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 to key climate- and water-related challenges will be demonstrated 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 is historical architectural structures.
The Municipality of Genova is transforming 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 will be developed into a public, inclusive and sustainable urban park built by almost entirely nature-based solutions. All functions of the park are designed to be compatible with nature and the project involves 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 will be connected to the existing nearby green areas, which will create a green corridor in which it will be possible to increase biodiversity and decrease urban heat stress, ensuring a well-functioning ecosystem. Further, community gardens offering green open space for urban farming will be implemented.
The city is also planning to improve water management and quality on site through innovative collection, depuration and re-use of stormwater runoff to irrigate new trees and other vegetation in the Gavoglio area. Ponds and wetlands will also be created to collect, store and clean stormwater before its gradual release into water courses. Permeable surfaces in hard landscape construction will be designed and deployed to provide aquifer recharge. Rain gardens are also planned which will allow runoff from nearby urban areas to be absorbed.