Engaging children and families with the concepts of environmental justice and nature-based solutions was the aim of Eurac Research's workshop during the kids' science festival "Le Mille e Una Scienza" in Bolzano.
The 2023 edition of the festival was a success, with over 3,300 participants from the 9th to the 12th of November. The festival, organised with the backing of the Office for Youth Policies of the Province of Bolzano and the Office for Scientific Research, involved the research organisations in the province that made their expertise and experience available to the young participant and their parents.
The location of Castel Mareccio was transformed into the "Castle of Science", hosting workshops, interactive experiences, and hands-on activities on a myriad of scientific subjects. Among the stands, Eurac Research delved into the topic of climate change, environmental justice and nature-based solutions.
Children were invited to explore an illustrated map of Bolzano, identifying spots and highlighting environmental and social issues by adding stickers with sad faces or drawing the problems directly on the map. In addition to sharing their concerns, the young participants pinpointed opportunities, such as the presence of animals and green areas. The interactive activity sparked lively conversations, providing a platform for children to express their ideas about the city and its challenges.
The activity unfolded as the children proposed nature-based solutions by drawing their ideas on city outlines. Researchers from Eurac Research facilitated deeper insights into these solutions with a poster showcasing examples and a detailed explanation of their benefits, catering not only to young children but also to older kids and curious adults.
Moreover, the workshop provided a valuable lesson in co-creation. Children grasped the significance of incorporating diverse perspectives when planning interventions. They understood that every stakeholder's needs should be considered to ensure the development of a city that resonates with its entire community.
Through initiatives like these, there is the hope to raise awareness among the generations to come about the need for a city that is liveable and mindful of the needs of every citizen and also of nature itself.