Latest news on the CLEVER Cities project
28 April 2022
Does Giambellino have a green thumb? Investigation of the neighborhood’s relationship with Nature.
28 April 2022
CLEVER Cities Milano is taking steps to create urban green spaces that fit the needs and priorities of the city’s inhabitants. This is no small endeavor and requires a nuanced understanding of exactly what these needs and priorities are. To get the ball rolling, CLEVER Cities Milano distributed an online survey to residents of the Giambellino-Lorenteggio district in spring of 2021. Residents were asked questions designed to provide insight into locals’ relationships with urban nature and biodiversity. Over the course of 2 months, 167 people completed the survey. The results clearly illuminate local hopes and fears for urban greenery and will help guide CLEVER Cities Milano as the team continues to invest in co-created nature-based solutions (NBS).
First, the good news! 33% of respondents visit a green area at least once a day and 42% visit every week. What drives residents to spend time in urban green spaces varies greatly: 23% go to relax; 21% seek connection with nature; 13% want to stay cool; and 11% enjoy playing recreational sports outdoors. These varied responses are none-the-less unified by a common theme: residents are adamant that time spent outside in nature improves their quality of life. Many respondents communicated a renewed appreciation for neighborhood green spaces in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not everything residents had to say was sunny. Despite high levels of appreciation for neighborhood green spaces and frequent local use, satisfaction with these spaces was quite low: ~57% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with local green spaces, citing cleanliness (46.1% unsatisfied, 22.2% very unsatisfied) and safety concerns (14.4% unsatisfied, 32.3% very unsatisfied). 44.9% of respondents fear city abandonment of green spaces and 41.3 are afraid that the spaces will become degraded over time. Ultimately, while green spaces in the Giambellino-Lorenteggio district are highly valued by inhabitants, residents perceive great room for improvement.
Despite resident concerns, CLEVER Cities Milano still feels there is reason to celebrate: residents of the Giambellino-Lorenteggio district clearly have a green thumb, evidenced by their strong affinity for nature and appreciation of local green spaces. These values form the foundation upon which residents imagine a future where neighborhood green spaces better meet local needs and priorities.
CLEVER Cities Milano will continue to invest in local green solutions and has big plans for the Giambellino-Lorenteggio district. While much is to be decided, future NBS projects will allow for observation of nature, increase local knowledge of the natural world, provide opportunities for socializing, and foster a sense of collective care.
For more a more detailed evaluation of the survey, check out the Italian language article published by CLEVER Cities Milano. Follow up by reading the second part of the survey, not summarized by this article.
Visita Guida Tetti e Pareti Verdi (CLEVERCities Milano) by "Photo by Daniele Cavadini"