Bologna, Italy
City population: 380027
Duration: 2008 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: 1000000 m2
Type of area: Residental, Protected Area, Natural Heritage Area, Cultural Heritage Area, Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

The project opts for switching to more sustainable and organic ways of handling natural parks in the urban areas of the city of Bologna. The project was launched in 2008 and focused on 100 hectares, meaning 10 parks (out of the 1.100 total in the city). The goal is to develop maintenance techniques with low impact on local flora and fauna, stimulating biodiversity and an equilibrium with the surrounding urban environment, as well as the reduction of toxicity impacts for vulnerable residents (i.e. children and elderly people) (1 and 2). This NBS solution focuses on changing maintenance of Bologna public urban parks from conventional techniques to biological ones (1 and 2).


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces

Key challenges

  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling physical activity
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Preservation of natural heritage
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape/infrastructure
  • Promotion of cultural diversity


Creation of new green areas, Maintenance and management of urban nature, Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Protection of natural ecosystems

Project objectives

The project has the following goals (2): - Quality improvement in the local environment, including cultural heritage, buildings, public spaces and landscapes. - Increase in natural areas quota and biodiversity. - Conservation and re-qualification of existing natural landscapes. - Following the targets set by the European Convention on Landscapes. - Promotion of an integrated environmental planning. - Promotion of innovative and sustainable landscape planning. - Biodiversity protection. - Local fauna protection.

Implementation activities

Gardens involved in the NBS are being treated with specific organic techniques, such as letting the grass and other plants grow more than usual in order to pollinate and expand. Signs with information on the project and why parks have a different look have been put around with the aim to educate people (1).

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Preserve and strengthen habitat connectivity
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore ecological connectivity
  • Public engagement

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children


Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project


Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Improved soil quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Increase in protected green space areas
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Fair distribution of social, environmental and economic benefits of the NBS project
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalised groups or indigenous peoples
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records