Prato is a local public government in Tuscany totaling 250,000 inhabitants including its Province. The population of the province area is mainly concentrated in the Prato City area that counts around 190.000 inhabitants.
Like many other EU cities, Prato has to cope with a number of urban challenges related to poor air quality, heat island effects, social exclusion, poverty and degraded urban environments. Moreover, Prato is afflicted by a significant number of derelict industrial sites and dysfunctional urban areas resulting from the economic crisis of the last 10 years that has emptied several buildings and formerly active quarters.
To tackle all this, and meet the challenge of relaunching the city as an attractive, livable place with thriving economic, ecological and social wellbeing, the city has approved, in early 2018, an Operative Plan that includes a new Strategy for Urban Forest, which vision integrates nature based solutions and architecture by limiting soil consumption and encouraging the recovery of existing spaces.
Moreover, the City of Prato is the Main Urban Authority of the Urban Innovative Actions funded project Prato Urban Jungle that fosters creative and visionary urban design for re-naturing Prato’s neighborhoods in a sustainable and socially inclusive way. Urban Jungles are high-densely green re-designed areas, immersed in the urban structure, that multiply the natural capacity of plants to abate pollutants, while restoring unused soil and space to community fruition, turning marginal and decadent areas into life-giving green active hubs within the city. They will constitute a ground-breaking solution for sustainable land use within the city. The project will develop three pilot interventions by adopting a community-led approach to designing, developing and maintaining the Urban Jungles.
Partner involvement in the UPSURGE project
The City of Prato will contribute to the project with its experience in designing policies and strategies for the Urban Forest thanks of the experience developed in the last years within its Operative Plan as well as its experience developed through the Prato Urban Jungle project, in particular through the co-creation and shared urban planning of the urban forest.