Forestami is an innovative project driven by the urgent need to purify the air, improve living conditions, and combat the adverse effects of climate change. With the support of Prada Group and various influential entities, including the Metropolitan City of Milan and the Municipality of Milan, the project aims to plant an impressive 3 million trees by 2030, representing a significant stride towards a greener future.
«Urban reforestation is at the center of international debate and is particularly relevant for Milan, a city that wants and has to offer more and more greenery. In addition to supporting the Forestami project as a whole, the Prada Group has decided to launch the Forestami Academy, a series of workshops dedicated to all citizens offering educational opportunities on these topics. As a Group, we have always valued education and promoting culture and we are sure that the deep knowledge of the Italian and international speakers will be a great source of inspiration for attending audiences.»
Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
The Forestami Academy project is a significant advancement in addressing climate change and its environmental impact. Governments and communities recognize the importance of urban forestry education and have embraced this joint initiative by Forestami and the Prada Group. The three-year program, led by distinguished lecturer Maria Chiara Pastore from Milan Polytechnic, offers a comprehensive curriculum with meetings, seminars, and workshops featuring national and international forestry experts. The academy's primary goal is to disseminate urban forestry principles and scientific knowledge, providing a valuable opportunity for environmentally passionate citizens to learn and engage actively in this field.
The Forestami Academy started with two meetings at Triennale Milano, featuring learning modules with experts and thematic working tables, and will continue with an outdoor lesson in October dedicated to practical application. These activities allow participants to translate knowledge into practice.
The third and final event of the 2023 training course took place on October 2nd at Cascina Centro Parco - Parco Nord Milano. A guided walk in an Urban Forest of the metropolitan city of Milan with Giorgio Vacchiano, associate professor Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Territory, Agroenergy, University of Milan.
The around 100 citizens participants, after a theoretical introduction, were able to take a closer look at the peculiarities of the urban forests of Parco Nord Milano and the different tree species present. They also participated in clean-up activities. On this occasion the Prada Group announced its contribution to support the restoration of Parco Nord Milano, one of the most important green lungs in the metropolitan area covering 800 hectares, which was damaged by a severe storm last July.
On June 30th, the second meeting of Forestami Academy took place at the prestigious Salone D'Onore of Triennale Milano. The event brought together around 100 citizens from diverse age groups who actively participated in various working groups throughout the training day. Maria Chiara Pastore, a Tenured Researcher at Politecnico di Milano and the Scientific Director of Forestami, opened the session and introduced keynote speeches by Fabio Salbitano from the University of Sassari and René van der Velde, an Associate Professor specializing in Urban Forestry & Landscape Architecture at Delft University of Technology.
During the session, Professor Salbitano discussed different types of urban forests and stressed the importance of deliberate tree planting for specific goals like mitigating heat islands or promoting psychophysical health. Professor Van der Velde presented his research on the urban forest in lowland cities of the Netherlands, highlighting the influence of trees on cities' form and identity, and the need for integrated and balanced systems in shaping urban environments.
On May 12th, Forestami Academy held its inaugural gathering, featuring esteemed speakers Maria Chiara Pastore from Politecnico University in Milan and the Scientific Director of Forestami, along with Professor Cecil Konijnendijk from the University of British Columbia and Professor Simone Borelli from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The event, attended by approximately 100 enthusiastic participants, focused on the theme of the first learning module: "What is an Urban Forest?"
The engaging discussions centred around enhancing green spaces in the local community, with attendees organized into thematic working groups to facilitate meaningful exchanges of ideas. The session highlighted the vital role of trees in improving well-being, combatting pollution, preserving soil integrity, promoting biodiversity, and fostering social interactions. Emphasizing the multifaceted benefits of urban forests, the gathering underscored the significance of investing in and cultivating green spaces within urban environments.