From the 11 to 13 October 2022 the UPSURGE project consortium met in Prato, Italy to discuss the progress done so far, plan next steps ahead and discuss with the demo cities of Breda, Katowice, Maribor, Budapest and Belfast about the planning of investments in nature based solutions (NBS) and their monitoring to be implemented in the course of the UPSURGE project.
The demo cities are experiencing an innovative way of working with the citizens to co-design the NBS so that they best fit their needs. Our meeting provided a forum to share these experiences focusing on the creativity and engagement of local communities in the process itself, and also to talk openly about the challenges implied.
Prato provided an excellent setting to these debates. Although the city does not participate in the project as one of the 5 initial demo sites, it has a lot to show and share with the demo cities.
In the last years, Prato has been increasingly working on the integration of nature based solutions in city projects dedicated to repurposing or redesigning urban spaces (including post-industrial infrastructure) to address its social and environmental challenges. We could see some of these efforts during a city tour which, with one of the key projects ongoing : The Prato Urban Jungle (PUJ) project.