The Co-creation Process in Genova

Genova chose the European Awareness Scenario Workshop (EASW) method for the co-creation workshops, as the local community is at the beginning of the process of understanding the concept of nature-based solutions (NBS) and involving stakeholders in the implementation of NBS. Genova municipality employees were generally not familiar with NBS and the knowledge of NBS among the workshop participants varied. Co-creation is not a standard procedure in Genova. Prior to the UNaLab project, the Municipality of Genova experimented with various forms of participatory processes. The co-creation workshops implemented as part of the UNaLab project represented an advancement in co-creation mainstreaming for the city.


In Genova, the co-creation workshops were dedicated to the re-development of the plan for the Gavoglio barracks located in the centre of the Lagaccio district. The focus of the workshops was to explain NBS as a concept and for the participants to apply NBS for the re-design of the Gavoglio area. The aim was to present the available data and the analyses carried out on the ground, and to acknowledge the observations and problems of the citizens, their needs and expectations, and to illustrate the possible project scenarios.

Map used during the co-creation session

Genova co-creation session

Selection of Participants

The selection of participants was made by the workshop organisers together with the city’s participation office. The standard approach for the selection of stakeholders is normally determined by the nature of the project. The city uses databases that can be adapted according to the type of the project. Sometimes, a more random selection method is used such as distribution of flyers or participation to local events. The workshop participants consisted of local residents from the area and people involved in designing and developing the Gavoglio barracks into an urban park.

Lessons Learned

Take part of the experiences and lessons learned from Genova on how to organise a successful co-creation workshop with your stakeholders.



It is important that both technical experts and decision makers from the public administration take part in the workshop,


Follow up electronic invitations with phone calls to ensure that the stakeholders representing key areas of expertise participate.


Send out some information and material before the workshop.


Choose the methodology for participant involvement in accordance with the goal of the workshop - consider mixing different techniques and tools. Make sure to prepare and train the technical personnel involved in the stakeholder discussions.


The facilitator of the workshop should be impartial to the discussions.


Calculate the time carefully beforehand to in order to allow everybody to express their opinion and to generate a constructive discussion.


Involve the participants in site activities, which are managed and supported by city planners and technical experts.