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Home/Pilot Cities/Castelfranco Veneto Italy
Castelfranco Veneto Italy2021-02-17T19:34:54+01:00

Castelfranco Veneto, Italy

The City

Castelfranco Veneto is a town and a comune (municipality) of Veneto, located in Northern Italy, 30 km away from Treviso (province capital) and approximately 40 km from Venice (region capital). The origin of the name of Castelfranco Veneto is the “franco” castle, meaning “free from tax”, a right granted to its first defending inhabitants. The mighty city wall of red bricks was built on a preexisting earthwork between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. The city wall and its towers are wellpreserved. Castelfranco Veneto has been a commercial city since its emergence and is tightly woven into the history of the Veneto region. Being in a strategic position in the centre of the region, it is a compulsory stop between Venice, Germany and Flanders, and between Western and Eastern Europe.

The population is 33.369 inhabitants, and the municipality area covers a surface of 50,93 sq. km, with a density of 655,2 inhabitants per square kilometer. The main economic activities are manufacturing (mainly metalworking), trading, construction and tourism. In terms of agriculture, the situation of the surroundings of Castelfranco Veneto is that of an “inhabited countryside”, in which agriculture plays more of an environmental role and contributes to creating a characteristic landscape.
As in most mediumsized towns of Veneto region, Castelfranco Veneto is also characterized by a remarkable amount of both public an private urban green, among which the historic garden of Villa Revedin Bolasco stands out for its size and importance. The total surface of green areas (public and private) in the municipality is 3,6 million square meters, around 110 square meters per inhabitant, while the national average is around 32 square meters per inhabitant.

 

The pilot

The Villa Revedin Bolasco was erected by Count Francesco Revedin between 1852 and 1865 and designed by the famous Venetian architect, Giambattista Meduna. Instead of going for the typical Italian garden, Count Revedin insisted on making a grand English garden to complement his new villa. In addition to the Meduna, other well-known landscape architects of the time (i.e., Francesco Bagnara, Marc Guignon, and Antonio Caregaro Negrin) provided their contribution. The English garden features a variety of meadows, ponds, hills and tree groups. In the background to the North stands the splendid cavallerizza – a riding arena, crowned by 52 statues in total, with two equestrian statues on top of high stands greeting visitors at the entrance. The garden is guarded by the turret at the West entrance and the turret at the East wall. The garden is internationally known and has received a prize as best Italian garden in 2018.

Villa Revedin Bolasco is owned by the University of Padova (UoP) and has been recently restored. The garden of the Villa borders the main city hospital and a dedicated house for elderly people, as well as an Urban Day Care Centre for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, which opened in 2016. The municipality of Castelfranco Veneto, along with the University of Padova and Veneto Region, will establish a local observatory on the “Therapeutic effect of the Landscape”. A project to improve the accessibility and usability of this valuable asset has been approved already by the municipality.

Six objectives and innovative actions are overseen and financed under VARCITIES, with the objectives to create a healing garden for elderly and people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and to develop the “Local Observatory on therapeutic effects of the landscape”:

  • Creation of garden access routes and an additional healing garden (to improve the health and well-being of the elderly and persons with disabilities);
  • Analysis and monitoring of psychological and physiological well-being of elderly people and people affected by Alzheimer’s;
  • Full monitoring of microclimatic conditions in the different areas of the garden (i.e. forest area, open area, lake area);
  • Development of a green public spaces (re)design toolbox, and the establishment of the “Local observatory on therapeutic effects of the landscape”;
  • Implementation of virtual and ICT tools to ensure a rewarding experience for garden users and to assist visitors with disabilities to increase safety while visiting the garden;
  • Adaptive and intelligent lighting systems/energy data management.

The future city vision

The project focuses on the benefits of nature on health, promoting physical activity, reducing stress, and improving the psychological wellbeing and quality of life of elderly people. The municipality aims at implementing nature-based solutions for integrating digital, social and cultural innovation, with high replication potential. The project aims at developing a new concept for green public spaces in cities, including a co-creative approach (together with the public, the local authorities and the industry), and developing new key performance indicators (KPIs) for health and well-being.

 

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