Assessing the sustainability value of different Urban Green Infrastructure elements.
The UGI-Barometer has been conceived to support the implementation of Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) in the city of Rome as well as keep stakeholders informed on this relevant topic. By approaching a broad range of stakeholders, this online platform collects different opinions that can contribute to raising awareness on the relevance of UGI for the city. In addition, it builds up an anonymous database of diverse approaches and solutions that can contribute to better understand the benefits and possible barriers for the setting up of UGI.
Local Task Force
The main facilitator was the Department of Environmental Protection of the Roma Capitale (Municipality of Rome) in collaboration with Sapienza-Università di Roma and the University of East London (UEL).
Within WP2 of TURAS project, two different tools were developed in Rome: the Urban Green Infrastructure Barometer (UGI-Barometer), produced by the Municipality of Rome, and the Urban Green Infrastructure Best Practices Database (UGI-BPD), produced by Sapienza-Università di Roma.
On one hand, the UGI-Barometer was developed to support the assessment of the drivers and barriers of UGI elements and focused on a qualitative evaluation rather than a quantitative one. On the other hand, the UGI-BPD aimed to collect data about UGI best practices already realized on the territory and it was originally conceived to support the realization of an e-guide to Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) implementation.
The current pilot is the result of combining both tools into an online platform in order to facilitate knowledge of different UGI elements and thus, raise awareness about their use, by enabling the gathering of more data and feedbacks from relevant local stakeholders. Click here to visit website
The implementation of artificial "green" elements such as green roofs, is embedded in several European regulations. For this reason, the online platform takes into account the use of these elements to facilitate and support the implementation of UGI on a larger scale, which involves the participation of different stakeholders such as politicians, local authorities, professional experts and local community.
Even though there were no major obstacles, it was a challenge for IT experts to develop this online platform as simple and understandable as possible, allowing also the possibility to include information on other relevant topics. On the other hand, it is important to point out the limitations of the tool. For instance, despite the Barometer can collect some UGI best practices around the world, this is not enough to increase the knowledge and awareness of all the benefits related to their use.
Financial resources were needed to support the implementation of the project, while researchers and local public authorities expertise, as well as IT expertise were needed to consult on issues related to this tool.
Strokes of Luck
The Municipality of Rome as well as Sapienza-Università di Roma verified that the UGI-Barometer, as well as the UGI-BPD had many common issues and features. This not only contributed to improving their partnership but also to establish working relationships with people open to new ideas, which was crucial to take the project forward.
The pilot provides an open and user-friendly online platform, accessible for everyone, which facilitates knowledge about UGI elements by identifying benefits and barriers, as well as analysing Best Practice examples around the world.
As the Barometer assesses different UGI elements in relation to their relevance and functionality, in the long-term it can contribute to some extent to enrich the existing knowledge that local community and local authorities have on the field.
Key lesson learned - Claudio explains
"The assessment of drivers and barriers from a qualitative point of view helps to make decisions that sometimes appear more onerous economically. Nevertheless, as the best practices collected in the tool, the arising benefits have an economic and social value far greater."
Claudio Baffioni, Comune di Roma