Grafting – NBS for sustainable urban policy and social inclusion


UPPER policy conference 24-25 September 2021, Latina & online

Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), is a relatively new entry in the vocabulary of environmental sciences and planning. It is a concept introduced specifically to promote nature as a means for providing solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation challenges, but has gained quickly the status of an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of practices inspired by, supported by or copied from nature. Within Europe, policy makers have integrated the concept into their new framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, providing a new narrative involving biodiversity and ecosystem services aligned with goals of innovation for growth and job creation, and with a potential opening for transformational pathways towards sustainable societal development (Nesshöver et al. 2016).

NBS are at the heart of the innovations imagined by the Upper project to co-design Latina’s public green spaces with citizens in order to improve environmental conditions, safeguard biodiversity, promote green entrepreneurship, environmental education and the inclusion of disadvantaged people. With this conference we want to discuss the potential of Nature Based Solution to endorse a new urban policy paradigm with a strong systemic approach based on sustainability and social inclusion. The concept of grafting adopted in the title is the metaphor for a practice that combines robust roots solidly grounded in the specificities of the territory with new innovative practices and knowledge able to produce more resilient and fruitful sprouts.

The two day conference will propose an International session in English dedicated to the EU perspective, and a second day in Italian more focused on the application to the national and local context. The conference will be completed by site visits and co-design activities included in the UPPER action plan, with the purpose to concretely link the theoretical discussion with the application of the project’s ideas on the territory.

Within the limits allowed by the pandemic situation, the conference will have a hybrid format, with the International session taking place online and the second day activities in Latina. This event is the third of the series of policy conferences organised by the UPPER project and is organised by Tesserae Urban Social Research in collaboration with Ce.R.S.I.Te.S. – Centro Ricerca e Servizi per l’Innovazione Tecnologica  della Sapienza – Università di Roma