Next Article in Journal
Neighborhood Built Environments Affecting Social Capital and Social Sustainability in Seoul, Korea
Next Article in Special Issue
Prediction of Climate Change Induced Temperature & Precipitation: The Case of Iran
Previous Article in Journal
Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) Study of the Provincial Ecological Footprints and Domestic Embodied Footprints Traded among China’s 30 Provinces
Previous Article in Special Issue
Peri-Urban Food Production and Its Relation to Urban Resilience
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1347; doi:10.3390/su8121347

Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

1
Research Centre in the Urban Environment for Agriculture and Biodiversity (ResCUE-AB), Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Giuseppe Fanin, 42-40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini, 2, 10095 Grugliasco (Torino), Italy
3
STePS s.r.l., Via Ettore Bidone, 6-40134 Bologna, Italy
4
Department of Sociology and Business Law—SDE, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Strada Maggiore, 45-40125 Bologna, Italy
5
Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Via Verdi 26-38122 Trento, Italy
These authors equally contributed to the present work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hossein Azadi
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5320 KB, uploaded 21 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability. The goal of this paper is to analyse current practices in the requalification of vacant areas as urban gardens with the aim of building communities and improving landscapes and life quality. To do so, the city of Bologna (Italy) was used as a case study. Four types of vacant areas were identified as places for implementing urban gardens: flowerbeds along streets and squares, balconies and rooftops, abandoned buildings and abandoned neighbourhoods. Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated by collecting primary data (i.e., field work, participant observations and interviews) and performing a SWOT analysis. For most cases, urban horticulture improved the image and quality of the areas as well as bringing numerous social benefits in terms of life quality, food access and social interaction among participants. Strong differences in some aspects were found between top-down and bottom-up initiatives, being the later preferable for the engagement of citizens. Policy-making might focus on participatory and transparent planning, long-term actions, food safety and economic development. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban horticulture; city planning; green infrastructures; participatory processes; social ecology urban horticulture; city planning; green infrastructures; participatory processes; social ecology
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Gasperi, D.; Pennisi, G.; Rizzati, N.; Magrefi, F.; Bazzocchi, G.; Mezzacapo, U.; Centrone Stefani, M.; Sanyé-Mengual, E.; Orsini, F.; Gianquinto, G. Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1347.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top