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Work progresses in the four 'climate-friendly parks', pilot action of the european project

Excavations begin for the creation of an experimental wetland area in the biagi park.

As part of the European LIFE CITYAdap3 project for adaptation to climate change, the Municipality of Reggio Emilia is carrying out a pilot action to combat the 'heat island' effect, which consists of experimental reforestation work in four public parks with the planting of over 2,800 new trees and shrubs.

The four green areas - which will thus become 'climate-friendly parks' - different in terms of territorial, landscape and social context and with different degrees of vulnerability to summer heat waves, are : Grimaldi Park in Codemondo, Marco Biagi Park in the Santa Croce district, Primavera Park at the interchange car park in Via Cecati, and the Via Ferravilla Green Area in the compensation area between the ring road and the San Prospero Strinati district

The general idea at the basis of the experimental 'Climate-friendly Parks' project is based on the desire to test the effectiveness of the introduction of four landscape-environmental 'elements' in counteracting the effects of climate change, both in terms of mitigation of derived phenomena (such as heat islands), and in terms of the health and resilience of vegetation

- micro-forests;

- the field hedges;

- the polyphytic meadow;

- the rows of trees.

The inclusion of these landscape-environmental elements applies a number of methodologies that have been studied for some time in scientific circles and validated by a series of concrete experiences that, in Europe and around the world, have been implemented or are being implemented, in different climatic and environmental contexts. The innovation component mainly concerns the experimentation of plant associations, both native and non-native, in order to test and monitor their resilience to climate change and their ability to counteract heat islands through shading and soil regeneration. The project is therefore not limited to the selection of potentially more resistant or suitable species to provide shading and increase soil evapotranspiration, but works on planting procedures and plant associations capable of establishing a resilient balance to future environmental conditions.

In addition to the planting of micro-forests, hedges and rows of trees and the sowing of polyphytic meadows - already completed in the spring - work has now begun on the experimental creation of a wetland area in the Marco Biagi park in the Santa Croce district.

This new stretch of water will further enhance biodiversity and counteract heat island effects, which will be experimented for the first time in an urban context.

The presence, on the northern boundary of the park, of an irrigation canal belonging to the Consorzio della Bonifica dell'Emilia Centrale (Central Emilia Land Reclamation Consortium), was in fact a significant opportunity for the extension and enrichment in adaptive terms of the planting intervention initially planned, with the preparation of a second section - financed directly by the Municipal Administration - that envisages the creation of a wetland area created using the waters of the irrigation canal located to the north and exploiting gravity for the exchange of moving water.

Inside, tree and shrub specimens belonging to species typical of similar wetland contexts will be planted.

Given the richness of the intervention as a whole, the Biagi Park has also been chosen for the positioning, by July, of measurement sensors envisaged by the LIFE CityAdap3 project for monitoring the impact on the microclimate following the interventions.

The Marco Biagi Park project has therefore been developed with particular attention and will be the basic experience on which to build an 'adaptive park' model to be replicated in other areas of the city and in other European cities, with the aim of improving the design and management of parks in terms of sustainability and adaptation to climate change.

The 'climate-friendly parks' pilot action is in synergy with Reggio Emilia's 'Climate Change Adaptation Strategy', approved in November 2020, which sets the creation of the 'green network' as a strategic objective that can be implemented, among the various measures indicated, with the Urban Forestation Plan.

Til srl supported the implementation of the pilot project 'Climate Friendly Parks', which is nearing completion, through a liberal donation.

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