Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita

The former municipal greenhouse had been abandoned for 10 years. The Municipality of Bologna decided to open a call for tenders to rehabilitate it. Kilowatt was entrusted with this mission in 2013 and transformed the site into a place of experimentation and a new platform for many local activities, including urban agriculture, circular economy, training, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Contact details

Function / Organisation : Co-Founder of Kilowatt , Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita

E-mail : nicoletta@kilowatt.bo.it
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/kilowattbologna/
Website : http://kilowatt.bo.it
Inside Margherita Gardens’ park / Giardini Margherita
Bologna, Italia


∙ Kilowatt cooperative company, which rehabilitated and manages the site
∙ Municipality of Bologna, owner of the land and buildings and project sponsor, and Emilia-Romagna Region, project sponsor
∙ Golinelli Foundation and ASTER, which manage the business platform
∙ Snark startup, which supports initiatives, community building and facilitation
∙ VETRO, the natural eating bistro which manages food services
∙ KwGAS Solidarity Purchasing Group


∙ Regenerating a derelict inner-city site and its greenhouse function
∙ Capitalising on urban agriculture and the circular economy for urban regeneration
∙ Mobilising citizens who want to test a shared and sustainable model of urban agriculture and green space management and to design new services for the community
∙ Experimenting a social and cultural community hub and creating a new platform for business incubation and acceleration

Legal framework & Budget

The initiative was launched through an open call for tenders by the Municipality of Bologna. Kilowatt is a start-up under the cooperative form. It employs 35 seasonal wor- kers.


Le Serre is a multi-functional place, made of a 600 sqm community garden (gARTen), a natural eating bistro (VETRO), a Solidarity Purchasing Group (KwGAS), a co-working space, a daycare centre (KwBaby) and summer events (KwSummer). Since 2017, the community garden is managed by a professional gardener whose daily mission is to train the community on organic farming techniques. A small part of crops is dedicated to the VETRO bistro. Kilowatt also develops social and art activities with associations established in the neighbourhood. Finally, Le Serre hosts a space for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

>Innovation & Outcomes

Le Serre is a collaborative public space where private actors, public bodies and civil society successfully coexist for developing new services for the community. Innovation is also in the management model, a mix of entrepreneurial spirit, social innovation and community building. Thanks to political will of the Municipality and Region, a 600 sqm community garden has been developed. It has about 300 members and organises 2 events on organic farming per month. Since 2016, Le Serre has organised 150 free cultural events and hosted more than 55,000 visitors.

SQM Cultivated
Jobs created
People reached
55 000
Investment amount
998 000

Main obstacles & Next steps

The prerequisite to this initiative was to set up a public–private partnership and initiate collaboration between innovators, citizens, public administration and the social economy. This social, professional and educational model is sustainable as it responds to new needs in an inclusive way. Le Serre is now developing further its social and business related activities.

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Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund