Growing fruits and vegetables in the city: SIDIG-Med project inaugurates new urban garden in Rome

A new urban garden large over 16 hectares will be inaugurated on Saturday 30 September in Rome in the area of Casal Brunori. Implemented under the SIDIG-MED project, this initiative has witnessed significant collaboration between public authorities (City of Rome, etc.), NGOs, local communities, leading to the assignment of 107 parcels that will be used by more than 300 families and associations to grow fruits and vegetable.

The benefits of the project are twofold: on the one hand, it helps social cohesion and poverty fighting by involving needy people, immigrants, elderly, disabled people, AIDS and Alzheimer’s patients, prisoners in gardening activities; on the other hand, environmental sustainability and urban regeneration have been fostered following the recovery of brownfield lands.

"The success of this important project is based on a participatory approach with citizens which have actively contributed to the reclamation of the project area and the development of new model of governance with the City of Rome," said Mr. Filippo Cioffi, president of Vivere In, the association in charge of the manegement of the urban garden of Casal Brunori. "Some rules apply to everyone. Irrigation is made with a central drop system, water is recovered from the discharges of two public fountains, bulk purchases are made together, the tools are common. But the most important thing is the obligation not to use either chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. No poison in short, here vegetables need to grow naturally," he added.

SIDIG-MED project, a European best practice

The urban gardening experience carried out as part of SIDIG-MED project in Rome has been selected as a good practice by URBACT, the EU programme aiming to foster sustainable integrated urban development in cities across Europe.

Deemed as a "tool for social inclusion and urban regeneration", the SIDIG-MED project "contributes to the improvement of the governance processes by connecting different competencies and municipal offices such as social, environment, urban planning and innovation departments", says the URBACT website.

This good practice will be showcased during the Urbact City Festival to take place in Tallin (Estonia) from 3 to 5 October 2017.

Information on the inauguration ceremony

Place: Parco Ort9, Segio Albani - Casal Brunori, Rome
Schedule: from 10.30 to 16.00 (see inviation in the photo gallery)

Press review (in Italian)
• Orti Urbani: Casal Brunori inaugura una delle migliori "best practice" europee
• A Casal Brunori orti e compostiera di quartiere
• Gli orti urbani di Casal Brunori diventano realtà
• A Casal Brunori nasce il Parco Ort9
Short movie about urban garden "Parco Ort9, Segio Albani"