The Canale delle Acque Medie crosses the territory of the Municipality of Latina along the North - South direction, becoming one of the most important ecological connections between the coast and the Lepini Mountains.
Thanks to its considerable extension and proximity to the historic center of Latina, over the years it has acquired an increasingly important role from a morphological point of view, becoming a real reference for the urban development of the North-East sector of the city. However, the very proximity of the urban fabrics, in some cases almost close to the banks, produces problems both in terms of management of the hydraulic risk and in terms of human pressure for the degradation of ecosystems and natural habitats. The Canale delle Acque Medie Project was therefore born from these premises with the intention of using nature-based solutions (NBS) in the urban context affected by the canal.
The urban Canale delle Acque Medie Park of Latina, as part of the Upper project, will become a meeting place, emotional recreation, birdwatching, but also an alternative transport system with cycle and pedestrian paths.
Firstly, there will be the restoration of water quality, currently in a serious state of degradation, with the aim of:
• increase biodiversity also according to the role of the canal and Rio Martino as the main ecological corridor between the mountain areas and the coast;
• increase urban quality, overcoming the current condition of marginalization of the canal, through its use by citizens for leisure time and environmental education;
• eliminate the hydrogeological risk due to floods, which have already occurred in the past and are more probable today due to climate change.
The latter is one of the most important points relating to climate change adaptation activities: in fact, the project envisages that the canal will have a wide riverbed that can be attached in the event of an emergency, where the waters can expand without damaging the surrounding structures.
The park will therefore become an urban space rich in flora and fauna biodiversity, with many aquatic species, a beautiful place for naturalistic walks away from urban traffic but close to the whole city. It can be used by students as a real outdoor classroom with didactic-historical-environmental nature trails, to tell the story of the area, the hydrogeological function of the various channels that are under the protection of the Consorzio di Bonifica and the importance of quality of the waters, which also serve to irrigate the fields and then reach the sea.
The Ponte delle Comete (Comet Brige) itself, as well as functioning as a link between two districts, could become, in the context of the urban park, a strategic point for a birdwatching post. A green lung available to citizens for a variety of activities ranging from sports, to teaching and cultural promotion, a river park that can improve the quality of life of the inhabitants and restore a social function of the river by integrating it with the nearby urban spaces to imagine paths of urban trekking, in line with the plans for urban redevelopment and sustainable development of the area. The River Park will thus become the tool for the promotion, development, coordination and integration of projects, initiatives and activities which, through the enhancement of the cultural, historical, territorial, environmental and landscape identity of the territory, can trigger an interesting social economy process shared with the local communities.
The area examined extends from the bridge in Saraceno street along the Fosso del Gionco up to the intersection with the Canale delle Acque Medie and from here it proceeds along the waterway through the Boario, Gionchetto and Pantanaccio districts up to the crossing the Tre Ponti road.
The project proposals were developed according to three main objectives:
1. the mitigation of flood risk, creating suitable floodable areas that reduce the impact of calamitous events such as the last flood that occurred in 2014;
2. increasing biodiversity and the resilience of existing habitats through better ecological connectivity and environmental quality;
3. the regeneration of the housing settlement favoring, where possible, the creation of new services for the community.
The interventions therefore, although designed in an integrated and synergistic perspective, concern three aspects: hydraulic, naturalistic - geotechnical and urban planning.