SustUrbanFoods

Integrated sustainability assessment of social and technological innovations towards urban food systems

Case study: Community garden of Via Gandusio – Bologna, Italy

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Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: Community garden
Urban area: Inner city – building – rooftop
Innovation type: Social innovation
Main functions: Social inclusion – community development – food self-production
Users: Private users – Neighbours

DSC_0091

HISTORY & CONTEXT

Via Gandusio is a social housing complex in the North of Bologna (Italy) that was originally built for hosting workers that migrate from the South of Italy in the 60s. Nowadays, Via Gandusio still host two different communities: advanced-age Italians (former migrants in the 60s) and current international immigrants from Africa and Asia. The difference of age and nationality create some conflicts and limits the relationships among the community.

The community garden was designed by the Municipality of Bologna, the association BiodiverCity and the RESCUE-AB (Università di Bologna) with the aim of setting a meeting point for the community where food production is the link between neighbours to exchange knowledge, culture and experiences. The 250 m2 roof garden started in 2011 becoming the first rooftop garden of the city of Bologna and of Italy.

DSC_0213 festa gandusio

AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: leafy species (lettuce, chicory), vegetable crops (tomato, pepper, melon, watermelon, eggplant) and herbs (basil, aromatics)

Techniques: Three different cultivation techniques are employed in the garden: organic soil based production in the containers, floating hydroponic production in the containers and nutrient film technique (NFT) in the pipe.

Irrigation: Fertigation with NPK – Use of tap water

Use of renewable resources:

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free production – Use of home-made compost – Production km.0

LINKS

AVAILABLE LITERATURE:

  • Marchetti, L., 2012. Above our heads , below the sky : a step-by- step procedure for creating and managing a soilless roof community garden. Alma Mater Studiorium Università di Bologna.
  • Orsini, F., Gasperi, D., Marchetti, L., Piovene, C., Draghetti, S., Ramazzotti, S., Bazzocchi, G., Gianquinto, G., 2014. Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Secur. 6, 781–792. doi:10.1007/s12571-014-0389-6
  • Sanyé-Mengual, E., Orsini, F., Oliver-Solà, J., Rieradevall, J., Montero, J., Gianquinto, G., 2015. Techniques and crops for efficient rooftop gardens in Bologna, Italy. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 35, 1477–1488. doi:10.1007/s13593-015-0331-0
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