Ferrara (Italy) is a medium-sized city located between Bologna and Venice, along the Po river, with an overall population of 130.000 inhabitants distributed over an area of 400 km2. 

The urban development that occurred during the Renaissance, the Herculean Addition, transformed the city into an urban model that earned the title of "the first modern capital of Europe". In 1995 Ferrara gained UNESCO world heritage site recognition for its historical centre and in 1999 obtained a second one for the Po Delta and its Estense delights. It is an important university site (University of Ferrara) with 20.000 students from all part of Italy.

European Green Deal priority actions

Climate change (flooding e hot spot), air quality, biodiversity, renewable energy, mobility: these priorities are identified in the Administration's planning tools: PUG (under adoption), PUMS, SECAP.

The issue of climate change was addressed in 2019 within the new SECAP (Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan) by identifying 37 mitigation actions and 25 adaptation actions.

The adaptation strategy is aimed at reducing vulnerability and is based on five principles:

Challenges to be faced

The Municipality aims at redesigning the city making it more resilient to climate change with actions such as increasing urban forest, expanding green spaces, de-paving squares, ensuring good soil permeability, equipping public buildings with green facades/roofs and photovoltaic panels.

It is also required to increase the involvement of citizens through specific campaigns and make them aware of the changes linked to the climate and the need to modify individual behaviors, for example to improve air quality with soft mobility.

Expected impact of USAGE

A successful demonstrator with an advanced monitoring system on heat island impacts and heavy flash flooding events, with the active engagement of citizens, high schools and other local stakeholders in Citizen Science initiatives.

Ferrara data2policy stories ... a data-driven PUG implementation

The PUG (Piano Urbanistico Generale - General Urban Plan) is the general urban plan and planning tool that the General Planning and Landscape Office of the Municipality prepares, with reference to its entire territory, to outline the structural constraints and the strategic choices of urban planning and development within its competence, oriented mainly to the regeneration of the urbanised territory, the reduction of soil consumption and the environmental and territorial sustainability of uses and transformations. It refers to the entire territory of the Municipality of Ferrara and is carried out in accordance with art. 4 of the new Emilia-Romagna Region town planning law no. 24/2017 "Regional regulations on the protection and use of the territory", which came into force on 1/01/2018. The drafting of the plan involves three stages: assumption, approval, adoption.

The four Strategic Objectives proposed in the PUG (Comune di Ferrara, 2023a) are:

In order to implement the PUG strategy and the first strategic objectives (resilient) it is necessary to have a good knowledge of land use, permeability indices, vegetation indices, it is important to know the tree cover and the state of health of the vegetation.


See what partners are doing in Ferrara to engage citizens in collecting useful data to monitor and analyse environmental conditions and climate changes.

 - https://www.citizenscienceferrara.org/ (in italian) -