The state of art of nature-based programs in the educational, training, therapeutic, and leisure areas in Italy: conceptual framework and possible categorization of sectors/contexts


  • Alessandra Gigli
  • Giannino Melotti
  • Chiara Borrelli



National and international literature on nature-based programs in the educational,
training, therapeutic and leisure areas reveals a lack of homogeneity
in using the different terminologies: the various terms are used with different
meanings, both by practitioners and by scholars. The present work is the
conceptual premise of a research which outlined a quantitative and qualitative
mapping of the Italian organizations that use nature-based approaches
and methodologies. This paper provides both a literature review of the theoretical
roots which support nature-based experiences, and a reconnaissance
of the national situation regarding the use of terminology and the
differentiation in the various specific practical fields. In order to properly introduce
the mapping research, this work proposes a conceptual organization
defining four macro-areas of the nature-based sector. This categorization,
which is organized around some indicators, aims to be flexible and to have
permeable borders; and it has the goal to help orienting in the complex
framework of the numerous nature-based proposals in Italy.