Fattoria Urbana started as an Agrarian Centre in 1985 when the municipality of Bologna assigned the land to the association Circolo la Fattoria. At the time, it was a rural area with wild animals. In 2005, it was converted into an Urban Farm when the area turned into a degraded periphery and was restructured by the municipality. Since then, Fattoria Urbana organises educational activities on sustainability and food quality targeted to schools, with the technical support of the Municipality.
Via Luigi Pirandello 6,
40127, Bologna, Italia
Circolo La Fattoria, association which manages the initiative
∙ Virgola, association of local educators
∙ Municipality of Bologna and San Donato-San Vitale neighbourhood representative institution ∙ Other public authorities: Metropolitan City of Bologna (former Province), Emilia-Romagna Region
∙ CARISBO Foundation
∙ Promoting environmental and agricultural protection through educational and recreational activities
∙ Preserving green and agricultural areas in the urban context
∙ Managing urban gardens with income generating activities for members and citizens
Legal framework & Budget
The Fattoria Urbana initiative is managed by the volontary association Circolo La Fattoria. It employs 2 asylum seekers for animal care and several other persons for educational activities.
Circolo La Fattoria organises educational activities for schools (early childhood, primary and secondary school students), such as didactic laboratories and horticultural activities, both on-site and in school premises. It also offers trainings in organic agriculture and horticultural activities to citizens. Finally, the association organises country festivals typical to the region (equinox festival, spring party, harvest festival). Most activities are carried out by environmental education practitioners from the Virgola Association.
>Innovation & Outcomes
Fattoria Urbana is one of the first educational farms developed in Italy in the urban context. Located in a formerly degraded peri-urban yet central area, San Donato-San Vitale, it has participated significantly to enhancing the quality of life in the neighbourhood and revitalising the area. To date, 30 schools were involved in educational activities. Up to 5,000 people participated in the farm activities every year, including 1,000 members of the association Circolo La Fattoria. Yet the initiative is not substainable from an economic point of view. Indoor space would allow to develop the initiative on a yearly basis and to create full-time jobs. The main target groups are schools but activities for private groups (children’s birthday parties, end-of-year school trips with parents, etc.) and for extra-school centres (summer centres, baby-parking, communities, etc.) could be carried out.
Main obstacles & Next steps
Until now, the association has only outdoor space, meaning activities can be held only during the Spring-Summer season. Depending on the outcome of a call for tender of the Municipality for indoor spaces, it will be possible for Circolo La Fattoria to develop structured programmes and carry out continuous educational, recreational and cultural activities over the year, thus generating more revenues and creating full-time jobs.
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