SustUrbanFoods

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


Participation in the public event “Coltiviamo spazi urbani”

Last 18th December, Susturbanfoods joined the public event “Coltiviamo spazi urbani” organzied by the Làbas collective to present their new garden project ORTEO.

The event was a public meeting between citizens, researchers, activists, organized bodies that are interested in the topic of urban agriculture. The goal of the event was to explore the environmental, social and economic aspects of these new practices, share the experience of concrete initiatives and imagining possible scenarios for the city of Bologna.

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The roundtable was composed by:

  • Daniela Gasperi – PhD students in the Departmend of Agricultural Science  – UniBo
  • Esther Sanye-Mengual – MSCA fellow, Research Centre for Urban Agriculture and Biodiversity (Rescue-AB) – UniBo
  • Maurizio Bergamaschi – Sociologist of the territory – UniBo
  • Joan Crous – social cooperative Eta Beta Onlus (Bologna)
  • Luana Iori – Gandusio Orti (Bologna)
  • Stefano Scarascia – Arvaia – Agricultural cooperative of citizens of Bologna

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The event was followed by an organic aperitif with km.0 products in collaboration with Làbiopizza from Labàs and the social brewery Schiumarell.

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COLTIVIAMO SPAZI URBANI

Cibi, relazioni e altre trasformazioni nella città contemporanea

Le aree urbane rimandano a paesaggi cementificati dove la natura ha a disposizione solo aiuole e parchi per crescere e colorare di verde alcuni interstizi della città. Ma esistono altri spazi dove piante e individui possono interagire creativamente nella costruzione dell’ambiente urbano? A Bologna, già da alcuni anni, molti fra singoli e gruppi si sono attivati per riprendere un contatto diretto con la natura e donare ai luoghi nuovi significati. Partendo da prospettive differenti, in forma individuale o collettiva, hanno trasformato tetti, balconi, piazze e aree dismesse in orti e giardini comunitari, dove è possibile coltivare, insieme alle piante, anche nuove relazioni sociali. In una città sempre più anonima e frammentata dove i processi di riproduzione del capitalismo globale intervengono nelle forme del consumo, della speculazione immobiliare e dell’esclusione sociale, gli orti urbani si configurano come laboratori di sperimentazione locale, dove costruire nuove strategie di resistenza all’egemonia del modello neoliberale e rivendicare una gestione collettiva degli spazi urbani e rurali. Autoproduzione di cibo, scambio di conoscenze, consapevolezza ecologica, incontro e convivialità, solidarietà tra culture e generazioni, costituiscono azioni ed obiettivi che esprimono una nuova domanda di città e rimettono al centro l’individuo con le sue scelte e le sue aspirazioni.
Domenica 18 dicembre 2016, dalle ore 18:30, vi aspettiamo a Làbas per un incontro pubblico tra cittadini, ricercatori, attivisti, realtà organizzate che sono interessati al tema dell’agricoltura urbana. Andremo a scoprire le dimensioni ambientali, sociali ed economiche di queste nuove pratiche, partendo dalla condivisione di esperienze concrete e immaginando possibili scenari per la città.

Ne parliamo con:

Daniela Gasperi – Dottoranda Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie – UniBo
Esther Sanyé-Mengual – Centro Studi e Ricerche in Agricoltura Urbana e Biodiversità (Rescue-AB) – UniBo
Maurizio Bergamaschi – Sociologo del territorio – UniBo
Joan Crous – Eta Beta Cooperativa sociale Onlus (Bologna)
Luana Iori – Orti di via Gandusio (Bologna)
Stefano Scarascia – Arvaia – Cooperativa agricola di cittadini bolognesi

A seguire aperitivo biologico e a km zero con Làbiopizza a Làbas e Schiumarell – Birrificio sociale.

 

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Knowledge exchange with students at UNIBO

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual fellowship promotes the knowledge exchange between the experience researcher (who did the mobility) and the host institution. As part of this exchange, I perform seminars and specific lesson on life cycle assessment (LCA) for the students at DIPSA (UNIBO).

To date, I had the opportunity to perform the following lessons:

 


Seminar at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of UNIBO

As part of the dissemination of the project, three seminars will be held in the Department of Agricultural Sciences as an opportuniy to exchange knowledge with the colleagues from UNIBO.

Today, we offered the first seminar at DIPSA where we presented an overview of the project, including objectives and expected results, and we showed the dynamics established in the past WORKSHOP with the stakeholders in Bologna.

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The two other seminars at DIPSA are planned as follows:

  • October 2017 – Presentation of the methodological framework and preliminary results
  • May 2018 – Final presentation: Results and policy recommendations

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Case study: iPom Pellerrossa – Bologna (Italy)

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: High-tech protected farm
Urban area: Peri-urban
Innovation type: Technological innovation
Main functions: Water recirculation – Integrated pest management – Geographical synergy

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

PELLEROSSA is born as the first eco-friendly tomato in the region of Emilia – Romagna by employing agronomic techniques that respect the environment. They are promoted as “100% sustainable” since it grows in a clump of earth wrapped with coconut fiber in a high greenhouse, solid and bright. Every day, hour after hour, is fed with natural substances in order to grow healthy and tasty.

AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: 2 varieties of tomato

Techniques: Hydroponic rockwool production

Irrigation: Use of well water – Drip irrigation – Use of fertigation (NPK)

Use of renewable resources: –

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free (Integrated pest management with benefitial insects) – Local production – Minimization of water consumtpion – Use of residual hot water from the bioenergy plant

Other products: –

LINKS


Visit to Serra Pellerossa

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Today we visited the periruban farm of IPOM Pellerossa in the outskirts of Bologna. This farm employs technological innovation to minimize the environmental impact of their tomato production. In particular, the name of the farm “Pellerossa” refers to a local variety of tomato that the farm recovered. This is one the case studies for technological innovation in SustUrbanFoods.

 


Case study: Arvaia (CSA, cooperative) – Bologna, Italy

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: Community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm
Urban area: Peri-urban
Innovation type: Social innovation
Main functions: Cooperative – Social cohesion – Ecological production – Community empowerment – Volunteering

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

Arvaia is a social cooperative founded in 2013 to manage a piece of peri-urban agricultural land as a community in order to obtain local (km.0) and ecological food through cooperative work among citizens. The land is a concession of the community of Bologna and now is an area restricted for urban development. Nowadays Arvaia is made of 324 members and cultivates 75 different variaties in 47ha in the outskirts of Bologna.

The approach is collaborative and dedicated to sharing the common good land to farm. Members has a single annual fee that covers the annual budget and will give right to reception of the products weekly. Members are invited to participate in the agricultural activities because of some half-day year. Cooperation to the farm is based on their skills or professional ability (accountant, community manager, etc.). Pursuing the “zero waste” goal, the surplus of production will be transformed and redistributed. Memebers can pick up their weekly harvest directly at arvaia or in some points of the city centre.

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AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: 75 varieties of diverse products (tomato, melon, watermelon, zucchini, lettuce, eggplant, wheat, etc.) [+ info]

Techniques: Soil production – Rotation for promoting organic matter content – Protected cultivation for certain crops (tunnel)

Irrigation: Use of tap water – Drip irrigation

Use of renewable resources:

Sustainable practices: Ecological production – Seasonal production –  Production km.0 – Minimization of food waste – Biologic seeds (own production)

Other products: Beekeeping – Added-value products (e.g. tomato sauce)

LINKS


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

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

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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.

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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