Nutrire Milano – City and environmental planning

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The project adopted an approach best defined as ‘planning by projects’, or ‘acupunctural planning’ (Manzini 2010; Jégou 2010; Ryan et al. 2010): a form of territorial planning based on pinpointed interventions on a micro scale, where single projects are grafted into an interconnected network. Stakeholders already proven to be proactive in the region are engaged to activate the new projects; initiatives were then connected to create synergies (Meroni, Simeone, and Trapani 2011), configuring a system that shares resources and brings about economies of scale and purpose. In other terms, it exoerimented with a prototype for a possible city food policy. To this purpose, the rationalization of certain practices, the standardization and simplification of variables of the offering, synergy and sharing of technical and communicative infrastructure are seen here as paths towards making the activities more fluid and optimizing them in terms of organization and logistics, while the quality of products and interactions, relational richness, the social and aesthetic value of contexts are considered as indispensable to the intrinsic and convivial value of the scenario. Multi-functionality in the production and distribution systems is the strategy pursued to achieve these objectives, since it transmits that natural richness and diversity of practice (agricultural on one hand and of the offer on the other) that creates synergy, enriching the quality of work, and experience. (Polimi Desis Lab)

Coltivando – City and environmental planning

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Coltivando is built on a public area, rented by the Municipality of Milan to the Politecnico di Milano. In the same year of Coltivando opening, Milan City Council approved a policy to exploit green abandoned public spaces as (vegetable) gardens for local residents and then started a public call “coltivaMI” to give pieces of public land for free for gardening and social activities purposes to Milanese associations. Coltivando members often participate to seminars, meetings, conferences about the community gardens issues or local food policy: the open assembly about Green and Environment in the city council of Milan (Tavolo del Verde), the milanese network of community gardens (“Libere Rape Metropolitane”) and is quoted as one of the best practices by the council members ( In the last months, this project has been considered as incubator to help the development of others community gardens in the neighbourhood within the campus ( – a Politecnico di Milano research funded project with social purposes. This garden will be used to train and explain how to start a community garden from the hardware (garden beds, irrigation system, communication devices etc.) and the software (rules, roles, management etc) point of views. It has been endorsed by several local associations and by the City council of Milan. (Polimi Desis Lab)

Izindaba Zokudla – City and environmental planning

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Izindaba Zokudla is mostly focused on urban farming in Soweto, a previously marginalised township. However the conversation expands into the inner city of Johannesburg as well as the broader Gauteng City Region since issues of food insecurity and employment are widespread. (Design Society Development DESIS Lab)