Cesena, Italy

Re-Activating Urban Space from City Gateway to Neighbourhood

Cesena is a small city located in the northeast of Italy and the Demo site is within the historic centre at the north of the city. It can be divided into two main areas separated by the railway track. Although the two areas are just a railway track apart, there is a weak connection between them and each area faces its own challenges.
• Railway Station area (below the railway track) is where the central railway and bus stations located. It is a post-industrial area converted into the transportation hub of the city. The area suffers from a lack of identity and low sense of safety especially during off school hours when the student population has gone home.
• Vigne Neighbourhood (above the railway track) is a residential area dominated by lower income families. The buildings are characterised by low quality and poor energy performance. The neighbourhood is dominated by cars and suffers from a lack of green outdoor space for socialising and recreation.

Demo objectives (DO)

DO1 Test innovative methods, approaches and solutions together with the local community to create the reconnection of the currently separated Railway Station area and Vigne Neighbourhood. This will be done by: 
a) Making the Railway Station area a new 'Gateway' to Cesena city centre, an innovative hub for sustainable mobility as well as an inclusive and accessible green open space for the commuters, students and the local community. 
b) Valorising the greenspace system of Vigne Neighbourhood with the aim to reconnect it to the railway station and the city centre while improving the outdoor space quality in the neighbourhood for the socialising and recreation of the local community. 
DO2 Turn the new Cesena 'Gateway' an innovative focal point of a wider ecological and mobility network that crosses and connects the city, enhancing a multimodal and active way of travelling around the city.
DO3 Strengthen urban resilience through small scale actions - acupuncture pilots - focused on public spaces, which are considered strategic both for the successful implementation of the urban ecological transition process and for the enhancement of their collective use as spaces for socializing and meeting. 
DO4 Co-create with the community a shared ecological transition perspective, mobilise all necessary stakeholders to implement the sustainable transformation scenarios that the city has committed by signing the EU Green City Accord and update the main city planning instruments (SECAP, SUMP and Urban General Plan).
DO5 Enhance the synergy between ongoing projects in the area by better coordinating the effort of various local initiatives and foster peer-to-peer learning and best practices exchange with the other DEMOs and Fellow Cities.

List of proposed actions based on the analysis of the local challenges

1. Regeneration approach based on the ‘Active City’ concept, involving key local actors in a participative perspective (Community Transition Pathway). 
2. Citizens sensibilization on active mobility concept, development of an app for outdoor sports and recreational activities and implementation of a parking management innovative app on a Cloud-based platform customised for the Cesena Demo. 
3. Experiment small-scale (also temporary) greening intervention through the use of low-impact materials, co-developed and co-constructed with the local community (co-construction workshops with experts).
4. Evaluate greening intervention through the use of ENVI-met microclimatic simulation and install sensors to monitor outdoor conditions. The ENVI-MET (or equivalent) simulations will be carried out in the OFFLINE Laboratory of UNIBO with an advanced workstation composed of different components (i.e., thermal sensors, high-performance computer, etc.) for running the simulation.
5. Develop a new urban digital platform (Digital Coffee Room) featured as a user-friendly advanced blog with news and data of the neighbourhood.
6. Test the use of the Digital Twin (e.g., PEDRERA and immersive models) to support decision-making process and user engagement in potential building renovation of the Vigne Neighbourhood.
13000 inhabitants will benefit from the WeGenerate process. Among other things, the low-carbon footprint lifestyle will be facilitated by the active mobility concept and interventions that prioritise walking and cycling.