The first journal of the Prato Urban Jungle (PUJ) project in Prato recounts the activities carried out within the first phase of the project as well as providing an overview of the role and tasks the different local partners have carried out together with the learnings they can share with others wanting to embark on a similar journey.
The Prato Urban Jungle project fosters creative and visionary urban design for re-naturing Prato’s neighborhoods in a sustainable and socially inclusive way. The City of Prato is experimenting with urban forestation strategies and aims to re-naturalize three diverse districts of the city by introducing areas with high green density – urban jungles – in the built environment.
To reach such a goal, within the first months of the project the local partnership has been preparing the background conditions for the projects to be implemented, conducting research and co-design workshops, raising visibility to the public, and doing awareness campaigns on topics such as urban ecosystem services and green infrastructures.
The key activities carried out up until now have been around four areas:
- Ethnographic research and co-design path aimed at raising awareness and citizen participation, civic imagination, and co-planning of sustainable urban futures;
- Setup of the public procurement process for starting the intervention in the pilot sites;
- Awareness activities that allow citizens to be acquainted with the project activities and start getting familiar with some of its concepts, through courses and toolkits;
- Ideation and realization of a communication strategy.
All local partners have been greatly involved in the development of the different items experiencing great cooperation and resilience to adapt the plan to the needs and challenges encountered along with the project setup and the rescheduling due to the impending pandemic situation.
The upcoming activities of Prato Urban Jungle will see the beginning of the works in the pilot's sites, and continuing motivation to the public towards greening and the green benefits, with a special program in the schools, the installment of the stations for collecting environmental data, the launch of the app that rewards sustainable actions and ideas and the integration on the municipality’s website of the participatory platform more inclusive urban green development in the city of Prato.