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Milan Greets Spring by Planting Native Shrubs

12 April 2023

Milan Greets Spring by Planting Native Shrubs

12 April 2023


This March, local residents and associations gathered to plant the first seeds (in this instance, small plant starts) of the Giambellino district G129 park, laying more than just the metaphorical groundwork for a more biodiverse future. The site will host a future bird garden and wild orchard, both of which were the results of CLEVER City Milan co-creation efforts. The 35 native shrubs planted will play a fundamental role in enriching the park’s biodiversity and offering people the opportunity for meaningful observation of and interaction with nature.

In addition to donating their time and energy, participants were provided with background information on each of the plants, as well as the potentially attracted birds and butterflies. Participants left the event with a kit of postcards with pollinator identification information. The kit also contained an invitation card that they can use in the future to invite new friends to the park as well as another postcard that they used to tell us who they are, through the board "Giambellino 129 siamo noi" (We are Giambellino 129).

Interactive get-to-know-you activities were a key component of the event as well. Participants mapped their emotions on a board, illustrating the positive impact that the planting session had on the mood of participants. Joy, pride, and satisfaction were common themes.These results are a clear confirmation that this type of interactive outdoor event is a positive experience for those who participate.

A second board hosted self-identikits produced by each participant. These materials also provided information on the motivations that led people to participate. Participants were invited to use the boards to learn a bit more about each other. The event has a lingering personal touch too: each planter placed a placard with their name next to their plant, alerting others to their participation, and saved the GPS coordinates so that they could find the plant again in the future.

Opening the construction site for a co-implementation event is an innovative procedure that required a great deal of coordination and collaboration between the various subjects involved: 3 sectors of the public administration (Municipality of Milan), the subsidiary company in charge of the works in the area (MM spa), the organisation in charge of planting (Colombo Group), Eliante (CLEVER Partner). Being a construction site we had to provide a limited number of accesses, but we managed accommodate all those interested in participating. All 20 participants left the event with a smile on their face.

The planting work will continue until the end of March and then again in autumn with the park expected to be ready by December 2023.

Planting Shrubs (CLEVER Cities Milan)