A project to make Europe the global leader in innovation and implementation of nature-based solutions. This is the aim of "Connecting Nature", a five-year project financed with 12 million euros by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 action program for innovation. It activates 31 project partners from industry, local authorities, local communities, NGOs and research in 16 European countries, together with Brazil, China, Korea and the Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia). Thanks to the project, 11 European cities - including the Metropolitan City of Bologna - will invest in the large-scale implementation of "nature-based solutions", they will measure the impact of this approach and will share their experience at European and international level.
The project comes from the strong growth in interest and investments at EU level on intelligent solutions "designed" to bring a greater presence of natural elements in urban areas. These innovative solutions contribute to improve city environments and they have important impact on sustainable job creation, as well as improving citizens' health and well-being.
"Connecting Nature", launched in 2017, will end in May 2022 and it intends to create a community made of cities that promote peer-learning and capacity building among the cities that are most experienced in providing nature-based large-scale solutions. Thus, cities become multipliers of knowledge and skills. At the same time, the project partners develop the policies and practices needed to increase the resilience, innovation and urban governance by using nature-based solutions.
"Connecting nature" takes up the complex challenges of cities development and develops and tests approaches, by using multidisciplinary methods with collaboratively designed solutions in order to create resistant, greener and healthier cities.
An artistic-natural installation at the debut of the project in Bologna
An interesting project realized in Bologna and mentioned in the website of Connecting Nature: "Pollution 2018 - RefleAction". It is an artistic and spectacular installation realized in late September in the city centre. About forty oaks enriched the splendid architectural profile of Piazza Santo Stefano, on the occasion of the Mostra Cersaie (International Exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings) and the Bologna Design Week, creating a picturesque backdrop for theatrical and musical performances. The installation was designed by architect Mario Cucinella and it recalls the performance "Pollution, per una nuova estetica dell’inquinamento", which in 1972 led a group of 25 artists to redesign one of the most beautiful squares in Bologna.
"Pollution 2018 - RefleAction" arose from the collaboration between Iris Ceramica Group, Cucinella’s School of Sustainability and Laboratorio delle Idee. It proposed a new reconciliation between people and nature, intertwining art, architecture and design. The working group has traced a path that, starting with the complaint that characterized the first edition, has been developed to achieve new tools that allow a responsible, shared and participatory use of urban space, where to rebuild the bond between people and nature.