works, accompanied by controlling and reporting any critical maintenance and management issues
- contacting the City of Turin department in charge of urban furniture for identifying the necessary administrative procedures to install landmarks/signs
- requesting and collecting cost estimates for landmarks/signs from three possible suppliers
- following co-design process, final designs were submitted to the Administration to start implementation works.
Co-design and engagement activities
A social analysis identified relevant stakeholders to engage in the co-design process:
- DBios University, Casa Farinelli, ATC, ASL, the local Parish and I Passi engaged in the design process, notably in the phases of involving families with difficult housing or economic conditions regarding future maintenance of the NBS and training on re-introducing pollinating insects.
- Local residents participating in the planting got to understand the importance of construction and monitoring works, and the benefits of (symbolic) food production to strengthen civic commitment: residents continue to be involved in maintaining the area.
The NBS is driven by citizen engagement and NGOs active in the area, e.g. participating in workshops and maintenance activities. Citizen engagement was re-assessed when entering the co-maintenance phase in order to plan dedicated activities. Fruitful collaboration with the University Turin department DBios to select the most suitable plant species for the green corridor to foster the propagation of butterflies and pollinating insects.
Subsequently, DBios has started monitoring butterfly activity in the area to compare before and after effects.
The NBS benefits the entire Living Lab area:
- Creation of a community feeling among residents in different residential housing and social conditions with the aim of sharing and understanding the preciousness of social commitment
- Positive effects of increasing biodiversity
- Contribution to mitigation of climate change effects and heat island risks highlighted in the analysis of locations
- Increase Biodiversity
- Increase accessibility to green open spaces
- Increase social interaction
- Provision of health benefits
- Social inclusion
EU Horizon 2020 project:
Total implementation budget and proGIreg funds: 82.000 €