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).

 

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.

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.

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.

Environmental areas you address

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

How to participate

Engagement meetings will be organised in the near future (starting in autumn 2022). More information will follow.

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.