The 3rd Local Stakeholder Workshop in Merano

Merano & Bolzano 4 October 2023
Preliminary master plan of "Garden For All" - guarantee a local fauna and vegetation

On the 18th of September, the city of Merano presented the masterplan for the "Garden for all" front of the nearby kindergarten and hosted 22 stakeholders for the workshop at a multigenerational house next to the implementation site.

In the workshop, the city of Merano showed a short overview and update of the JUSTNature project and its activities in Merano, such as the temperature sensor network, the LiDAR survey of the precious trees and the ecological consultant before the summary of the main outputs of the previous co-creative process which lead to the masterplan.

The main session of the workshop was the presentation of the master plan and the explanation of the planned nature-based solutions, for example, a biodiverse natural hedge, wildflower meadow and a perennial bed, edible plants, an open water surfaces for cooling and a picnic area. Along with the concept of the "Garden for all", it is important to maintain a wide range of autochthone plants, especially local fauna and vegetation, to guarantee a thriving ecosystem with local insects and birds. Later, the participants had opportunities to comment and discuss the master plan - the session was moderated by participation expert Sara Passler and supported by expert landscape architect Rosa Sagmeister. The discussion became very intensive.

In the interactive sessions, the participants rated the aesthetics of pictures of near-natural gardens in different seasons, before and after explaining the importance of letting flowers fade and seed naturally. The audience was very interested and reflected the man-made beauty standards for green areas.

The last exercise was a method called" impact journey" about how the participants plan to use the "Garden for all" and what they need for doing so. The outcomes were insightful: many participants wished to experience nature in a relaxing and quiet way and bring real nature to the city, which benefits young citizens to reconnect with nature, while the elderly wished for comfortable and ergonomic-sitting furniture (easy-to-get down and get up) and hope in finding company in this experimental green space.

All participants who filled in the feedback form received a herb plant as a little present.