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Fuensanta Community Ecological Garden

: The neighbors of the Fuensanta in Cordoba have reclaimed a derelict public plot of the old Fuensanta cinema to transform it into a social and ecological garden. All the activities include also community involvement: co-planning, co-management/joint management, joint implementation (e.g. tree-planting), walks around the neighborhood, workshops on building recycled furniture, urban vegetable garden workshops and workshops on urbanism for children. All these activities took place on the plot, with the creation of a vegetable garden being the most popular activity (Anon, s.a.; Naturvation project, 2019; Equipo del Huerto Fuensanta, 2013)
: Spain
: Cordoba
: 1,253 km²
: 344214 (PopulationStat, 2020)
: 2012
: No Data
: Ongoing
: Yes
: Community‐driven initiative 'Huerto Fuensanta'
: 37.8841
: -4.7825
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, natural regulation of possible local floods and storms via the natural retention and absorption capabilities of soil and planted trees.
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, trees can reduce the ambient  temperature in urban areas through their ability to absorb and reflect sunlight.
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
Yes, the community garden was created and it involved trees planting (IUCN, 2019; Naturvation project, 2019)
Ecosystem restoration and/or improved ecological connectivity
Yes, the project enhances the ecological connectivity within the city by developing the community ecological garden (IUCN, 2019).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, an independent citizen initiative (Huerto Fuensanta) has created a green space on an abandoned public plot of the old Fuensanta’s cinema (University of Bologna, 2020; IUCN, 2019).
Sustainable urbanisation
Yes, increasing sustainable urbanisation through re-naturing an abandoned area within the urban environment can stimulate economic growth and also improve the quality of environment, rendering the area more attractive and increasing human well-being. (European Union, 2015). The new green public spaces (a garden and an outdoor area) have been created in order to enable citizens to perform all kinds of activities relating to culture, art, nature, sports, health, etc. (University of Bologna, 2020).
Improved aesthetic value
Yes, the green public spaces created brought about a major improvement in the aesthetic value of the area.
Increased access to green infrastructure
Increased social interaction and inclusion
Yes, the project objectives are also social and collaborative, and aimed at improving the neighbourhood through an initiative that promotes teamwork of neighbours by creating sustainable models. All activities were free of charges, coordinated by volunteers (University of Bologna, 2020).
Provision of health benefits
Yes, the project promotes also healthy eating and activities consisting of walks around the neighborhood and urban vegetable garden workshops (most popular) (University of Bologna, 2020).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, one of the project objectives is educational, which mean to improve the welfare of neighboring residents through an initiative that promotes healthy eating by creating sustainable models (urban vegetables gardens). The project activities include also urban vegetable garden workshops, building recycled furniture workshops and urbanism workshops for children (University of Bologna, 2020).
Low provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Water, food)
Yes, the neighbours of the Fuensanta in Cordoba have reclaimed an derelict public plot of the old Fuensanta’s cinema to transform it into an ecological vegetable garden (Anon, s.a.).
Drought and heat risk
Yes, a heatwavethat hit Spain in 2015 triggered alerts across the region, with temperatures soaring above 40°C and warnings of a high risk to residents' health. Warnings were issued in over 40 provinces in Spain, with a red alert for the southern city of Cordoba. The Spanish cities of Cordoba, Seville and Toledo were some of the worst affected on 29 June 2015, when temperatures reached up to 44°C in some areas (BBC, 2015). Spanish national weather agency (AEMET) placed the Andalusian provinces of Córdoba, Granada and Jaén on red alert (high risk), with temperatures going up to 42°C on 27 July 2020 (Local News, 2020). The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels, particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Low aesthetic value
Yes, an abandoned public public site was transformed into a community ecological garden (University of Bologna, 2020).
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Yes, research findings imply that community gardening has positive benefits on gardeners’ physical and mental health due to the direct contact with natural environments and through a contribution to the different aspects of well-being, such as increased levels of positive affect and improved life satisfaction. (Koay, Dillon, 2020).
Reduced inequalities (SGD10)
Yes, communitarian urban agriculture is a mechanism for fighting socio-spatial inequalities and fostering the social economy (Visoni, Nagib, 2019).
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Yes, community gardens can mitigate the effect of urban heat islands and provide various ecosystem services.
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
Yes, the community garden has a positive impact on urban terrestrial biodiversity.
: Anon. (s.a). Urbanismo De Barrio. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at:

BBC. 2015. Temperatures soar as heatwave hits Spain and Portugal. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at:

Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change.

European Union. 2015. Towards an EU Research and Innovation policy agenda for Nature-Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities: Final Report of the Horizon 2020 Expert Group on 'Nature-Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities'. (full version). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 74 pp.

Equipo del Huerto Fuensanta. 2013. Un huerto social y ecológico en el barrio de la Fuensanta. Goteo. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at: (in Spanish)

IUCN. 2019. Nature based Solutions in Mediterranean cities. Rapid assessment report and compilation of urban interventions (2017‐2018). Malaga, Spain: IUCN. 117pp. Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493. Local News. 2020. Almost all of Spain set to swelter in extreme heat up to 42°C. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at:

Naturvation project. 2019. Fuensanta Community Ecological Garden. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at:

PopulationStat. 2020. Cordoba, Spain Population. Information obtained: 2020-09-17. Available at:

University of Bologna. Fuensanta Community Ecological Garden. Information obtained: 2020-09-16. Available at: