What is the Prato Urban Jungle?

Our colleague Daniela Patti moderated the panels at the final conference of Prato Urban Jungle (PUJ) with project partners to share the knowledge and experience gained throughout the project. Prato Urban Jungle, a project launched by the city of Prato, funded by the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) programme, aimed to regenerate selected districts of Prato by developing high density green areas – so-called urban jungles, increasing social inclusion and promote the sustainable development of the urban environment. By working on the reconversion of an former industrial site and the forestation of a social housing estate, the project has demonstrated how nature-based solutions are an opportunity to work towards a Just Transition

In fact, it has been quite a journey over the past years due to the pandemic, the rise of material and energy costs but despite these hurdles, the project has managed to experiment how urban jungles can be an opportunity to improve environmental conditions and strengthen communities

Urban greening at a housing estate and a former industrial site

The two most key case studies developed by the project are the social housing estate of Via Turchia, where urban greening has improved the shading of facades and led to the  reduction of heat islands. The other is the refunctioning of Macrolotto Zero, a former industrial site into a multifunctional space in the middle of the Chinese district of the city, one of the largest multicultural urban areas in Italy. As a spin off of these first two sites a number of new projects have taken place through the Prato Urban Forest platform, developed to crowdfund resources to plant new trees, such as at the  S. Stefano Hospital. During the final conference of the project our team had the opportunity to visit the project sites with partners and see firsthand some of the results of the benefits of urban greening. 

Our learning is that societal change towards environmentally friendly approaches happen because people see and experience the benefits of more green in their cities but also through education activities in schools, for which Legambiente developed many training kits, and nudging positive behaviours through prizes, as the sustainability app Greenapes did through their platform. You can read more in our online magazine Cooperative City  about this digital platform that aims to change the lifestyle choices of its users by attributing real or symbolic rewards to those who engage in sustainable actions. 

Site visits

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Eutropian's role in Prato Urban Jungle

Eutropian’s role in the PUJ was to support the City and its partnership in sharing their knowledge with a wider international community, through a number of articles and journals explaining how the project developed its nature-based solutions (NBS) and carried out and how they could be replicated in other contexts.  

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