How can urban green areas play a leading role in the fight against the climate crisis?



Climate change has turned into a real crisis: a situation that forces us to find effective solutions to ensure an acceptable life for future generations. In this context, green areas and forests are in a delicate situation: on the one hand they could help us in this challenge but on the other, precisely because of the crisis created by human choices, they are increasingly vulnerable.

The City of Turin, aware of the gravity of the situation, has embarked on a path that aims to enhance green areas and make them more resilient against the climate crisis.

The problem
Cities, like forests, have a dual role in the crisis: on the one hand, they are “guilty” because of the high consumption of resources and the pollution they generate and, at the same time, “victims” because they are hard hit by phenomena such as heat islands and floodings caused by the increasingly frequent heavy rainfall and poor permeability of urban surfaces. But how to mitigate these negative impacts? The so-called “nature-based solutions” could be just what our cities need.

The solution
The logic of the project starts from the economic evaluation of the ecosystem services produced by the public green areas in the territory of the City of Turin to clarify what would be the impact on citizens if they were totally or partially missing. The project will then identify the most suitable nature-based solutions to mitigate the negative impacts on areas at climate risk. The evaluation of each solution will allow to define scenarios that will be subject to a cost-benefit analysis with the aim to deliver to the Municipality a climate proofing strategy that can be immediately applied.
The work will be completed by comprehensive mapping, software to replicate the economic estimate on smaller areas and a strategy to communicate the results through presentations, web content, roll-ups and events.

Our contribution
Etifor is responsible for the assessment of ecosystem services and communication and will support the SeaCoop partner during all phases of the project.