15 years ago the Municipality of Rome designated the area of Via Rosa Raimondi for the construction of a public park. Citizens waited for its realisation but nothing was done in this sense. Environmental associations and citizens carried on demonstration events without any concrete results. Finally, in 2009, 5 associations and citizens started to build an urban garden, also continuing with the environmental battles.
The ORTI URBANI GARBATELLA were born for:
- Preserving green areas designated to building speculation
- Fighting against economical crisis with supported income initiative
- Developing of auto production, auto consumption and auto organization models
- Preserving agricultural practices and culture
- Developing social cohesion
- Involving the neighborhood and the schools
- Supporting green areas needs
- Fighting against isolation of elderly people in order to support intergenerational dialogue
At the beginning the 5 associations plus citizens created a promoter committee that drew up the internal regulations that described also the steps to be followed, the procedures for the assignation of the plots and the criteria for having a plot.
The Province of Rome financed the project with an amount of 16000 € in order to start the project.
Participation levels, very high, enthusiasm, involvement.
Involvement of politicians
Some misunderstanding with the inhabitants of the neighborhood, extreme involvement and interest from the politicians
The department of Garbatella is a suburban area of Rome, with an unemployment rate of 12% and a percentage of 29% of people over 60 years old. The area of the urban garden is still in danger and under attack of property speculation, being in an expanding area of the city; for all these reasons the creation of a urban gardens is something that has brought greener environment and more social cohesion among the inhabitants. To create a urban garden with a group of associations and individual citizens is a practice of inclusion, participation and sharing. To regain suburban green public areas and transform them in social spaces brings people closer, towards a real active citizenship pathway starting from the creation of a balanced and sustainable relationship with the land and the environment.
It is possible to reply this experience in other parts following some key elements: to identify the areas, to build relationship with the public institutions, to create the necessary infrastructures, to elaborate new forms of associations of people. Moreover the experience of ORTI URBANI GARBATELLA has created a network of associations and citizens and the area is open to individual initiatives as well as associations initiatives.