Title: Visionary nature based Actions for enhancing Resilience in Cities

Call: H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020

Duration: months 54 (01/09/2020 – 28/02/2025)

Coordinator: Technical University of Crete (Greece) - School of Environmental Engineering - School of Electronic & Computer Engineering

Total EU Contribution: € 10.115.469,00

TESAF Budget: € 693.750,00

Responsible Scientific Officer/Investigator: Raffaele Cavalli

Research Team: Raffaele Cavalli, Francesco Marinello, Francesco Pirotti, Marco Piragnolo, Alessia Portaccio

Brief description: In an increasingly urbanising world, governments and international corporations strive to increase productivity of cities, recognized as economy growth hubs, as well as ensuring better quality of life and living conditions to citizens. Although significant effort is performed by international organisations, researchers, etc. to transform the challenges of Cities in to opportunities, the visions of our urban future are trending towards bleak. Social services and health facilities are significantly affected in negative ways owed to the increase in urban populations (70% by 2050) . Air pollution and urban exacerbation of heat islands is exacerbating . Nature will struggle to compensate in the future City, as rural land is predicted to shrink by 30% affecting liveability . VARCITIES puts the citizen and the “human community” in the eye of the future cities’ vision. Future cities should evolve to be human centred cities .  The vision of VARCITIES is to implement real, visionary ideas and add value by establishing sustainable models for increasing H&WB of citizens (children, young people, middle age, elderly) that are exposed to diverse climatic conditions and challenges around Europe (e.g. from harsh winters in Skelleftea-SE to hot summers in Chania-GR, from deprived areas in Novo mesto-SI to increased pollution in Malta) through shared public spaces that make cities liveable and welcoming.

Sito Web:


Free cultural event

On Friday the 5th of May 2023 will take place the free cultural event of the Horizon 2020 VARCITIES Project of which the University of Padua @unipd is a partner with the Departments Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, of General Psychology, the Padua Neuroscience Center and the Foundation Unismart.
Immersed in the setting of the Historical Garden of Villa Revedin Bolasco (@villaparcobolasco) in Castelfranco Veneto (TV), it will be possible to learn about the research and project activities on the effects of urban green spaces on people's well-being.
In collaboration with the Steffani Conservatory, the entire event will be accompanied by performances by musicians from Castelfranco Veneto.
For participation in the second part of the event, booking at the link:
Entrance from: Via Borgo Treviso 48, Castelfranco Veneto (TV).

Download Flyer

Flyer Festival VARCITIES Front


Flyer Festival VARCITIES Back


Webinar with Sue Stuart-Smith:


The VARCITIES project also includes dissemination and awareness raising activities on the topics of interest. In this context, webinars and cultural events, free and open to the public, are organized. The first was the webinar on the 11th of November 2021 for the presentation of the book 'The well-gardened mind. The restorative power of nature' with the author Sue Stuart-Smith, lead psychologist and psychiatrist from the United Kingdom, who explained the deep connection between man and nature. The video recording is now available on this page, with subtitles in Italian and English.

Screenshot the Well Gardened Mind Webinar

In the context of the VARCITIES project, a series of Webinar will be organised by the TESAF Department in collaboration with the other colleagues and partner of the project which will introduce the audience to the different topics addressed by VARCITIES.

In this first edition, we will meet Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith, who will introduce to us her book ‘The Well Gardened Mind: the restorative power of nature’, which has been recently published in Italian by Rizzoli as ‘Coltivare il giardino della mente: il potere riparatore della natura’.

Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge before qualifying as a doctor. She worked in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently teaches at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London and is a consultant at DocHealth, a not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors.

She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the famous garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire.

Her book, The Well Gardened Mind, a bestseller of the Sunday Times, analyses the relationship between gardening, nature, and mental health.

The webinar will be held on Zoom on Thursday, the 11th of November 2021, from 18.00 to 19.30 CET.

The presentation by Sue Stuart-Smith will be in English and a simultaneous translation in Italian will be given by the horticulturist Eleonora Giuliodori, who graduated at the University of Padova in Forest Sciences in 2012.

You can find the advertising poster below, in both the English and Italian versions. Please, so not hesitate to spread the word and share the poster among friends and colleagues. The event is open to everyone interested in the topic.

To attend the webinar, it is possible to subscribe at the following link:

For any further info or inquiries contact:

Download flyer

The Well Gardened Mind: the restorative power of nature