Session 2 | Climate Change, Cities and Green Infrastructure

9.30 | Climate change, cities and green infrastructure – exemplar urban green infrastructure approaches

  • Laura Gatti Studio Laura Gatti | Milan’s Bosco Verticale to China’s Nanjing Vertical Forest Towers

The view from one of the flats in the Bosco Verticale housing high-rise, Milan (Photo: Laura Gatti)

Laura Gatti is an agronomist, landscape consultant and landscape designer and co-designer of the multi-award-winning ‘Bosco Verticale’ by architect Stefano Boeri. Studio Laura Gatti founded in 1992 specializes in horticultural and soil consultancy, tree care and management plans, with special skills and experience in the restoration of historical sites and integrating greening into buildings – green roofs, green walls, hanging gardens. Founder and first President of the Italian Society of Arboriculture. Adjunct Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan since 2005. Awarded Professional of the Year 2008 and the Fabio Rizzi Medal by Flormart-Miflor, the most important Italian exhibition.





  • Gary Grant Green Infrastructure Consultancy | Climate perturbation, cities and green infrastructure

A vegetated wall in Athens (Photo: Gary Grant)

Abrupt changes in climate, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, will lead to more extreme weather for our cities, including heavier downpours and heatwaves.  In order to withstand these changing conditions cities will need to clothe themselves with much more soil and vegetation, on buildings and in the yards and streets. This presentation will explore how these changes may come about and what may be involved.


  • Ronan Uhel Head of Programme, Natural Systems & Sustainability, European Environmental Agency | Green infrastructure benefits and urban policies: synergies and conflicts – some European experience

Photo: © Arial image: Mathias Friedel, vision: Treibhaus Landschaftsarchitekten Hamburg, montage: Rolf Kuchling

The design of the city, its buildings and its infrastructures are supposed to last for decades or even centuries. Transformative adaptation can avoid letting these elements lock the city in to ways of functioning that will not work adequately in future climatic conditions and are hard to change. The transformative approach takes a systemic perspective. It seeks to integrate adaptation with other aspects of urban development and turns the challenge into an opportunity, capitalising on many additional, non‑climatic benefits. It departs from the state of the art of current city functioning and organises it differently, with the opportunity to function better and improve quality of life.


  • Marco Fritz Lead on nature-based solutions, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission | Research and innovation for adaptation and nature in cities

Since 2013, the European Union is addressing challenges from pressures on human health and well-being to natural capital depletion. In particular for urban areas, effective adaptation is depending on the contribution of nature. Adaptation priorities can trigger investments into nature, through protecting, restoring, and creating nature for providing multiple benefits in urban areas.

Europe aims to become a world leader in the growing market for such nature-based solutions. In 2016-2020, the EU’s research & innovation policy invests EUR 180 million in Horizon 2020 projects on nature-based solutions as innovation opportunities that minimise the trade-offs between nature, society and the economy.

Further information:

Panel discussion and Q&A