: The Urbanhort project promotes agricultural production developed in the urban areas of Cibali, Foce del Simeto, ring road and industrial area with various types of systems, ranging from conventional to organic, from biodynamic to soilless, indoor, farming and vertical farming. So as to reach the goals, the University of Catania in collaboration with the municipality pinpointed specific areas suitable for intervention in order to start the cultivation of the products. The selection of the products will be following the seasonal cycle of cultivation, by promoting at the same time local practices of cultivation, and cultivation will be done by local citizens willing to participate. In this manner, it will be possible to evaluate the productive potential of the system and the quality of the products, verify the positive effects on the city and analyze the costs. The aim is to reach goals such as improved quality of food provision, and higher-quality green space usage (Comune di Catania, 2017; Naturvation, 2020).
Increased provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Food, water, etc)
Yes, the main focus is on biological, indoor and vertical gardening (Naturvation, 2020).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, the project planentails carrying out activities in urban areas such as Cibali or peri-urban areas such as la Foce del Simeto, the ring road and the industrial zone where sustainable agricultural productions were developed with systems of diverse types from conventional to organic, from biodynamic to soilless, indoor farming and vertical farming. In the end, the production potential of each system will be evaluated as well as the quality of the products, together with the beneficial impacts on the city and a cost-benefit analysis for evaluating the environmental, economic, cultural and social impact on the city. The relevant social aggregation created through the urban fruit and vegetable gardens is a crucial outcome for the project as well, and the project will improve the indigenous crops and their seasonality and hence also facilitate a correct use of food at zero waste. Additionally, the project is intended to make citizens understand the seasonality of products and the relevance of a correct diet and the idea of green areas as an area for improving one's wellbeing. (Comune di Catania, 2017).
Improved aesthetic value
Yes, the project activities contribute to the introduction of further greenery to urban and peri-urban areas, ring road and the industrial area (Comune di Catania, 2017).
Increased access to green infrastructure
Increased social interaction and inclusion
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
Yes, by citizens and community involvement (Naturvation, 2020).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, the project also aims to make citizens understand the seasonality of products and the importance of a correct diet and the concept of green areas as areas of well-being. (Comune di Catania, 2017). Volunteer citizens, trained by experts and university professors, were assigned to land areas for cultvation. (Naturvation, 2020).
Low provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Water, food)
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018). Sutanto et al. (2020) stated that drought plays a substantial role in the occurrence of the compound and cascading events of dry hazards, especially in southern Europe as it drives duration of cascading events. Drought-heatwaves are affected regions mainly in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, according to the data used in their study relates to the summer seasons from 1990 to 2018.
Food security (SDG2) Zero Hunger
Yes, the principal topic is resources - efficient urban agriculture for multiple benefits for multisectoral urban agriculture (Comune di Catania, 2017).
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, the objectives include the promotion and enhancement of the territory in key areas such as tourism, culture and the urban environment that act as a catalyst for the economic and productive promotion of the city. (Comune di Catania, 2017).
Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0299-2.
Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5781-3_2.