In the framework of the 2022 cultural programme “Nature in the city”, Urban Lab dedicates a space within its public venue to document and storytell the environmental situation in Torino through maps, pictures, technical and scientific publications, digital insights.
Climate change, the UN 2030 Agenda, the EU Green Deal. The environmental emergency is evident, the issue is on top of political agendas and receives major attention from experts, scholars, youth movements and mass media.
Torino itself is facing fine dust, heath waves and risk of floods. Nevertheless, it also takes advantage of extraordinary, extended and diversified natural and landscape resources. They are parks, home gardens, woods, rivers, natural reserves, tree-lined avenues, urban gardens and cultivated fields.
The narration within the Urban Lab exhibition space intertwines four perspectives: vulnerability, biodiversity, the right to green and the wild as a resource. The aim is to report the status of the Torino area between criticalities and potentialities, but also to give an account of the policies, plans and projects implemented by public, private and non-profit entities to achieve the green transition.
A reflection is provided by the unexpected aerial view of the city taken in infrared in 2018, giving emphasis to green spaces and permeable soils (parks, terraces, tree-lined avenues) thanks to an unusual red colour. This evocative picture makes some of the data even more evident.
Sponde (Riverbanks) is a project by the Portuguese photographer Luís Aniceto who investigates the wild spaces in Torino: the pictures are taken along the banks of the Sangone and Stura di Lanzo rivers. The wild is in fact the other face of the urban green: uncultivated, marginal, stigmatised or mostly unknown places, where natural, but also cultural and social diversity, find space.
The series of maps linking the urban green system and the climatic vulnerabilities, created by Urban Lab, makes data easily visible and understandable, with focuses on waterproofed areas, risks of floods, heath islands and the use of urban green spaces: in Torino 37% of the municipal area (48 million sqm) is covered in public and private green areas and 93% of the population can reach a recreational green area within 300 metres from home, with an average availability of 20 sqm of public green per inhabitant.
Thanks to the cooperation with Dual Green and Agriforest, Urban Lab will also host a green installation stemming from the will to reinforce – by urban regeneration micro-interventions – and share the concept of “nature in the city”, including some species belonging to the spontaneous flora of Torino. Some seeds will be donated to the visitors, who will be able to plant them back home and facilitate the extraordinary action of bees to protect biodiversity.
The present documentation work is not to be intended as concluded. The space aims to be a laboratory: the activities taking place during the year will enrich the information and data available, in order to make a progressive elaboration and layering of knowledge.