About Genova

Genova is the largest city in the Liguria Region and is characterised by a narrow coastal zone with hills and steep mountains in the backcountry. Genova is the third largest city in Northern Italy in number of inhabitants, as the population amounts to 607,000 people. This number increases to 850,000 when considering the whole metropolitan area.

Genova is plagued by frequent flooding which has resulted in significant destruction in the past, primarily due to intense rainfall on a highly urbanised landscape. The city faces numerous environmental challenges related to extreme weather conditions such as water management issues, heat stress, and water and air pollution.


Genova's NBS demonstrations


Nature-based solutions that address key climate- and water-related challenges have been implemented in Genova’s Lagaccio district, which is a central and densely populated district characterised by disorganised post-war urbanisation mainly formed by residential multi-story buildings and derelict sites. The Lagaccio district occupies a core area of Genova, connecting the old port, the historic town centre and the 850 hectare Peralto natural park with its historical architectural structures.

The Municipality of Genova has transformed the Gavoglio area in the Lagaccio district into a 10,000 m2 urban park. The former military barracks in the area have been demolished and the area has developed into a public, inclusive and sustainable urban park built by almost entirely nature-based solutions. All functions of the park have been designed to be compatible with nature and the project involved the implementation of 12 different nature-based solutions.

The park is intended to create a welcoming and sustainable public area through the implementation of green spaces, such as rows and bunches of trees and lawns. The new green spaces have been connected to the existing nearby green areas, which has created a green corridor in which it is possible to increase biodiversity and decrease urban heat stress, ensuring a well-functioning ecosystem. Further, cultivation areas offering space for urban farming and orchards have been implemented as well as a green wall.

The city has also improved water management and quality on site through innovative collection, depuration and reuse of stormwater runoff to irrigate new trees and other vegetation in the Gavoglio area. An infiltration basin and bioswale have been created to collect, store and clean stormwater before its gradual release into water courses, while permeable surfaces have been deployed to provide aquifer recharge. A rain garden, which allows runoff from nearby urban areas to be absorbed, has been installed as well as an underground water retention basinGabionslog crib walls and slope afforestation have been installed in the park to increase slope stability and prevent landslides.

Learn more about Genova's NBS demonstrations

Our Urban Challenges

Our Urban Challenges

Air pollution
Biodiversity loss
Climate resilience
Green space management
Climate driven health issues
Knowledge and social capacity building
Natural and climate hazards
New economic opportunities and green jobs
Participatory planning and governance
Place regeneration
Our Nature-based Solutions

Our Nature-based Solutions

Green facade
Tree group
Infiltration basin
Orchard & xerophilous meadow
Rain garden
Tree log retaining wall

Partners involved in Genova's NBS implementation

Latest Updates

Related Information

Co-creation Workshops in Genova

The Municipality of Genova organised three co-creation workshops that took place between March and April 2018. With the European Awareness Scenario Workshop methodology, citizens, representatives of local associations, urban planners, geology experts and the staff working for the Municipality of Genova, came together to create a vision, propose their ideas, and discuss their implementation. Results that arose from the co-creation activity were evaluated by designers and the municipality to ensure their technical and economic feasibility.  

The Gavoglio park in Genova inspires the use of nature-based solutions for another park in the city

The works in the Gavoglio park have started and in the coming months the first nature-based solutions foreseen by the UNaLab project will be built. The experience gained thanks to the UNaLab project in the use of NBS has also led to another important result: NBS have been included among the requirements for the design of a new urban park for the city of Genova, which will be located in the areas affected by the collapse of the Morandi motorway bridge.

Land reclamation works have started in the Gavoglio park

The coastal city of Genova is addressing challenges connected to climate change and shifts in socio-economic trends by reshaping a former military barrack through the deployment of co-created nature-based solutions (NBS) within the UNaLab project.

NBS performance monitoring in the front-runner cities

Year 2019 marked the advancement and near finalisation of NBS planning and construction in the UNaLab front-runner cities. During the latter half of 2019, the cities have been working with the project’s technical partners to identify a suite of relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) that will provide essential information about the performance and impact of the NBS being implemented.

Park Gavoglio in Genova: making room for nature

The works to create a new, multifunctional public park on the site of the former Gavoglio barracks in UNaLab front-runner city Genova are progressing. Take part of the developments and ongoing works in this article.

Nature-based solutions are growing in the Gavoglio park

The Gavoglio park in Genova is filling with nature as nature-based solutions such as raingardens, bioswales, gabions, trees and plants have found their places in the new urban park. Meanwhile, monitoring activities to report on the first impacts of the nature-based solution on the local environment have started.

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