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.
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Website : http://kilowatt.bo.it
∙ 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 & BudgetThe 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.
ActivitiesLe 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 & OutcomesLe 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.