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EFI Biocities 2023 Winter School - CALL IS OPEN

EFI Biocities 2023 Winter School - CALL IS OPEN

Cities call Forests and Back (CFB-WS)

Venue: Romagna Acque Società delle Fonti, Centro Operativo di Capaccio, SS 310, Km 48,8. Località Santa Sofia (Forlì/Cesena)
Meeting time: Tuesday, 12 December, 2023, from 15.00 to 20.00
End of the CFB-WS: Wednesday, 20 December at noon

The course will run from December 12 when participants will have a welcome briefing and aperitif at the venue at 19.00 hrs, to December 20 at noon.

Please note that if you decide to arrive earlier or leave later, outside the course period, all the on-site costs will be your liability.


How to get to Santa Sofia


Please select on the car navigator or smartphone the following coordinates:


The best arrival and departure airport to the final destination is BOLOGNA GUGLIELMO MARCONI AIRPORT, the closest airport to the meeting point (around 120 km/90 minutes from Loc. Capaccio by car).

Deciding to get there by public transport, proceed to Bologna Centrale railway station (Marconi Express, Bus, Taxi: see at and get a train to Forlì railway station. Next to Forlì train station, in Piazzale Ilario Bandini, at Forlì Punto Bus, you can get a bus to Santa Sofia, line 132, final destination Campigna. The bus timetable is available at

Milan and Florence airports are also acceptable options in terms of flight availability. In the latter case, you must calculate the transfer time and costs from the Airports to Milano Centrale or Firenze Santa Maria Novella train stations. Proceed to Forlì railway station.
Other nearby airports are FORLÌ LUIGI RIDOLFI, RIMINI FEDERICO FELLINI, and ANCONA RAFFAELLO SANZIO, but they offer limited destinations and flights.

To arrive by train, please follow the best travel arrangements to Forlì railway station and consider bus/navette solutions.


The organizers will provide a Navette Service free of charge from Forlì railway station to the venue on Tuesday 12 (timetable TBC) and back to the Forlì railway station on Wednesday 20 in the afternoon and Thursday 21 in the morning (timetable to be confirmed).


Your stay in Capaccio

Bed and breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee breaks are free of charge.
All participants will be required to share double/triple rooms in hotels according to gender.
Internet WiFi connection is available.

Travel costs are on the budget of the single applicants. To support travel costs, the Organisation will provide scholarships as in the following table. All the students will be granted.



500 Euros for attendants coming from mainland Italy
750 Euros for attendants coming from Italian islands
1000 Euros for attendants coming from European countries (EU, EEA, Swiss, UK).
1500 Euros for participants coming from other European and global countries.


To whom the CFB Winter school is addressed

The CFB winter school is designed for Early Career Researchers (PhD, Post-doc) and postgraduate students (PhD students, Master students) in and outside Europe, carrying out research and studies on the ecosystem of relationships between forests and cities.


How to apply

The Organizers intend to select up to 15 ECR and Postgraduate students (approximately between 21-35 years old) having a wide set of backgrounds dealing with Forest, Urban, and Environment issues. These include, tentatively but not exclusively, forest sciences, ecology, environmental sciences, applied biology, urban and territorial planning, agroforestry, agricultural sciences, landscape architecture, bioeconomy, social sciences, policy sciences.


Application process

Official language: English
Pre-requisites for admission: PhD, MSc in Agriculture, Forestry, Geography, Soil Sciences, Urban Planning, Natural Sciences or related field, and working experience in the field of mountain areas planning and protection.


Participation is free of charge

Scientific Committee: Prof. Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza, Prof. Marco Marchetti, prof. Renzo Motta, Prof. Fabio Salbitano
Organizing committee: Dr Sergio Gallo, Dr Gabriele Locatelli, Dr Angela Rositi.


Certificate of Participation

The Organizing Committee will release a certificate of attendance and profit participation. Any additional document of specific interest to the attendants should be discussed, approved, and released after negotiation between the attendants and the organizing committee.


Eligibility criteria

Applicants to EFI Biocities 2023 CFB-WS must fill and submit the application form at

The applicants can also use the “Offline Applicants form” in Annex 1 and send to:
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The selection of attendants will be based on the motivation expressed and the profile of the applicants.

Registration deadline: 4 December 2023


Background and programme

Cities are the places where the majority of people in the world lives. They are key nodes of business, with a decision-making power and a natural capital footprint that goes far beyond the physical urban sphere. Cities’ societies, via diversified policy arrangements, exert their hegemony in wider surrounding and remote regions, being the engine itself of global colonisation and migration processes. The awareness of this influence is decisively increasing up to propose to change, either update, the concept of Anthropocene, during which the human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems became dominant. Effectively, the newly introduced concept of Urbancene emphasizes the determinant role of the global urbanisation footprint on the interactive dynamics of biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere.

Characterised by high population density, cities are surrounded by rural area, less-densely populated with minority built-up space. Rural areas are perceived as a mosaic of land uses having various degrees of naturalness. Notwithstanding certain benefits that rural areas gain from cities, such as market access, investment inputs, or employment opportunities, cities have generally developed a resources-demanding, relationship with those areas. The countryside is historically perceived as a source of food, water, materials, energy, leisure, relax and tourism opportunities to serve the needs of cities, which behave as accumulative economic nodes. Urban dwellers, particularly in middle to high-income countries, are physically and mentally disconnected from the rural world. The process of urbanization of mindsets and lifestyles increased at an unprecedented pace in the last three decades. Almost 76% Europeans live in urban areas in 2023 but the urban behaviour in term of use of resources, shopping and transport preferences, leisure and culture priorities, time organisation, socialization approaches, and housing standards concern the 98% of people living in Europe: urbanisation goes far beyond the city boundaries.

The BioRegion concept refers to a refined urban regional scale that includes the BioCity and its surroundings and is formulated and defined by natural and social interconnections (e.g. watersheds, foodsheds, and food systems) rather than administrative and economic boundaries. This means that the term BioRegion is more consistent with a ‘network’ rather than with a spatially compact region. In the circular BioSociety, formulated by the BioCity and its BioRegion together, the use of resources and the economy around it is more cyclical. The impact on nature and the dependence on energy sources, such as fossil fuels, is minimised, and climate change and adaptation to global and regional environmental change are integral to its functions.

The social-ecological system of a BioCity and its BioRegion comprises a variety of organisms, compartments, and processes, with distinct traits and interdependent flows of ecosystem functions and services across a blue and green network within the landscape.
There are many key issues linking cities to rural zones and particularly forests.

The course will focus on four thematic sessions:

  • Water and Watershed
  • Mitigation and prevention of land degradation.
  • Integrated multi-scalar planning
  • Parco Italia experience as a laboratory of designing and implementing connection from cities to forests.



  1. Providing knowledge on urgent and emerging issues linking cities to forests
  2. Developing discourses, methods, and research insights as collaborative outputs of co-produced Living Labs
  3. Strengthening transdisciplinary collaboration


For more info

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