MUNICIPALITY OF REGGIO EMILIA
The EU is acknowledged as one of the most urbanized areas in the world, characterized by a relatively dense urban network consisting mainly of medium sized cities. The trend of urbanisation is increasing and the consequent pressure on peri-urban areas has many impacts at environmental, social and economic level: increasing soil consumption, loss of ecosystem services and reduced resilience towards climate change effects, soil speculation. All this has negative impact on economic activities, public health and life quality.
Tackling natural heritage protection in peri-urban areas becomes crucial to guarantee that natural resources are not compromised by urbanization; nevertheless, natural heritage protection is often seen as a constraint to economic growth, making the two concepts antithetic.
PROSPERA’s overall objective is to improve regional policies on protection and promotion of natural heritage by tackling loss of ecosystem services and improve sustainable development in peri-urban areas threatened by urban-sprawl, with the ultimate aim of preventing biodiversity loss, soil consumption and further degradation of natural assets, by in parallel leveraging on these challenges as a way to favor regional attractiveness and economic sustainable development.
To this end, 7 PPs from 5 EU countries (IT-EL-SE-BE-HU) have agreed on 3 leverages as means for a shift from the traditional perspective seeing urban/rural as a dichotomy to a new perspective, where protection of natural heritage fosters economic development in peri-urban areas:
1. Wise governance
2. Eco-lo(gi)cal value chains
3. Sustainable PPP (public-private partnership)
PROSPERA PPs will identify at least 15 Good Practices from 5 regions and, after a process of interregional learning based on Study Visits and knowledge exchange sessions, they will define regional Action Plans to improve 5 policy instruments.