Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Implementation model

GAIA - Green Area Inner-city Agreement

A short description of the NBS project

As many Southern European cities, Bologna is facing drought, extreme temperatures and water scarcity as a result of climate change. These problems with water availability have been partially attributed to urban deforestation. Trees extract groundwater through their roots and release it into the atmosphere thus contributing to the availability of atmospheric moisture vapour, and provide necessary cooling during heat waves. Trees also have the capacity to increase soil cohesion and therefore they can help to prevent landslides and erosion from occurring. With no national or regional adaptation action plan in place, in 2015 the city of Bologna has adopted the Adaptation Plan to Climate Change, a plan approved by the City Council and focused on the development of innovative measures (that can be tested locally) and on the increasing green spaces number in urban areas. These measures are developed as part of LIFE+ project BLUE AP (Bologna Local Urban Environment Adaptation Plan for a Resilient City). One of the successful initiatives is represented by GAIA “Green Areas Inner-city Agreement”. The main objective of GAIA project is to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the local level through the creation of a partnership between Municipality and companies to plant trees throughout the municipal area. In total 23 areas are identified in Bologna that together have a potential of planting 3,000 trees. They include urban parks, industrial districts, hillside parks and local recreational areas. GAIA mechanism is based on the idea to use financial compensation for the carbon footprint of businesses as a main driver for action: financial compensation is used to purchase plants and maintain trees throughout the city. Participation of the town council and local businesses in the GAIA initiative is on a voluntary basis. Bologna is currently implementing a GAIA spin-off project for citizens called RADICI. This project is financed through crowdfunding.

NBS Implementation context
Location Italy, Bologna (Italy)
Latitude
Longitude
Status Ongoing (2010-2013)
Dates
Description of the NBS
NBS Scale city
NBS Impacts scale City
Urban density/ Soil consumption High (dense city center)
Combined with other(s) environmental friendly solution(s)?
if other
NBS Typology
Open the NBS Solution Explorer
NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Waste
Recycling
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Health
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
Other
Stakeholder and Governance
Who Started this initiative? Community • Research institutions
Contracting Authority
Project manager (leader and main partners): entities names, and know-how involved
Who (else) was involved in the project ? (Inhabitants, local association, etc.)
More detail on the process and the role of the different stakeholders (How did it happen?)
OPTIONAL Considering the actual impacts, who are the primary beneficiaries of the project.
Cluster Governance Model Description
cluster2_new_public_managementPublic_private_partnership The initial phase of GAIA project is realised on a budget of €1.202.000. Approximately half of this sum is financed with support of Life+09 European Fund and it is used for the development of the instruments itself, the guidelines and the technical and scientific document. The city has used its own funds to attune the process based on feedback of the initial results. In practice, businesses choose the type of partnerships they would like to purchase to neutralize their carbon footprint, based on the number of purchased trees. On signing a statement of intent, the council agrees to plant the trees, cover any unexpected maintenance costs for the first 3 years and provide project progress updates. The private entity agrees to pay the chosen contribution (in form of a “charitable donation”) which covers the purchase, the planting and ordinary maintenance of the trees for 3 years. These maintenance costs include watering, trimming, removal, weeding and substitution in case of dry out. After the third year, these ordinary maintenance costs come at the expense of the Municipality of Bologna. In exchange for their investment, businesses receive a free audit to calculate their carbon dioxide offset potential and workshops on the main environmental issues related to their business. On April 2016, 1.405 trees have been sold with a total contribution by companies of €281.000. This amount is enough to cover the expenditures involved in the purchase and maintenance of the trees.
Financing
Global Estimated cost of the project 1M€- 5M€
Cluster cluster4_public_private
FM • Private Finance Iniative PFI (Public: EU (LIFE Climate Action) - Private: charitable donation)
Description of the financing mechanism The initial phase of GAIA project is realised on a budget of €1.202.000. Approximately half of this sum is financed with support of Life+09 European Fund and it is used for the development of the instruments itself, the guidelines and the technical and scientific document. The city has used its own funds to attune the process based on feedback of the initial results. In practice, businesses choose the type of partnerships they would like to purchase to neutralize their carbon footprint, based on the number of purchased trees. On signing a statement of intent, the council agrees to plant the trees, cover any unexpected maintenance costs for the first 3 years and provide project progress updates. The private entity agrees to pay the chosen contribution (in form of a “charitable donation”) which covers the purchase, the planting and ordinary maintenance of the trees for 3 years. These maintenance costs include watering, trimming, removal, weeding and substitution in case of dry out. After the third year, these ordinary maintenance costs come at the expense of the Municipality of Bologna. In exchange for their investment, businesses receive a free audit to calculate their carbon dioxide offset potential and workshops on the main environmental issues related to their business. On April 2016, 1.405 trees have been sold with a total contribution by companies of €281.000. This amount is enough to cover the expenditures involved in the purchase and maintenance of the trees.
Business Model
Class Type Description
The project permits the city to raise awareness among companies of the carbon dioxide production involved in their production processes and practices and stimulate the local economy by offering opportunities to the companies to market themselves.
Temporal Factor
Expected time for the NBS to be fully effective after its implementation
Expected life time of the intervention
Already feedbacks on the project? In case, the project has already been adapted to new requisites, please explain the modifications brought
Success and limiting factors
Process Enablers
Class Subclass Type Description
Knowledge_driversGeneration of evidence Awareness• Lesson learnt through implemented projects • Research on benefits; • Climate Change -
Governance_drivers-
Economy_driversGovernment support Create conditions for new business models and finance schemes • Public-private partnerships;
Process Inhibitors
Class Subclass Type Description
Knowledge_driversUncertainty • Operational unknown • Performance unknown
Governance_driversComplexity of governance structure • Role ambiguity
Economy_driversBudget constraints • Lack of funding knowledge
What makes this project a pioneer?
Field
Criteria
Brief description of the innovativeness
Has the project received a prize, an award?
Has the project received a media coverage? (in reviews, in press, etc.)
IM Keywords
References