Let’s green the city: promoting sustainable
behaviours for improved climate action.

Location

Bologna, Italy. The Bologna Living Lab is hosted in the premises of the Department of Physics and Astronomy “Augusto Righi” (via Irnerio 46, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy).

Environmental areas addressed

Climate Action, Energy Consumption, Air Pollution, Sustainable Transport, Biodiversity

About

The University of Bologna is engaged from several years in the European effort to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies to the adverse impacts of climate change and air pollution.

From 2021, three research groups in the areas of atmospheric physics, sociology and economics have combined their expertise for a multidisciplinary collaboration in the I-CHANGE project. This ambitious European research and innovation action aims to give citizens a solid scientific basis for facing the effects of climate change by involving them in the research and development of practical tools. The core of this activity is the Living Lab: laboratory-communities where citizens, researchers and stakeholders co-develop tools and knowledge. Eight Living Labs in all Europe and beyond are engaged to raise awareness on the effects of climate change, co-implement citizen monitoring networks, elaborate sustainable lifestyle changes that can be adopted by individuals and householders.

The Bologna Living Lab focuses on air quality (pollution), energy efficiency of buildings and sustainable transport, while also adding the protection of biodiversity in the city. Activities will be based on the utilization of innovative meteorological monitoring systems, co-design and adoption of smart mobility tools, and co-creation of effective nature-based solutions.

They will be integrated in a European and international framework, fostering interactions with Living Labs in other countries.

Climate Action Training School in Bologna Drives Environmental Consciousness

On 28 March 2024, the I-CHANGE Living Lab of Bologna deployed the first Climate Action Training School of 2024 in collaboration with Legambiente. Lectures and open discussion were given by our experts covering the topic of climate change and health. 

Monitoring of air pollution spatial variability at different locations in Bologna

In the period between the 16 and the 23 April, 2024, the Bologna Living Lab has organized a series of citizen science activities to monitor the spatial variability of air pollution at different locations in Bologna.

Passionate about sustainable mobility!

The research team of University of Bologna engaged over 100 students in the serious game “Mani in Mappa” to delve into the intricacies of sustainable mobility in Bologna from diverse perspectives.   

The Bologna Living Lab: Bridging Climate Action Training School and Citizen Science for Sustainable Urban Mobility

Throughout the summer, the Bologna Living Lab played a pivotal role in addressing critical issues related to climate change and sustainable urban mobility.

The Bologna Living Lab organized a stakeholder engagement event during the EU Green Week

The Bologna Living Lab organized a stakeholder engagement event during the European Green Week to present the project’s preliminary results and share the next steps of cooperation, particularly in improving air quality and promoting sustainable mobility in the city of Bologna.

Wintertime monitoring of meteorological, thermal and air pollution characteristics in close neighbourhoods of Bologna

In close collaboration with the University of Bologna (UNIBO) and the Environmental Protection Agency of Emilia-Romagna (ARPAE), the Bologna Living Lab organized a long monitoring session from February 7 to March 9 2023.

Preliminary diffuse thermographic campaign

Bologna Living Lab organised a first event to measure the city’s temperature using a combination of high-precision instruments and low-cost devices suitable for citizen science.

I-CHANGE at the HARMO21 International conference

Silvana Di Sabatino and Carlo Cintolesi – the UNIBO team of I-CHANGE – presented innovative results on the effect of rooftop trees on the removal of pollutants from urban canyons, and on the positive effect in urban heat island mitigation exerted by blue bodies embedded in the city fabric.

UNIBO promotes behavioural change at “Notte Europea dei Ricercatori Society”

On the occasion of “Notte Europea dei Ricercatori Society”, the UNIBO team of I-CHANGE participated with an initiative called “Rendiamo verde la città: promuovere comportamenti sostenibili per migliorare l’azione sul clima”.

UNIBO having the first stakeholder workshop

The Living Lab Bologna organized the first stakeholder workshop on 9 June 2022, as a first occasion to present the project and the Living Lab main topics and areas of interest. The meeting was held at the current headquarter of the Bologna Living Lab, the Department...

Monitoring activities

Activities will focus on the co-creation, co-implementation and monitoring of nature-based solutions to tackle the environmental areas specifically addressed by the Living Lab (energy consumption, air pollution, urban heat island, biodiversity restoration), favouring in turn climate adaptation. The co-creation activity will require a co-designed effort for identifying key nature-based solutions (e.g., the deployment of a green roof, wall or area) for specific mitigation strategies. The co-creation will also serve in the adoption of sustainable transport strategies, simultaneously beneficial for the improvement of the citizens health and the urban air quality, also with potential al co-benefits in terms of climate mitigation. Monitoring activities involve the participation of all actors engaged in the territory on the effects of climate change, the dissemination of scientific knowledge on the selected topics (thus increasing self-awareness) and the assessment of the multiple benefits and impacts of implementing different nature-based solutions.

How to participate

In case you are interested in the engagement activities, please contact the DIFA Living Lab.

Background

Established by UNIBO as part of the iSCAPE (2016), in collaboration with the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPAE) and the Bologna City Council.

The Living Lab has strong collaboration with local and regional authorities in several aspects of air pollution mitigation and climate change impact reduction. Indeed, Bologna is a well-recognised hot-spot for air pollution.

The basis of the Living Lab are the citizen science initiatives, which include:

  • Urban green and tree planting to enable citizens to act on climate change via their inclusion in the co-design of urban green areas requalification, to revive historical parks and to foster the creation of novel green yards as well as green rooftops;
  • Evaluation of urban air pollution. Citizens will be actively engaged in the assessment and empowered with low-cost air quality sensors to monitor the urban environment at local scale.
  • Development and testing of smart mobility strategies to foster a behavioural change towards sustainable mobility in collaboration with the Living Lab of Hasselt (Belgium). The aim is to create a self-evaluation tool to raise citizens’ awareness of the necessity of pedestrianization of the city centre and development of public transport.

Contact

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037193.