Mantova is a city in Northern Italy with 50 000 inhabitants. The city is the main city of the province of Mantova, one of Lombardy’s most extended provinces. In 2007, Mantua's centro storico (old town) and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy.
Mantova is surrounded on three sides by three artificial lakes (called "Upper", "Middle", and "Lower" Lakes, respectively), created during the 12th century, as a defence system for the city..
The area and its environs are important not only in naturalistic terms, but also anthropologically and historically; research has highlighted a number of human settlements dated, without interruption, from Neolithic times (5th–4th millennium BC) to the Bronze Age (2nd–1st millennium BC) and the Gallic phases (2nd–1st centuries BC), and ended with Roman residential settlements, which could be traced to the 3rd century AD.
In its role of “follower city”, Mantova commits to proactively seek advice, expertise, assistance, capacity building and mentoring from the front-runner cities and to develop a sustainable urban planning that systemically replicates, embeds and integrates the demonstrated nature-based solutions 'customized' to Mantova city context.