Alba S., Baldo M., De Benedetti L., Deimichei S., Mazzino F., Margagliotti A., Polin V., Quaglia D., Tardivo S., Tocco Tussardi I. (2023)
A Participatory Inventory Project to Kick-Start the Creation of a Hospital Park: The Experience of the University of Verona (North-Eastern Italy). SUSTAINABILITY Vol. 15, n. 5, pp. 1-11.
The proximity and accessibility of a green space to places of care have recognized beneficial effects on healing processes. In this communication, we present the results of a pilot research action which has been focused on a neglected urban green area located near to a university hospital. The research action was conducted with a participatory approach, which mainly involved university students, to make the renovation project more inclusive and to create an opportunity for training on green and sustainability themes. The specific aims were: (i) to initiate the renovation of a green space of 18,000 square meters with potential benefits for users of both the hospital and the University of Verona (north-eastern Italy); (ii) to map and classify the greenery in the park; and (iii) to investigate the opinions and attitudes of the potential users of the green area. By performing digital identification and mapping, a detailed tree inventory of the green space was created. Results showed that five species accounted for more than 70% of the trees, with the majority being deciduous plants (59%) between 5 and 20 m tall (72.5%) and 20–200 cm in circumference (80.8%). Through interviews with the population, we highlighted a limited knowledge of the area but a consensus on the importance of the requalification. We highlight how the participatory methodology may represent a valuable tool for local policymakers to manage the city’s green spaces at various scales and implement greenery for the common well-being.