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57 Seiten, Note: 110
Influences and Philosophy
2.0 A new Urban shape
Gestalt und Form
Against Intentional Inaction
Social value and community building
3.0 Agriculture as the key to change
Thinking globally, producing locally
Hyper-local agricultural systems
Self sufficiency and Circularity
Role of the Government
Employment and social aspects
Modalities of agriculture in and around cities
Risks of urban cultivations
4.0 Democratic empowerment and cultural development
Consumption and Advertisement
The key is thinking BIG, both in space and in time – Michael Soulé
We have to start putting into account the intrinsic limits of our planet: Limited non-renewable resources and limited absorption capacity of pollution and physical externalities. The Great Acceleration1 clearly shows us the negative evolution of our economic growth period of the last 50 years: increasing socio-economic factors parallel to exponentially increasing negative impacts on the biosphere through the outputs of our system – and this nefarious acceleration process is far from over. The factor that even worsens this negative context is the prospected doubling of the global middle classes, which will reach 5 billion people in 20302: higher standards of living, more consumption, more risks of global breakdowns, mass migrations, massive food and health issues. The constant degrading and poisoning of our atmosphere and biosphere seems to have become an inevitable and intrinsic side effect of our growth model; and the increasing request for consumption promoted as our way out of the crisis. Basically the problem is proposed as the cure: a paradox in itself3. Trust in the inherent efficiency of markets and the belief in boundless growth has been increasingly criticized in the last 60 years4. While not disputing the fact that our lifestyle is on a high level, contemporarily the search for increasing consumption and the demographic explosion we are witnessing, is facing our planet and mankind with gigantic issues to solve. A huge leap forward would be the open discussion of the growth concept, a dogma considered as sacred – although it is nowhere logic or realistic applied to our planet in its current terms. Nonetheless the notion of limited resources and unlimited growth is still the basis for political and economic discourse in the most powerful circles. The inadequacies of our global economic system are evident and the chasm between social wellbeing and environmental sustainability is growing. The global environmental crisis is being fueled by our productive system, which consumes and discards waste. At the same time social inequality is increasing. It is therefore central for our own wellbeing to not overshoot the planet’s ecological ceiling and to provide practical answers to our global social issues.5 Ulrich Beck6 has stated that social wealth production goes hand in hand with social risk production. Collateral effects of science and technology are also showing to represent irreversible risks for mankind, animals and plants. It is not a mystery anymore that global finance, free from every kind of control or bond, is creating growing instability on a global scale, and the next economical crisis7. The complex point to solve is the apparently inextricable relationship between capitalism, as we know it, and democracy. As Schumpeter has stated, our modern society was shaped according to purely economic material: wirtschaftlichem Material 8. This is why we have to transcend the roots of our current economic model and build upon new material, conformed to our Planet. We have to change the way we produce goods and food, the way we conceive logistics, distribution and our way of life. Key is recomposing the fracture between environment and economy9 and internalizing the limit concept into our system. The Shape of the City to come tries to open up in the direction of sustainability, through the incorporation of agriculture into our urban sphere and the construction of a new conception of city: a sort of “ruralization” of urban and peri-urban territories, which will provide food, quality of life and revitalize the city10. What used to be an oxymoron, rural and urban, now is developing and expanding into a new ecological way of imagining urban spatiality. True change will be achieved through cultural and democratic development. As I will later analyze, this factor represents the glue that holds the various outlined pieces together. This model is a hypothetical, but absolutely logic step towards more sustainable urban environments in the developed world and contains the next stage of urban farming, agriculture and city planning as a whole. Although imagined for the developed western city, many of its elements and factors could be applied to cities all over the world and represent more than a structural plan for developed nations. The result it pursues is perfectly in line with the some of the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are entering a stage in which past and future will merge: Tools and savoir faire of the past and modern knowledge and technology; a balanced prospect on tomorrow; an economic model based on natural cycles, on our soil, on the passing of seasons; an equilibrium towards universal ethics, health, wellbeing and respect. In this context, urban agriculture and agriculture in urban environment should not be viewed as fashionable trends or short term solutions, but on the contrary they have to merge and be part of our metropolis. The starting point is our idea of city. We have to rethink and envision a new perspective of the place we live in.
My aim is to draw a model not just shaped on the present, but also on our heritage and traditions reflected upon tomorrow. In fact, the objective of this thesis is to concretely imagine and propose the shape of our future city, as a place to live and breathe in, for us and the generations to come. My multifaceted approach embraces political, cultural, economic and social aspects – represented by three pillars, developed into three chapters. Fundamental for understanding my thesis is the fact that although separate, these interdisciplinary elements build a unique structure. That means that a single element does not reach its full potential without the interaction of the other two. A first pillar and key factor for the success of the future urban area is a new way of planning and perceiving our surroundings. Rural and urban elements have to merge into a unique picture and a certain degree of de-urbanization, which basically means inverting the current trend of urban territorial and demographic expansion, needs to be addressed. The cities as we know them are proven to be unsustainable and unbalancing on a local and global scale. Therefore the objective is to facilitate sustainable progress in every city, town and region, instead of concentrating population in dense metropolitan areas. The second pillar is agriculture and urban agriculture, the correlated food independence and agricultural self-sufficiency of the new urban network. A metropolitan area and its surroundings, in the best case won’t need to import food products and will be self-sufficient for the most part, thus reducing import and export, traffic and pollution. Also health, transparency, community sense and better environment will be tangible results. The third chapter is dedicated to the development of a sustainable culture and way of life, including political empowerment. This means positively redefining consumption and decision making through education and public awareness, parallel to a progressive responsibility assumption process and the enhancement of a broad community concept. A new way of taking decisions, closer to the people and to the center of the decision itself has to be pursued on various levels. This translates into deep development of urban areas based on local particularistic solutions, instead of exclusively top-down decisions.
My thesis lays its foundation on a combination of different thoughts, philosophies and practical everyday life experiences from the past and the present – thus transcending our Gegenwartsgeist. Fundamental for my philosophical and practical approach in my work are Arne Naess’s philosophy and Deep Ecology movement, the Sustainable Development Goals and Democratic Confederalism – just to name the more evident and notable influences. Arne Naess, a norwegian philosopher, is the founding father of the Deep Ecology movement. Deep Ecology – the name itself is a statement – distances itself from shallow and superficial ecology, therefore sets itself on a more profound and universal level of ecologic thought and protection of life on Earth. Not just a limited and economy based ecology, but an all-embracing and all-inclusive thought. One of the background key concepts of Arne Naess’s Deep Ecology and a direct answer to potential skepticism regarding sustainability and divergent ways of living compared to our current system, is expressed in his idea that
”[…] there is no way back to societies that belong to the past, but there is a way back to sustainability. In fact, there is not just one way but many ways, so that widely different, sustainable cultures are possible11 ”.
So to be very clear, transparent and precise on the envisioned sustainable future, I would like to underline the fact that there is no such thing as bringing back a long gone past – it would not be materially possible and it is nobody’s goal to do so. The objective is to create a sustainable future fitting our needs, the needs of our children and grandchildren and protecting our Planet as a whole. In regards to this point, the futurist Shohaill Nayatullah has created the term used future12 , an image of the future that actually does not belong to us, that we don’t fully understand, but that we unconsciously fully embrace. His idea challenges us to imagine and create our own future in line with our ideas, beliefs and principles – a more authentic and empowering future we can call our own. He has also proposed the concept of a commons economy. An economy, which does not create wealth for few at the expense of the majority. On the contrary neo-liberalism, and on a broader level capitalism, creates huge externalities – ecological and social, but keeps the profits on an individual level13. Economic growth is not synonymous of quality life and happiness and material wealth and wellbeing are not equivalent14. The neoclassic homo oeconomicus, within a pure rational economic framework and the dogmatic “growth for growth sake” are surpassed and anachronistic paradigms with inherent limitations. Our goal has to be qualitativer statt quantitativer Wachstum 15. Therefore also the way we consume has to change and adapt to our new framework. We do not have to pursue the simple and passive concept of consumption, but instead the broader and deeper idea of cum-sumere: a community based consumption model, outside of a strictly personal and self-limiting view.
The Shape of the City to come, besides incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals, also fits the prescriptions and guidelines of circularity. Circular Economy is the leading alternative all-embracing system that has been promoted by many institutions worldwide, although its full potential still has to be reached. Circular economy is not only semantically, but also philosophically and practically the opposite of a linear economy16. In a linear economy - our current system - resources are extracted, used and discarded: beginning and end. In a circular economy on the other hand, resources are designed to remain in the productive cycle: on a theoretical level materials will have an infinite use and reuse potential. This model does not produce and excludes externalities from the start. A gigantic difference compared to our current system built upon externalities. Circularity incorporates the market, our biosphere and wellbeing, for a system adapt to our planet. Important to underline is the fact that this system bases itself on free market rules and therefore is highly interesting from a business point of view17. New ways of designing production, distribution, consumption and restoration. It’s not a simple recycling method: this system regenerates itself in perpetuum 18. The resources, which are now considered trash or not useful anymore, will rise to new life19. Circularity obviously can be also applied to our urban environment. How can we create a circular environment, reduce waste of resources and include them in a circular loop? A circular city will focus on producing locally, on reducing externalities like raw materials and utilizing them in an intelligent way – practically closing the loop.
Il futuro della città ha un cuore antico. - Carlo Levi
World population has reached the number of 7 billion people and in 2050 projections tell us that we will reach 9 billion. Today more than 50% of the world population lives in cities and the numbers are steadily rising: estimations tell us that urban population will reach 60% by 203020. A 2009 ONU report has highlighted how the megacities we live in actually worsen social injustice. These uncontrolled humongous cities are implicitly unsustainable: they are responsible for 80% of CO emissions21 and for about 75% of global energy consumption22. Problems are systemic and intrinsically complex and therefore need a multitude of programmatic, shared, globally and locally adapted solutions, through a network of cooperation, coordination and multilevel governance23. Kate Raworth has posed a rhetoric question, which can serve as motivation: “Around the world, ambitious places are starting to ask a crucial question: how can we thrive here, while respecting the rights of all people and the whole planet?”24. Due to the central role of urban conglomerates, we have to develop a new way of perceiving the city and its surroundings, looking towards a broader urban and peri-urban territory and reconnecting its fragmented pieces. Urban reconversion, in a sense of reinterpreting structures and functions, is part of the path to follow, especially through a multi-centric and inclusive approach, which embraces and supports the synergic relationship between rural and urban life. Central to this development is the protection and enhancement of local culture and lifestyle25, through outreach and listening. Contemporarily redesigning and redefining of borders and margins (urban/rural) with a renewed agro-urban centrality and strengthening of short-chain food distribution. The key is deep knowledge and understanding: of our territory, local culture and biosphere.26
To tackle these global and local issues a de-urbanization and a new way of planning the city is necessary. De-urbanization as an inversion of urban growth, which means: not progress, but stop. Building urban models with long-lasting and wide-reaching vision, while acknowledging the complexities of urban development and urbanization - economic, esthetic and functional, a urban Gestalt und Form projected into the future. In this sense a change of direction toward sustainability is unavoidable: we have to point towards better quality of life rather than just a raised standard of living. The difference is profound and translates into real benefits for the urban citizen, instead of what I call imaginary benefits. Real benefits are raised health standards, proper living conditions, quality food and water, decent jobs and a deep sense of community. On the opposite imaginary benefits are more desired objects and services acquired in the never-ending-personal-consumption-process that actually and factually do not increase quality of life. Cities in this regard play a crucial role in managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable 27, thanks to their pivotal position in our present world. Newly imagined and well re-organized cities can impact global consumption models, through an updated perception on life and a more sustainable use of energy resources and a reduction of the carbon footprint. A variety of factors will have to be addressed, like transportation (as mentioned in the introduction we have to leave the concept of the “city for cars” definitely behind28 ), buildings, waste management and supply chain solutions, while developing long term labor plans and seriously addressing employment. Urban environments could become leaders in sustainable produce demand and help in shaping sustainability models29, and thus reducing their externalities and influencing their surroundings (other cities, towns, regions and states). We have to understand and interpret reality, and the present and past of places, for developing adapt progressive strategies for the sustainable city30. Economically these plans make sense: on one hand the reduction of expenses for urban transformation, therefore not creating further costly and invasive structures, on the other hand the utilization, re-adaptation and strengthening of the existing assets31.
In many cases in the past, urbanization was completely handed over to private interests, a process that has transformed urban environments into an economic battleground in which landscape and the wellbeing of people are subject to speculation and corruption32. In other cases the urban shape was determined by an exclusively “professional” approach through the use of expertise, thus creating purely theoretic functional cities, but in reality distant, not developed for the inhabitants and without a simple human vision. In both cases we can talk about an intentional inaction of the city management: they act as if there were no real political decisions to take and therefore decide to leave the city at the mercy of “outside” forces33. The result of such policies is what we can see today in many cities: an uncontrolled urban sprawl, minimal greenspace, abandoned and unproductive land, purely economically functioning urban environments destined to be surpassed. The new urban area is designed to be growingly circular and sustainable, and contemporarily also efficient and self-sufficient – on a social, ecological and economic level. The objective is to close the water, energy and food cycles, which means creating a circular efficiency loop that doesn’t create externalities and doesn’t need to rake resources from the outside. That’s where agriculture comes into play and merges with the urban framework. This model, part of a bigger renovation urbis, opens up new and alternative ways of production and distribution and a broader sense of community: short supply chains, food production specialization, closer producer-consumer relationship and quality areas for rehearsal and loisir. Rural space, urban margins and abandoned land needs to be fully recovered and physically and mentally embraced by the city; not as an obstacle in the urban expansion process, but on the contrary an opportunity and resource34. The peri-urban areas, “in between”, will play a crucial role in defining the shape of the city to come. Important is the harmonic and functional connection of the different territorial segments and spheres, which need multi-level interactions: demographic linkages, economic transactions and delivery of public services35. A way of practically conceiving cultivations can be through the creation of community gardens, especially in the suburbs of metropolitan areas, where marginal areas36 converted into land for gardening, livestock breeding and horticultural cultivation37 will breathe new life into the city. Gardens can become community-centered areas38, where democratically elected representatives cooperate and report to the municipality, and in exchange receive support and agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds, assistance and water39. As Donadieu has observed, urban and peri-urban agriculture plays three fundamental roles: on an economic level (production and job creation), spatial (as a barrier against urban expansion) and symbolic (as landscape and decoration)40. The interaction and interdependency of urban and rural space on a physical and functional level in this sense opens up interesting and highly positive paths, because of their distinct and complementary endowments41: a synergic union for a productive (in every sense) landscape built around the biosphere, citizens and their needs.
The traditional distinction between urban and rural areas is increasingly blurred. Places where today people live, work and consume largely encompass both urban and rural territories, which are ever more linked in economic, demographic and environmental terms. The challenge facing governments is how to govern these interactions, which cross different administrative boundaries and policy domains. If well managed, rural-urban interactions can help improve services provision, as well as increase growth opportunities and quality of life for people42.
Let us briefly talk about the efficiency aspect of implementing agriculture and urban agriculture in metropolitan areas. With a growing reliability on “home grown” vegetables, fruit and livestock, the quantities of imported goods could be reduced up to 60-70% and maybe up to 100%, also depending on local consumption models, the will of the population to evolve and climatic environment. The more a certain urban community relies on local produce and its seasonality, the less food imports will be needed – this is factual. In this sense a cultural change will have its effects on food consumption models, supply chains and on pollution levels. With reduced transportation costs, pollution and traffic will decrease and people will be healthier from a long-term point of view. We have already been moving towards a more sustainable city: in 1996 the UN had estimated that around 15% and 20% where products of urban agriculture43, and things have been progressing greatly ever since. Beyond crops cultivation and food production, the presence of green buildings, infrastructures and green parks will contribute to the mitigation of urban heat islands44 and to other useful ecosystem services such as the improvement of air quality45, resilience during exceptional meteorological events46, enhancing storm water management47 and improving urban biodiversity48. Rooftop gardens in particular can have positive effects on climate and temperatures. They protect roofs from direct solar radiation and thus reduce transfer of heat into the building’s mass below the green surface. This cooling effect reduces both temperatures on rooftops themselves and improves thermal comfort in apartments below the roof. Water evaporation on green roofs contributes to reducing ambient temperatures and in absorbing significant amounts of dust particles49. Green areas in general also refresh the city, as hard surfaces in urban areas, such as concrete, brick and asphalt have a high thermal mass, which diffuses accumulated daily heat back into the atmosphere. This negative multiplication effect, which we all have experienced, contributes to a rise in ambient temperature in cities. Ambient cooling through green space will have visible effects in larger areas with geographically concentrated gardens and rooftops, as a study implemented in Melbourne pointed out50. Generally climate change effects and over-heating of urban environments can be prevented or at least mitigated through a renewed urbanization/ruralization process. Another interesting and functional aspect of green areas on ground-level or roofs is the noise reduction factor. A dense vegetation can act as an efficient noise buffer, reflecting and absorbing metropolitan sound51. Ample agricultural areas and in general parks and green space, furthermore improve the transition of wind and thus also reduce temperatures in urban areas. Wind corridors and rivers have become strategic tools for reducing heat islands and improving urban living conditions52. Urban agriculture and its implicit evolutions furthermore support ecological sustainability: soil erosion prevention, proper utilization of waste, circular resources models, improved air quality, preservation of biodiversity and urban environment quality enhancement through green spaces and the reduction of pollution53. The fusion of rural and urban habitat enhances fundamental ecosystem services crucial for our health and our quality of living, which are collective benefits54. Highly important in the city development will be the use of abandoned land and post industrial structures. New life can breathe into old and surpassed buildings that in the current status represent a waste of soil. For example through the creation of community centers, playgrounds, museums for local neighborhoods, buildings can be reinvented with relatively few expenses. Abandoned factories can become market places for local farmers to sell their produce and structures to locally transform food, like tomato sauce or fresh juice fruit production. Detroit is an avantgarde example of successful urban reconversion. In this context everything possible has to be done to transform passive properties into active areas that benefit the community55. Productive land transcends purely material aspects and is also symbol which gives hope. Therefore the changing or multifunctional use of a certain areas and structures needs to be facilitated in every possible way. If a farmer wants to open a restaurant or a learning farm for kids, the rules have to be easy and understandable, and the project quickly accomplishable. A proper normative framework is key.
Besides practical and functional aspects of production of food and self-sufficiency, gardens and horticultural crops represent something intangible56 with intrinsic value for the community, something we can call “bene comune 57 ” in italian – also because traditional agriculture is inherently and deeply connected to local communities58. In fact urban design, aims at creating an environment for citizens in which social coherence, labor and community sense are the key priorities to pursue59. The urban context in which citizens live in is a social context in the first place; and the image of the city should convey positive social information, creating a sense of belonging and social identity60. Architects nowadays embrace the idea that a successful urban design needs the contribution of citizenship, for a shared vision of the city. I will analyze this aspect more in depth in chapter 4. Consequently community gardens, greenspace and rooftops are not only to be viewed as simple food production areas, but as social projects, as places for recreation, physical exercise, for relaxation and learning, for creating a sense of community and solidarity – elements often lacking in our cities and therefore contributing in reconstructing citizenship and social involvement. Community gardens, jardins partagés, are places in which utopia effectively becomes reality and where social justice can actually be applied61. Also a safe place for children and teenagers in which to play and have fun, developing creativity and fantasy, outside of the common and ordinary leisure activity centers, like shopping malls and indoor playrooms. Urban agriculture helps building and empowering communities, as well as regenerating degraded and abandoned urban land, benefiting the society as a whole. Especially poor neighbourhoods and the impoverished outskirts of the city will find new social areas for gatherings, meetings, for profit and social business ventures like sport and open air activity infrastructures, learning farms and pet therapy centers: basically places which instead are currently occupied by nothingness. We should talk about repairing, reusing and re-qualifying the existing urban network62, and thus putting a halt to the urban expansion and overbuilding, and contemporarily utilizing land in abandonment. For a proper understanding, we have to reach an interaction and cross-contamination on an economic and cultural level between urban subculture and rural culture63. A new perception, knowledge and planning of the borders of the city, where urban and rural elements overlap, is therefore critical. The Shape of the city to come breathes and is open, not divided into compartments or segments, but instead built upon overlapping and versatile structures for an economically efficient and rational city, in the light of multi-functionality and sustainable growth64. As Jacques Le Goff has stated in 2009, we need to bring our ancient world into our future project, which means combining sciences, traditions and knowledge65 without discarding precious and valuable assets from the past. Giancarlo De Carlo on the same note invites us to reverse the spyglass 66, therefore trying to look at the city in a new and different way, and turn our current perceptions upside down.
The city is facing a transition, from de-industrialization to a new state, which still has to be defined. In generating a new and sustainable environment we have to talk about transportation and finding new ways of moving through the city. We must start thinking in modern and efficient ways, and transport by car is anachronistic and intrinsically inefficient in the short and long term. One of the key goals pursued by the most modern cities like Amsterdam is the concept of slow mobility. This concept mainly refers to sustainable transportation by bicycle and on foot, compared to traditional “motorized” transportation. The first most obvious consequence of a functioning slow mobility network, is the reduction and rationalization of traffic and the possibility of an alternative transportation infrastructure. Especially the creation of an efficient and articulate bicycle network, will make the difference in terms of optional transportation, reduction of externalities and increasing protection of the biosphere. These greenways67 encompass a landscape perception, a strategic dimension and a tourist opportunity. Utilizing slow mobility routes opens up knowledge to the territory, favors access to historical and ecological sights and supports the growth of slow und sustainable tourism 68. We will be able to protect the environment in its “original” form and create new ways of exploring and traveling, without fragmenting or destroying the preexistent cultural and ecological assets. Slow mobility is a model embedded into nature, that does not consume soil and is perfectly in line with the prescriptions and ideals of the European Landscape Convention69 and the Sustainable Development Goals70.
Qui oublie de planter des arbres aujurd’hui, vivra dans le desert demain. – African Popular Saying
My thesis, as previously outlined, builds upon three pillars. Each of them represents an important aspect of the future city. The key that will modify our perceptions and lives on a material level is agriculture. The term agriculture derives from the Latin ager (field) and cultura (cultivation, growing), and it can be considered as the basic activity for human survival – and a sacred one. Agriculture was considered by the ancient Greeks as the unity between sky and earth, Zeus and Demetra. Most of our food directly or indirectly comes from the products of agriculture – it has been like this for the last 5000 years and it will be like this in the future. Cesare Beccaria, in his posthumous Elementi di Economia Politica71, has stated that agriculture resists and will resist every kind of chaos and political disorder, while other arts and crafts may easily perish – this to underline the absolute central role of agriculture in the history and culture of mankind. Taking a step back and observing the bigger picture, we will have to acknowledge the fact that our Earth nourishes us and therefore gives us the opportunity to live in the first place – without Planet Earth, agriculture and its produce there would be no civilization whatsoever. It is the basis of our past, present and future civilization. And to go even further, to really understand the depth of our relationship with our planet, we can briefly look at how Emanuele Coccia72 describes the highly intertwined relationship with our planet. The act of eating is the space in which species of all kinds (mankind, animals, plants) meet and merge, because we ultimately are all part of the same substance and cycle, and thus nurture each other in an interdependent and universal bond – an idea of our lives somewhat similar to the religious and philosophical concept of metempsychosis and reincarnation. An ancient Upanishad tells us something very similar: “Everything is food, everything is something else’s food.” But agriculture has been transformed into something distant, barely comprehensible and anti-modern – agriculture is not a part of our lives anymore, but a memory of our past. Agriculture has been virtually transferred out of our reach and thus we have lost touch with its roots. Think about the relationship between agriculture and economy: agriculture nurtures all other economies and businesses, but still agriculture does not impose its laws. On the contrary, the free market controls and imposes its economic rules on agriculture73. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has brilliantly reconstructed the social evolution of our times and its evident contradictions in his brief essay on agriculture and the Italian peasant74: the forced massive abandonment of agriculture in few decades, with an unprecedented and unquantifiable cultural loss of knowledge and skills. Agriculture has been largely managed by the industrial sector in the last decades with increasing interference and control; with its nowadays obvious negative impacts on the quality of food and a more general distortion of our social and demographic asset. A process of constant opacification of the origins and transformations of our food, and the aforementioned loss of appeal of our rural culture. Fuel and chemical intensive food monocultures production is portrayed as the only solution to food security and to maintain the growth economy. Nonetheless poverty and hunger issues haven’t been solved and at the same time 3 billion people suffer from food-related chronic diseases75. Although they tell us otherwise, this system is inherently inefficient: 75% of land used produces only 30% of the food we actually eat. On the contrary, sustainable farms produce 70% of our food with just 25% of land used. To really invert this negative trend and rebuild our culture we need to embrace agriculture. That does not mean that we have to become farmers, but that agriculture has to be brought back into the center of our lives, as the only true source of our food, health and wellbeing. “Let food be thy medicine” as Hippocrates has written.
Sustainable and alternative food systems require in loco food production and consumption, and cities have proven to be adaptable and resilient spaces for such purposes. Cities can make a real difference on a regional, national and global scale. Shipping, of food and other goods, is responsible for 17% of global emissions. Trying to reduce these externalities through urban farming methods is part of the more general concept of Cosmo-Localization, which poses the following question: Can Thinking Globally and Producing Locally Really Save our Planet? 76 Fundamental is tackling the growing disconnection between food production and consumption - bridging the gap between food and culture. This means actively applying the “think globally, act locally” concept. Moving into a more local and particularistic consumption and production universe, also implies abandoning the idea of farming monoculture. Even though monoculture has its competitive cost and velocity advantages for the consumer through the utilization of standardized and replicable models, it also brings nefarious collateral damages, like soil impoverishment and food intoxication, which can cause health issues for the consumer, the destruction of a multitude of “non competitive” species and plants, irreversible effects on fauna and flora. Also from an economic point of view, huge monocultures can destroy local, slow and specialized farming methods, which aren’t deemed as profitable or not immediately competitive on a global market. This is what Francesco Caponetti in Terre Marginali77 has defined as “monoculture of the mind”, which destroys diversity and cultural richness. Instead we need to create specialized, local and even slow production methods. This approach protects local cultures, methods and lifestyles and represents progress defined by and through communities, their consumption models and local habits78. This is not in any way anti-economic, as we have seen. Highly specialized and very local methods of production, even slow ones, will be able to spawn high quality products destined for a local, but also global market. Italy is an outstanding example for a rich and diverse food produce, which also creates wealth and opportunities79. This concept can be applicable to a sheer endless variety of products, which may find a market on a local and global scale. International certifications, like IGP or DOP, represent the guarantee for these types of highly specialized local produce.
The agricultural model of the future is the opposite of a hortus conclusus: it is transparent, open, sustainable and co-managed by the people. This translates into hyper-local agricultural systems with very short supply chains for a sustainable, locally adapt and healthy produce. Let’s look at the official description used for the agricultural model in Cuba: “Production in the community, by the community, for the community80 ”. Social, economic and ecologic benefits derive from the creation of urban agricultural areas through the utilization of unused land in the city centers, in the outskirts, between, inside and on top of buildings. At the same time, the disconnections between rural areas on the borders and the city have to be bridged and new relationships built. In fact urban agriculture is spreading all over the world and it’s becoming an essential feature of city planning, not just as a food-providing initiative and a contribution to food security, which is fundamental, but also as a more general service to urban life, sociality and health as we have seen in chapter 2. Regarding health, the World Health Organization indicates that a healthy diet should at least include 400 grams of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, which correspond to 5 portions per day81. Contemporarily this model reduces meat consumption and introduces non-carnivore diets, perfectly in line with the universally shared benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Through a proper implementation of agriculture closer to citizens a healthier lifestyle for all is in our reach. The essence of urban and peri-urban agriculture is “in the city, for the city82 ”.
Moving specifically into productive aspect of rooftop gardens, through the use of greenhouse structures and other solutions, we can quickly analyze the impacts revealed in different studies: in Barcellona, through a broad functioning rooftop greenhouse system, up to 130.000 people’s tomato demand could be satisfied in the short term83. Another study, related to the aforementioned one, has pointed out that locally produced tomatoes, on greenhouse rooftops, could be 33% environmentally more efficient and 21% cheaper compared to “normal” agricultural production from the Almeria region84. Especially eggplants and tomatoes in soil production have the highest yields and show good environmental and economic trends. Lettuce on the other hand is the most water efficient cultivation type within a hydroponics system. Analyzing studies based on a city level, calculations tell us that from circa 65 ha of urban rooftops growing vegetables, an average yield of 4.700 tons per year could be generated (7 kg per m a year)85. In a similar research, 82 ha of rooftops with soilless gardens in Bologna Italy could yield up to 12.500 t per year, and thus covering more than three quarters of the city’s vegetable requirements86. This shows that food security, a situation in which people have enough safe and appropriate food with nutritional requirements, for an active and healthy life, can be reached with urban agricultural measures like rooftop farms. From an economic and environmental point of view, food security is based on three elements: food availability, food access and food uses, as reported in the FAO guidelines. There is not a unique opinion on the benefits of urban agriculture, although we may certainly say that it does not have any negative impacts. Generally the carbon footprint won’t be substantially modified or reduced solely through urban agriculture, although some reports outline a reduced carbon footprint87. According to a study based on Singapore88, the rooftop cultivations there could have a sensible and positive impact on the annual carbon footprint of the city, up to 9 tons of CO less emissions thanks to the general agricultural framework.
One of the main services urban agriculture and agriculture on the borders of the city tries to provide is food self-sufficiency and thus increase food security. Studies have proven the potential of vacant spaces for producing local food and its impact in terms of self-sufficiency capacity89. The food production efficiency levels of small private cultivations in a urban and peri-urban environment have been carefully analyzed90, and in average the annual vegetable requirements of 1 and up to 2 people could be satisfied, which translates into savings for private households from an economic point of view, an overall healthier diet and a reduction of CO emissions. The outlined model provides food safety, which translates into sufficient and appropriate food from a nutritional and cultural point of view. Food safety reached through the reduction of supply chain intermediations and at the same time through the creation of urban-rural relationships based on trust and support. This approach needs collective actions in the buying process, in the production (or co-production) phase, during exchange and in spreading knowledge in the community91. Studies quantified how and to what extent in-soil cultivations and rooftop gardens aid the more ample ecosystem of the urban environment through circularity: for example by using organic waste flow as a substrate for cultivations or by collecting and managing runoff water through rainfall water retention. An efficient use of already “on-site” materials and elements would enhance the urban circular economy92 and close the urban resource cycle. As earlier mentioned the goal is to close the loop on urban and peri-urban scale, keeping externalities low (possibly close to 0%) and resources on the inside. This obviously means self-sufficiency but also reduction of negative impacts that the city normally produces and reverses on the outside. Territorialisation of local food systems automatically also tackles and solves other issues like resilient housing against climatic change, auto-sustainability, circular economy models for the reduction of trash, efficient use of resources and the creation of models towards an auto-governance on a local level, based on pacts among public bodies, farmers and citizens. We have to reach a food production network, built on home gardens, rooftop cultivations, pro-business food production, for a general framework in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice growing and its contributions to food security93.
To assure a successful transition towards a sustainable and prosper future, the government, in its various forms, has to become an active part in forming a new consumption and living model. The major spenders in Europe are public bodies: they spend around 16% of the European Gross Domestic Product for a variety of acquisitions, like electricity, furniture and IT assets. Public entities not only represent a gigantic market force, but they can also influence the market itself, creating incentives for private companies moving in a green direction and thus supporting virtuous organizations94. Public money savings, environment protection and improvement of the positive image of public bodies taking a green path are all indirect benefits. Fundamental is the proper normative policy approach in which to discipline urban and peri-urban agriculture. Policy instruments for the city can be 1) Regulations, therefore creating requirements for businesses and citizens, developing spatial planning and issuing land to private stakeholders. 2) Legislation, which means creating legal rules to change or ban undesirable behaviours and/or activities, pushing sustainable technology standards and imposing energy labels. 3) Fiscal framework, which works with positive and negative price incentives, through tax exemptions and credits for sustainable business and taxes or penalties to discourage certain actions. 4) Direct financial support for businesses and citizens to overcome financial barriers. 5) General economic frameworks, such as utilizing incentives to pursue sustainability goals on a broader scale. 6) Strengthening of collaboration between public and private sectors and expanding the public-private-partnership. 7) Collaboration platforms and infrastructures for sharing of knowledge, data, best practices and information amongst stakeholders. 8) Through governance, utilizing instruments to shape actions and decision-making in practice95. A positive policy setup will push the growth of sustainable circular models and urban food production. The government needs to find the adequate solution, for what concerns taxes, health and sanitary requirements. A bio-organic circular approach has to be favored above all, because it represents a way of not creating externalities and keeping the future production processes clean, self-sufficient and sustainable. Thanks to this immense market force and purchasing power, public bodies can actively support and finance different products that are in line with sustainability. Thus supporting the demand and supply structure and applying place based policies. Also urban agriculture produce is perfectly in line with this model: through buying, supporting and distributing sustainable and local food to schools, the army, hospitals and public structures, a strong local production network, which supplies the surroundings will be enhanced. This means giving absolute priority to locally produced food; as a highly positive consequence, local economies will be spurred. The creation of space for cultivation in urban areas through the regeneration of abandoned land, the government can act in a positive way, opening up new physical areas for horticultural crops. Facilitating the possibility to start businesses and enterprises, and sustaining new and innovative business models. This way the government can become a key entrepreneurial actor, working as a partner and actively serving its communities and helping in creating employment. Cuban policies in this sense are highly instructive and great solutions have been created due to the precarious situation of the Caribbean island. The Cuban government guarantees access to land to those willing to grow fruit and vegetables, therefore urban gardeners received permanent land rights - however, gardeners have to produce with maximum breaks of six months, otherwise all rights will be returned to the legal owner96. Another interesting policy is the so called extension network. Each municipality has a team of workers providing veterinary and phytosanitary services, and transferring knowledge and technologies to local communities and farmers97. Additionally agricultural research centers are active on the island, which provide high quality support to the urban agricultural sector of Cuba as a whole.98 Key words are flexibility and resilience of utilization forms. The risk of the so called greenwashing exists and is a constant danger, especially on a corporate level, but the government in this case needs to intervene to tighten rules and regulations to protect and serve the citizen. Parallel to the government, citizens will need to organize and manage their lives more directly and thus control their environment, including agriculture and agricultural produce. But we will talk about this in the third chapter and close the loop.
Work, and therefore the creation of quality employment, is one of the first priorities: fair, well-paid and stable work. Without the concept of employment, no plan really makes sense in my opinion, and is thus central to my study. In fact, work will be created in urban and peri-urban agriculture in various forms: mainly in the production, cultivation and transformation process and in the subsequent selling phase of horticultural produce through direct or short range networks. Short chain distribution, de-intermediation, direct selling points of food through farmer markets and specialized shops, also collective buying groups can greatly expand working opportunities of various nature and specialization level. Through correlated services like catering, courses, events, circular waste management other and alternative income opportunities are opening up. Specialized personal as local consultants and experts of research centers and academic structures will be also a necessary part of the more general network, providing knowledge and support for farmers, businesses and organizations. Generally building a circular economy will create immense employment opportunities. Voluntary work and work for social purposes also needs to be included, as an employment factor and in order to build a strong sense of community99. An interesting and social model for the enhancement of horticultural crops in urban areas is the development of social enterprises and NGO’s, through which residents can be actively involved in the food production. As a supporting frame for this type of system, citizens will need access to the right tools, education and general resources for successfully growing and developing a hyper-local food economy. An important aspect in the development of a new urban rural network and collaboration, is the concept if multi-functionality. This simply means opening up the possibilities of multifunctional farms and peri-urban productive and economic structures. Diversification of economic activities that help expand the reach of mono-functional businesses and creating new ways for farmers or other organizations to enhance their economic portfolio. As experience shows us, this will happen mainly through the transition from simple production sites to service providers. Farms can therefore open restaurants, create learning areas for kids, open up pet therapy structures, just to mention a few possibilities. A variety of functions will be addressed: social, ecologic, didactical, recreational, productive, aesthetic, therapeutic, cultural100. In fact, agriculture also has a very positive effect on weak social categories: in the rehabilitation of ex convicts and people with addictions of various nature or for supporting and helping the elderly or the physically and mentally disabled101. Agriculture and urban Agriculture, like community gardens or livestock breeding structures, can support these social categories especially during crisis times and where specific services are missing102. Work becomes a tool and path through which these individuals, part of a community, will actively regain a sense of belonging, consciousness, motivation and a sense of life: self-respect and recognition for their labour103. Not only a regeneration on the inside, but also towards the external world, where their produce could be sold and accepted. Therefore social agriculture also has a therapeutic, educative and rehabilitative dimension. Social Agriculture, also called civic agriculture104 for its collectivity embracing characteristics, is part of the multifunctional approach for the modern farm: it produces goods and services and creates informal networks and relationships among local communities105. Regenerating abandoned and degraded space in this specific context helps building communities and empower society as a whole106.
Modalities of urban agriculture are many and they are being applied around the world with different outcomes and results. Crucial for a successful urban agriculture long-term project is the understanding of the specific and particularistic surroundings of the city, which includes climate, urban shape, native species for cultivation, food culture and consumption models. We have to create unique solutions for unique locations and cultures, therefore adapting general sustainable and circular rules to very specific territorial forms and needs – always minding the protection of local habits, ecosystems and cultures. Without them, we won’t have the roots to build our future upon. Local habits and cultures are the absolute basis, they represent the knowledge of the people, their heritage and cultural wealth for the world. Forcing external and alien models on them would represent a failure from the start. A very popular modality of urban agriculture is rooftop farming and it is growing around cities driven by the growing interest in urban agriculture. New York City has started including it in its urban planning policy. Rooftops provide extra-space for food cultivation, where cultivations would not be possible. The most common and cost efficient rooftop cultivation type is open-air farming, compared to more complex systems, like greenhouses or indoor farming structures which need a larger energy demand and economic investments. As a part of urban agriculture, rooftop farming is linked to multiple sustainability benefits, as previously outlined, such as enhanced urban food security and improved environmental performance. Another benefit of such a rooftop cultivation system is the creation of a green corridor for biodiversity107. A possibility of high yield and intense urban farming is Vertical Farming, a modern cultivation method developed on multiple vertical levels of crops. Usually Vertical Farming is utilized in closed space with artificial LED lighting. This method is generally more efficient and can reach very high production yields, although the costs may be very high, especially in the investment phase. Let’s take a brief look at soilless plant culture in open air farms, like hydroponic systems, which is becoming steadily more used in urban environment and represents an efficient solution in cities. Soilless plant culture is a method of growing plants without the use of fertile soil as a rooting medium108. This method includes a diverse range of plant growth systems, usually containerized plant roots within a special rooting medium as substrate. Soilless production can be more cost-effective compared to soil-based cultivation and it can generate higher yields from smaller areas of land. Important to underline is also the higher water and nutrient use efficiencies of soilless cultivations109. Comparing soilless and soil based cultivation, showed that on average hydroponic systems produced 19.5 kg m versus 1.3 kg m a year obtained in conventional urban gardens110. High productivity levels, easy to manage and build, low labor requirements, the potential utilization of recycled materials, high yields and faster production push this system as one the most efficient solutions for providing food security in so called food deserts and benefit marginal areas and its population subject to little access to healthy food. Agricultural production systems in urban, peri-urban and rural environment include spontaneous micro farming areas around homesteads, kitchen gardening setups, community gardens, institutional gardens built for prisons, non-profit organizations, schools and hospitals, small-scale commercial cultivations, livestock and aquaculture farms, as well as the aforementioned multifunctional farms111.
For a complete analysis of urban agriculture, we have to take into account the potential risks that can come with this type of activity. With the increasing presence of horticultural crops in urban areas, concern has risen regarding the safety of the agricultural produce. Specifically we are talking about contaminants that can deteriorate the quality and healthiness of the product112 – contaminants from soil, water and air. Common pollutants in the urban environment are mostly manmade and thus anthropogenic, like emissions from road and train traffic, soil pollution of former industrial sites, atmospheric deposition from industrial activities, and the presence of incinerators. Road traffic represents the main risk, together with the presence of heavy metals deriving from intense human activities113. There can be huge differences between a urban farm located close to a road and rooftop garden for example. In fact the concentration of heavy metals in urban grown vegetables is closely related to the location of the plants. Risks of heavy metal accumulation increases when plants are cultivated nearby pollution sources like roads. The aforementioned results should be considered, when planning urban agricultural areas and finding active application in the future design of urban areas. Also in this case the government will play a fundamental role. Regarding the soil, sustainability has to be analyzed in a previous stage and if not adequate to the European standards, other soilless cultivation systems can be taken into account114. Difficulties may arise in urban cultivations purely based on their location. On one hand finding adequate fertilizers could pose a problem, but this can be solved through an improved distribution network. Also the usage of tap water in the city is not the best solution for successfully growing crops: the water distributed by the city usually has a high chlorine concentration, with slight adverse effects on cultivations. Negatively impacting could be also the high cost of tap water, that may represent up to 80% of the total cultivation costs, labor excluded. Water scarcity in some areas could also create competition for the use of water. Rainwater harvesting and the use of greywater, through greywater treatment, in this case is an alternative in water scarce areas. In particular rainwater is very suitable for irrigation, due to its optimal microbiological and biochemical features (we just need to pay special attention in acid rain risky areas) and free legal use of it without restraints, compared to distributed water sources. Rooftops are ideal for collecting rainwater, through a multitude of systems115. Local production has many benefits, but to assume that it is always good leads to superficial and simplistic conclusions. We need to analyze the whole environment, systemic factors and its general sustainability when evaluating cultivations. As we can see, the new urban shape does not involve huge modifications of the city itself. Also the implementation of agriculture in the city and its borders seems to be a quite easy objective to reach, because, like urban transformation, it pertains to the physical and material world. But to really step to the next level and create a long range systematic and cultural change, we have to bring in the third pillar of democratic empowerment and cultural development.
The city affects us, and we affect the city, […] - everybody is a city maker116
La politica è l’unico mezzo umano per liberarci – Roberto Sardelli
Democracy is up to this day a revolutionary concept for its broad and positive connotations, and is de facto the “government of the people, by the people and for the people”, as the former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln has stated117. At the same time, it has also become an overused and pleonastic term, a concept of which we actually have forgotten the true meaning, deep social and anthropological reach. Democracy should be more than just voting a representative every few years and for the rest mainly ignoring direct political life. I believe that a new way of living the city ought not only include material aspects of life, in this case a more humane and nature friendly agricultural and sustainable city, which provides food, health and greenspace: a true revolution and long lasting positive evolution has to be developed also in a cultural way, and therefore also through political empowerment. Cultural and political development are deeply intertwined and actually cannot truly breathe without each other. Believing otherwise is unsubstantial. Culture in this context means creating conscience, protecting local traditions and developing a full understanding of our lives. But how can culture be fully developed, advanced and prosperous if the political aspect is partly ignored or treated as a purely delegated matter? How can citizens pretend more for their everyday lives if they are not willing to actively work for the common good and don’t have true control over their lives? As a matter of fact, more democracy means more responsibility but also more control for citizens on the government and on private stakeholders. Control translates itself into power on decisions in political areas, and therefore also on economic aspects of public life by which citizens are affected. This type of democratic control has to be retained by citizens. Some presume that the “normal” citizen is not capable of taking part in the political decision-making process and therefore does not have the knowledge and ability to do so; but this thought is at the least a questionable opinion and moreover an unproven statement far from factual. I would rather say that some are worried about their power position they hold and the consequent loss of it in case of a more democratic and participative political system. Through political empowerment and control, citizens will become more responsible and aware of their lives, actively taking decisions back into their hands. The crisis of democracy and the disenchantment of citizens are all clear symptoms of the growing disconnection between people and the government and the missing trust between these two sides of the same coin. A central role plays the inextricable relationship between politics and economy, the key relationship that governs our nations, and which can lead to nefarious results if out of control. De facto citizens have been excluded from true political discourse and therefore mistrust and dissatisfaction is growing. Another factor which has brought us to this very point is our economic setup which has can be defined as era of fragmentation 118: our traditional society slowly has changed from a family centered to an individual centered structure. Enter the so called liquid society119 where inequality steadily rises, decision-making is becoming progressively more concentrated and economic factors dominate our minds and bodies. We need to democratize our economy, the metaphysical place where all the major decisions, which have an impact on our lives, are taken. Reversing the concentration of wealth is crucial in this context. Extreme wealth translates into power and lobbying action in favour of few individuals – with enormous adverse impacts on politics and decision-making. We have reached a point where the richest control more money than the rest of the world put together120. Growing economic inequality undermines growth and destroys social cohesion121. Richard Noorgard has stated that we, as a western culture, are suffocated by economism122. The economy has taken hold of many of our social spheres, in particular the political area, a symptom which is creating and has created huge externalities like pollution, no transparency in the food production process, exclusion of social classes. We don’t need to pursue an anti-economic system; but a different economy is possible and clearly more adapt to our materially limited planet and overall wellbeing. This can only be achieved through a new inclusive democratic asset. Therefore the decision making process in building and creating the Shape of the City to come, should include political citizenship, which translates the public opinion (voluntas) into political action. Clearly also politicians and experts have to be involved, but decisions pertaining public life like urbanistic plannig or particularistic local aspects, should not be taken without public approval123. This decision making process should be viewed as a standard Prozedere in the long run. A real difference will be only made through the action of people within a favorable normative framework in which to act. Without active contribution and involvement of the population, no real change will be ever achieved. In fact this third and last pillar of my concept can be viewed as the ideological glue of it all: democracy and cultural empowerment are the foundations for a successful future, a future with the interests and benefits of people in the forefront. This inclusive idea is also among the Sustainable Development Goals: equality, education and stable institutions.
Participative democracy and parliamentary democracy are not in contrast to each other. I would rather say that they can each play a role in building a socially more equal and distributed power structure. Antonio Gramsci firmly believed in an education of the masses holding the power. In this sense, doing your duty is the most revolutionary act – revolutionary in a sense of “deeply changing your reality”. If we correctly translate the concept of democracy as the Herrschaft des Volkes 124, than we should also include the right of the citizen to participate and to express an opinion in the public domain – to which extent is debatable, but true democracy, as I am trying to outline, can’t exist with a uniquely centralized power structure. Instead, a collective consensus based democracy can be applied through a federal system with distributed and therefore atomized power structure. Active participation, discussion and free Meinungsbildung125 in public matters are crucial. Kant has defined three features for a true political discourse: selbstdenken, kohärent denken, an Stelle jedes anderen denken können (erweiterte Denkungsart)126. These are all valid key concepts for a peaceful and open dialog, also with our political adversaries, with whom we might not agree. Hannah Arendt has addressed the concept of plurality: not just different cultural, social and economic backgrounds that distinguish us as fixed values within our democratic system, but plurality as an active expression of the cultural variety of society, which means talking, debating and discussing issues in the political process and public sphere. Ausagieren von Pluralität, according to Arendt, is the moment in which the individuum exists in public discourse127.
A highly interesting approach towards a more participative democracy is the concept of Democratic Confederalism128. Democratic Confederalism can be viewed as an open system, which includes instead of excluding. Cultures, parties, religions, ideologies are all welcome.
“It is an ethical, political, and administrative expression of society – as a historical and sociological structure – in which different identities, factions and groups coexist in dialectical harmony”129.
Its approach is flexible, anti-monopolistic, multi-cultural and purely consensus-oriented130, and highly important to highlight is the fact that ecology and feminism are inherently central to this political framework. As we can see Democratic Confederalism reflects societies natural contradictory composition and therefore bases its power on regional and local communities, which represent the basis of political decision making. Especially these local groups will be able to tackle concrete problems and create appropriate particularistic “on-field” solutions. Democratic Confederalism is intrinsically open for compromise and works towards coexistence and equality131. It is a framework based on civil society, instead of the central government. In fact, the State as we know it, is orientated towards the center and provides a top down decisional hierarchy, which often lacks particularistic knowledge and forces decisions on the population. The opposite is true for Democratic Confederalism, where the heterogeneous society, the people, are the center of political decision-making. This structure actively works against the so called disenchantment with politics: people will need some time to get used to it, but in change they will receive the power to take decisions and actively change their particularistic community and environment. In fact this type of participative democracy is the opposite of the “unrealistic” ideology of the State as a monolithic entity. On the contrary, it promotes self-administration, where minorities, cultural identities can express themselves freely and in coordination with the other groups. This way politics become a part of everyday life – a fluid and continuous political process and progress. The more people participate and decide, the more powerful this democratic framework will become and the more freedom people will gain.
Social pacts represent a different way of reorganizing urban and peri-urban communities, and are not as disruptive as the aforementioned Democratic Confederalism, because they build on the governance status quo. These pacts, stipulated on equal terms among public bodies and private stakeholders, directly aim at building self-governance practices and models132. They usually define specific areas or long-term projects which have to be developed, protected or modified and are based on forms of shared management and monitoring133. Public entities support local community activities and actions, and transfer power to them. At the same time these communities will interact and define rules in coordination with public bodies for the use of resources and financings. In recent years, the social voluntas of local communities to actively be engaged and take part in the decision-making process has introduced more inclusive and complex social pacts, compared to the past134. Transparency and collaboration are the main characteristics of social pacts and help in the problem solving process. The benefits of shared management of public goods are plenty. Generally these contracts increase shared responsibility and point towards a certain degree of auto-governance. Public entities will have less workload due to reduced management and controlling costs, and at the same time social bonds will be strengthened thanks to a broad and multifaceted involvement of local competencies and knowledge. These pacts are not static contracts, but on the contrary have a dynamic form, which has to be constantly adjusted and readapted for improvement. The concept behind social pacts lays its foundation on “coralità produttiva135 ”, which is already being applied with success in many countries and is based on Rousseau’s presumption that an individual is not dependent and subdued to another individual, whom he has transferred his rights to. Instead an individual is an active part of the political body and a common-self136, which guarantees common rights and individual freedom. These proposed models could work in an intertwined fashion for a more advanced democratic order, depending on a variety of factors. The current system we live in does not have to be subverted into something radically different, and in fact my thesis is not in opposition with the current system – I would rather view it as an improvement of our imperfect democracy. Parliamentary Democracy with all its limitations and problems, to this day still represents the most advanced and liberal solution for a peaceful and free society and most importantly for a free human being. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot express criticism, especially to improve the status quo. In actuality the goal is to find more appropriate solutions to our problems and to remove obstacles towards a more equal and just world. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the people need to be more involved in basic political activity, part of the process of administering their lives according to their wishes and dreams. In the sense of democratic empowerment, Switzerland is one of the most advanced countries. I share Enrico Berlinguer’s opinion, who has stated that that nobody will ever be able to repress the natural disposition of men and women to discuss, to gather and to join groups or movements137.
In this section I will talk about cultural development referred to the urban population and therefore briefly talk about cultural planning and planning culturally: how to enhance the various cultural aspects of the city and contemporarily culturally uplift the population. Culture could be defined as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”. As an important part of cultural development, cultural planning is crucial for the city to move in the direction of long-term sustainability and to utilize the existing cultural resources by strategically applying them as tools to reach certain objectives. Cultural resources include a variety of aspects, arts, local traditions and heritage, dialects, food, places, local products, skills, rituals, religion and more. This is why cultural planning implies a broad set of connected or fragmented elements138. As we can see culture is synonymous of variety and multifacetedness and goes hand in hand with democratic empowerment, which guarantees freedom of expression and living on a 360° cultural basis. Cultural Pluralism is built upon all the different segments of a community and therefore a deep knowledge of the territory and its cultural variety is crucial. This knowledge and acknowledgment can represented through committees, groups and community leaders139. Social and economic development at all levels is the absolute basis which tackles issues of access, equity and participation140 and focuses on the needs, demands and aspirations of the community141. This has to translate into equal participation rights and in fostering citizenship for all, also in developed western nations where many huge inequalities still exist.
We have to design a city in which
“local community’s cultural attributes, habits, needs and desires find common ground for expression and co-creation142.”
Transcending the reductionist idea of citizens solely as producers and consumers is key. At the center of our discussions, the terms community and solidarity have to become household concepts. Maybe we have to follow Daniel Bell’s words when he proposes the shift from a mass culture to a cultural mass. Cultural life in community is about active participation, celebration, identity, belonging to a community and having a sense of place143. As we can see this particular point of cultural and democratic development intersects with all previous chapters: people will be involved in the decision making process regarding urban development, local particularistic solutions, in the creation of the agricultural environment and in the food production process. Especially the concept of sense of place reconnects us to the first chapter: urban design needs to be brought back into the community for a better planning process involving citizens and building it around their needs and priorities. Generally speaking, this approach links culture with urban regeneration144. It is all about improving people’s experience of the city and overcoming the common problems of modern urban and peri-urban environments - like fear and alienation, division among citizens and neighborhoods, disaffection with the urban environment and a steadily diminishing sense of locality. The second pillar instead, agriculture, connects us to health, food security and self-sufficiency: objectives achievable only through democratic control and self determination. We need to find the balance between cosmopolitism and localism, and most importantly we need to create a human dimension.
As an important step towards a balanced and sustainable world, we have to abandon the pure “desire-based-consumerism”, and substitute this model for a more rational and balanced “need-based-consumerism”. Needs usually tend to be solved through saturation, but on the contrary desires reproduce and multiply themselves in an ever increasing, seemingly never ending and progressively accelerating process of consumption145. The concept of satiety does not exist in our current economic frame and consumption is being pushed by our unlimited growth model and increasing greed. Buying objects we don’t need to show off to people we don’t care about, seems to be the underlying intrinsic mechanism of our consumption model146. This archetype is portrayed as the ideology of independence and freedom, but in actuality hides deep dependence from the market and economic factors. We objectively have reached a general level of consumerism, in which no family in the western world lacks anything: domestic appliances, food, clothes etc. That is why the constant turnover is illogic and insensate – and most importantly: unsustainable. People need to understand that material is not infinite and that our planet on the other hand is finite. We don’t have to follow voluntary simplicity or believe in de-growth, but a general turndown or switch towards sustainability and circular models will be necessary in the short and long term. But thankfully things are also slowly changing, and consumers are getting more and more involved and interested in the food production and distribution models, which until recently have been absolutely non-transparent. They are not willing to passively accept any decision taken above their heads, especially in cases of health and environment issues. Consumerism in this sense can represent a new way of political engagement. Our buying decisions can actively model the market and force companies and corporations to adapt to our will. We have to work on the enhancement of the consuming citizen147: Consumare con impegno 148. On one hand, this forces the bigger companies to adapt to standards of quality and transparency, and on the other hand gives the opportunity to create a new consumer-producer bond, especially on a local level: producers and active consumers can actually become allies forming a healthy relationship of collaboration and reciprocal support149. This furthermore enhances a proper sense of place and a diffuse citizenship. We can therefore say that
“la production alimentaire est ainsi un moyen de renforcer la cohésion sociale et les dynamiques humaines en ville”150.
Something closely correlated to our current consumption model and its externalities is advertisement. Silvano Petrosino has correctly stated that advertisement is a “fantastic staging”151 that deeply influences our subconscious mind, desires and society as a whole. Recognizing this simple fact is crucial for the understanding of our contemporary world we live in. Advertisement creates dreams, worlds and role models. One may talk about Kontrolle ü ber individuelle Realit ä tswahrnehmung152 , and de facto advertisement’s sole goal is to sell products: therefore we can call it manipulation, especially on the less self-conscious individuals: they want us to consume more and more products – even though an endless consumption model seems to be at the least irrational153. We are living in consumption driven times in which the slogan “you are what you buy” is close to an untouchable ideology. In the desire driven society, everything is consumable and metabolizes at steadily increasing frequency154. Our tendency towards neophilia is objectively pathologic and has been artificially inducted through the vast influence of advertisement and media, which have imposed their standard living model solely based private profits, and therefore based on growth and consumption. The true objective of market economy is to create dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction drives desires, which drives the need to consume155. Paradoxically the cost for advertisement is being paid by the consumer who carries the financial weight, through buying products and mentally through absorbing advertisement. What we usually don’t think about, and what could be called “mental externality”, is the extent of the effect to which our messages spread into the developing world and also in our marginalized western areas, manipulating and creating huge and false expectations. The message clearly tells them that they and their country belong to the outskirts of the world that they are far away from where the “action” takes place. The viewer desires to be part of it all, part of the moving world where things can happen. This is one of the reasons, why young men and families move towards Europe in search for a dream, because their world seems to be not enough anymore. At the same time, not being part of it can create also a deep sense of frustration, which can delve into pure hate for our western civilization. Many of our current problems and relationships with developing countries are based on a wrong and superficial communicative approach. The correct communication design could be a powerful tools for creating a less consume driven and more self-conscious world. This is also part of what I call cultural development and democratic empowerment. A thinking and rational individual defined as such, cannot be at the same time a manipulated individual. This is the reason why people need to be involved in local decision making processes: even though few may lose power, on the other hand this will mean more transparency, more democracy and control for many.
The aim of this thesis, a three pillar based approach for the Shape of the City to come, is to find an equilibrium between de-growth and hyper-consumerism – a new intermediate path towards a prospected sustainable future. First through a new city design and perception, correlated to a reconnection of rural and urban segments. Secondly through the implementation of agriculture as the stimulus of a sustainable way of production and living based on circularity. And thirdly, through cultural and democratic empowerment, which represents the glue of the three pillars, by involving communities and sharing power and knowledge. Today the leitmotiv of proposed solutions is limited to a hic et nunc state of mind: results and solutions must be available today and for today. There seems to be lacking a more ample and broader view on our lives – not just today, but also tomorrow and yesterday. Limiting our thought and actions to the immediate future, restricts our understanding of the world and of ourselves, and more importantly, risks to deprive ourselves and our children of our unique and fragile planet. If we are stuck in the present and only able to view its immediate benefits, we won’t be able to understand the big picture and the bigger profits for all. The problem is that the present day thought is a product of pure materialism and neoliberalism: reach the maximum you can possibly achieve and do not look “outside”. Is this world we are living in actually advanced or just the diminishment of human life and experience for the sake of profit and so called progress? The forces that oppose a plan of real sustainable future, are humongous and powerful. Huge financial interests and stakeholders would be slowly shattered in a more local and human friendly world. But the key for transition is information, knowing what is good for you and for your family, understanding the broader picture of economy, globalization and development – and applying this information in your own world. The system we are living in – economic, social and political – is neither god given nor something we have to passively accept. On the contrary, we as human beings have the ability to question, challenge and to change our reality for the better. We have to humble down and forecast our future as precise as possible, based on studies, numbers - and our heart, those “glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth”.
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1 McNeill J. R., Engelke P., The Great Acceleration, Cambridge, 2016
2 Kharas H., The Emerging Middle Class In Developing Countries, in Development Centre Working Papers N° 295, 2010
3 Fabris G., La società post-crescita. Consumi e stili di vita, Egea Edizioni, 2010, p.40
4 Heidbrink L., Lorch A., Rauen V., Wirtschaftsphilosophie zur Einführung, Junius Verlag GmbH, 2019, p. 49
5 AA.VV., Building Blocks for the new Strategy. Amsterdam Circular 2020-2025, Amsterdam, 19 June 2019
6 Beck U., La società del rischio , Carrocci Editore, 2013
7 Mezzi P., Pelizzaro P., La società resiliente. Strategie e azioni di resilienza urbana in Italia e nel mondo, Altreconomia, 2016
8 Schumpeter J. A., Kapitalismus, Sozialismus und Demokratie, 7. Aufl, Tuebingen, 1993
9 Caruso F. S., Sistema di Deposito Cauzionale in Italia: tra economia circolare e rifiuti zero, 2018
10 AA.VV., Cities of tomorrow. Challenges, visions, ways forward, Europe Union, 2011
11 Naess A., Ecology of Wisdom, Penguin Random House, 2008, p. 282
12 Nayatullah S., Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming, published in Foresight, Vol.10, No. 1, 2008, pp. 4-21
13 The future of Work, last visited 10.08.2019 https://www.stirtoaction.com/article/the-future-of-work
14 Fabris G., La società post-crescita. Consumi e stili di vita, Egea Edizioni, 2010, p. 53
15 Heidbrink L., Lorch A., Rauen V., Wirtschaftsphilosophie zur Einführung, Junius Verlag GmbH, 2019, p. 86: Quality based instead of quantity based growth
16 Caruso F. S., Sistema di Deposito Cauzionale in Italia: tra economia circolare e rifiuti zero, 2018
17 Bompan E., Brambilla I. N., Che cos'è l'Economia Circolare, Milano, 2016
18 AA.VV., #circulareconomy Made in Italy, Bruxelles, 2017
19 Bourguignon D., Closing the loop, Briefing January 2016, Bruxelles, 2016
20 AA.VV., Demographia World Urban Areas. 15th Annual Edition: 201904. http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf
21 AA.VV., Le città e la sfida dei cambiamenti climatici, ISPRA, 2014
22 Petrosino S., Ripensare il quotidiano, Vita e Pensiero, 2012, p.55
23 AA.VV., L’adattamento climatico delle città. Una strategia condivisa e multi-governance, Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare, 2012
24 AA.VV., Building Blocks for the new Strategy. Amsterdam Circular 2020-2025, Amsterdam, 2019
25 Magnaghi A. (a cura di), L a regola e il progetto. Un approccio bioregionalista alla pianificaz ione territorial e, Firenze University Press, 2014
26 Poli D. (a cura di), Le comunità progettuali della Bioregione urbana. Un parco multifunzionale in riva sinistra d'Arno, Quodlibet, 2019, p. 27
27 AA.VV., Le città e la sfida dei cambiamenti climatici, ISPRA, 2014
28 Fabris G., La società post-crescita. Consumi e stili di vita, Egea Edizioni, 2010, p. 298
29 AA.VV., Le città e la sfida dei cambiamenti climatici, ISPRA, 2014
30 Bruschi A- (a cura di), Roma Est extra GRA. Studi e prospettive della campagna urbana fra agricoltura e città, Quodlibet, 2017, p. 84
31 Ibidem, p. 91
32 Berdini P., L a città in vendita, Donzelli Editore, 2008
33 Burckhardt L., Il falso è l'autentico. Politica, paesaggio, design, architettura, pianificazione, pedagogia, Quodlibet, 2019, p.24
34 Bruschi A. (a cura di), Roma Est extra GRA. Studi e prospettive della campagna urbana fra agricoltura e città, Quodlibet, 2017, p. 8
35 AA.VV., Rural-Urban Partnerships. An Integrated Approach to Economic Development, OECD Rural Policy Reviews, 2013
36 Caponetti F., Terre marginali. Agricoltura come nuovo umanesimo, Quodlibet, 2019
37 AA.VV., Farmers-to-Consumers: an Example of Sustainable Soilless Horticulture in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas, Actahorticulturae, 2009
38 Bruschi A. (a cura di), Roma Est extra GRA. Studi e prospettive della campagna urbana fra agricoltura e città, Quodlibet, 2017, GRA p. 28
40 Donadieu P., Campagne Urbane . Una nuova proposta di paesaggio della città, Donzelli Editore, 2013
41 AA.VV., Rural-Urban Partnerships. An Integrated Approach to Economic Development, OECD Rural Policy Reviews, 2013
42 AA.VV., Rural-Urban Partnerships. An Integrated Approach to Economic Development, OECD Rural Policy Reviews, 2013
43 AA.VV., Programma di sviluppo delle N azioni Unite, 1996
44 AA.VV., Green Roofs in the New York Metropolitan Region: Research Report,Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2006
45 AA.VV., Urban particulate pollution reduction by four species of green roof vegetation in a UK city, Atmospheric Environment Volume 61, December 2012, Pages 283-293
46 Gregoire B., Clausen J., Effect of a modular extensive green roof on stormwater runoff and water quality, University of Connecticut, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, 2011
47 Cohen N., Wijsman K., Urban Agriculture as Green Infrastructure: The Case of New York City, Urban Agriculture Magazine, number 27, 2014
48 AA.VV., Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities, in Chronica horticulturae, No. 55, pp. 12-17, 2015
51 Ibidem: Plants can reduce noise levels by up to 5 dB for every 30 m of vegetation, up to a maximum reduction of 10 dB
52 Die Klimastation im Hafenpark, (last visited on 16th of July 2019), https://www.frankfurt.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=2793&_ffmpar[_id_inhalt]=17616903
53 AA.VV., Rennes Métropole, Ville vivrière?, Renne, 2011
54 AA.VV., Rural-Urban Partnerships. An Integrated Approach to Economic Development, OECD Rural Policy Reviews, 2013
55 Donadieu P., Fleury A., L'agriculture, une nature pour la ville?, in Les Annales de la recherche urbaine, No. 74, 1997, pp. 31-39: Les nouveaux concepts paysagistes de parc de campagne ou de campagnes urbaines traduisent ces projets d'appropriation symbolique des espaces agricoles qui exigent la présence concrète de l'agriculture et non seulement sa représentation comme dans l'art des jardins au XIXe siècle.
56 De Saint Exupery A., Der kleine Prinz, Karl Rauch Verlag, 2015: Hier ist mein Geheimnis, es ist ganz einfach: Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.
57 Common good
58 Giaré F., Agricoltura sociale e civica, INEA, 2015: La funzione sociale è una componente intrinseca nell’agricoltura tradizionale, che si configura come radicalmente connessa alla comunità locale. Le reti di solidarietà e di mutuo aiuto, i valori di reciprocità e gratuità sono infatti sempre stati ingredienti propri della cultura contadina. Nella classica divisione del lavoro della famiglia rurale, inoltre, generalmente tutti i componenti trovano un proprio posto, al di là delle rispettive abilità fisiche e mentali. I meccanismi che regolavano la stessa famiglia tradizionale e la comunità locale più allargata erano, poi, generalmente in grado di prendersi in carico e attivare relazioni di cura con i soggetti più deboli.
59 Burckhardt L., Il falso è l'autentico. Politica, paesaggio, design, architettura, pianificazione, pedagogia, Quodlibet, 2019
60 Ivi, p. 83
61 Falletti M. (a cura di), A gricoltura U rbana: U n dibattito indisciplinato, “Territorio”, Franco Angeli, 2012
62 Clementi A., Pozzi C. (a cura di), Progettare per il futuro della città. Un laboratorio per Chieti, Quodlibet, 2016, p. 13
63 Bruschi A. (a cura di), Roma Est extra GRA. Studi e prospettive della campagna urbana fra agricoltura e città, Quodlibet, 2017, p.30
64 Burckhardt L., Il falso è l'autentico. Politica, paesaggio, design, architettura, pianificazione, pedagogia, Quodlibet, 2019, p.33
65 Le Goff J., Rottamare le città, L’europeo, 2009: Si tratta di riportare l’antico al centro del progetto della modernità
66 Rovesciare il cannocchiale
67 European Greenways Association (EGWA), Lille Declaration, 12 September 2000: Greenways are communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorized journeys, developed in an integrated manner which enhances both the environment and quality of life of the surrounding area. These routes should meet satisfactory standards of width, gradient, and surface condition to ensure that they are both user-friendly and low -risk for users of all abilities. In this respect, canal towpaths and disused railway lines are a highly suitable resource for the development of greenways.
68 AA.VV., La rete della mobilità lenta per la fruizione del paesaggio, dei beni culturali e delle risorse ambientali. Prime considerazioni, Università degli Studi di Udine, 2014
69 European Landscape Convention, Florence, 20.10.2000
70 Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/ Goal 15 Life on Land
71 Beccaria C., Elementi di Economia Politica, Torino, 1804
72 Coccia E., The Life of plants: A metaphysics of mixture, Polity Cambridge, 2018
73 Caponetti F., Terre marginali. Agricoltura come nuovo umanesimo, Quodlibet, 2019, p. 56
74 Agamben G., Il contadino e l’operaio, essay published on quodlibet.it (last visited on July 27th 2019: “È un fatto che non cesserà di stupire gli storici futuri, che per far scomparire una cultura che, nelle sue linee generali, era rimasta inalterata per cinquemila anni, ci sia voluto così poco tempo. E non meno sorprendente è la facilità con cui ci siamo lasciati persuadere dagli imbonitori del progressismo che si trattava di un fenomeno ineluttabile – così ineluttabile, tuttavia, che curiosamente fu necessario per realizzarlo esercitare sugli interessati una violenza senza precedenti. […] noi siamo certamente una generazione che ha dissipato in pochi decenni un antichissimo patrimonio e non sa bene con che cosa sostituirlo”.
75 Shiva V., Fake Food, Fake Meat: Big Food’s Desperate Attempt to Further the Industrialisation of Food, https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/fake-food-fake-meat-big-foods-desperate-attempt-to-further-industrialisation-food/, (last visited on June 29th 2019)
76 Marin F., Cosmo-localization': can thinking globally and producing locally really save our planet?, 2017, https://www.ouishare.net/article/cosmo-localization-can-thinking-globally-and-producing-locally-really-save-our-planet (last visited on August 15th 2019)
77 Caponetti F., Terre marginali. Agricoltura come nuovo umanesimo, Quodlibet, 2019, p. 36
78 Ivi, p. 88
80 AA.VV., Rennes Métropole, Ville vivrière?, Renne, 2011
81 Healthy Diet, World Health Organization, 2018, http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet (last visited on March 28th 2018)
82 Mougeot L. J. A., Urban agriculture: definition, presence, potentials and risks, published in Growing Cities, Growing Food, Urban Agriculture on the Policy Agenda, DSE, 2000, pp. 1-42
83 AA.VV., Integrating horticulture into cities: a guide for assessing the implementation potential of rooftop greenhouses (RTGs) in industrial and logistics parks, Urban Technol 22: 87–111, 2015
84 AA.VV., An environmental and economic life cycle assessment of rooftop greenhouse (RTG) implementation in Barcelona, Spain. Assessing new forms of urban agriculture from the greenhouse structure to the final product level, Life Cycle Assess, 2015
85 Peck S., Kuhn M., Design guidelines for green roofs. Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 2001
86 AA.VV., Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna, in Food Sec. 6, 781–792, 2014
87 Benis, K., Ferrão, P., Potential mitigation of the environmental impacts of food systems through urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA)—A life cycle assessment approach, 2017
88 Astee L., Kishnani N., Building integrated agriculture: utilising rooftops for sustainable food crop cultivation in Singapore, Green Build, pp. 105–113, 2010
89 AA.VV., Assessing the potential contribution of vacant land to urban vegetable production and consumption in Oakland, in Landsc. Urban Plan, 111, 46–58, 2013
90 AA.VV., Eco-efficiency assessment and food security potential of home gardening: A case study in Padua, in Sustainability no. 10,2018
91 Poli D. (a cura di), Le comunità progettuali della Bioregione urbana. Un parco multifunzionale in riva sinistra d'Arno, Quodlibet, 2019, p. 16
92 AA.VV., Rooftop farming on urban waste provides many ecosystem services, in Agron. Sustain. Dev., 38, 2018
93 Hamm M. W., Bellows A. C., Community food security and nutrition educators, in Nutr. Educ. Behav, 35, 37–43, 2013
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95 AA.VV., Building Blocks for the new Strategy. Amsterdam Circular 2020-2025, Amsterdam, 2019
96 AA.VV., Rennes Métropole, Ville vivrière?, Renne, 2011
97 Rosset P., B. Benjamin, The greening of the revolution: Cuba’s experiment with organic agriculture, Ocean press, 1994
98 Iturriaga R., Urban Agriculture Department of Havana, Personal communication, 1997
99 AA.VV., Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities, in Chronica horticulturae, No. 55, pp. 12-17, 2015
100 Ingersoll R., Fucci B., Sassatelli M. (a cura di), Dagli orti spontan e i all’agricivismo per la riqua l ificazione del paesaggio peri - ur b ano, Centro stampa regione emilia-romagna, 2007
101 AA.VV., The Importance of organic method in social horticulture, in Actahorticulturae, 2010
102 Di Iacovo F., Position Paper sull’agricoltura sociale, versione 13 novembre Progetto SoFar, Università di Pisa, 2008
103 Antonini G., L’educatore e l’agricoltura sociale. Pratiche, relazioni e prospettive. Tesi di laurea, Università Pontificia Salesiana, Roma, 2016
104 Lyson T. T., Civic Agriculture and Community Problem Solving, “Culture & Agriculture”, 27, 2, pp. 92-98
105 Di Iacovo F., Position Paper sull’agricoltura sociale, versione 13 novembre Progetto SoFar, Università di Pisa, 2008
106 AA.VV., Eco-efficiency assessment and food security potential of home gardening: A case study in Padua, in Sustainability no. 10,2018
107 AA.VV., Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities, in Chronica horticulturae, No. 55, pp. 12-17, 2015
108 AA.VV., Soilless Culture, FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper no. 217, 2013
109 AA.VV., Achieving environmentally sustainable growing media for soilless plant cultivation systems, Scientia Horticulturae, Vol. 212, pp. 220-234, 2016
110 AA.VV., Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities, in Chronica horticulturae, No. 55, pp. 12-17, 2015
111 AA.VV., Rennes Métropole, Ville vivrière?, Renne, 2011
112 AA.VV., Health benefits of 'grow your own' food in urban areas: implications for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management, Environmental Health, 2009
113 AA.VV., Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China, in Environ Pollut 2008, 152 : 686–692
114 AA.VV., Heavy metal accumulation in vegetables grown in urban gardens, in Agron. Sustain. Dev. No. 35:1139–1147, 2015
115 AA.VV., Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities, in Chronica horticulturae, No. 55, pp. 12-17, 2015
116 Landry C., Biography, 2018, from http://charleslandry.com/about-charles-landry/biography/ (last visited on August 10th 2019)
117 Lincoln A., Gettysburg Address, 1864
118 Rodgers D. T., L’età della frattura (e oltre) , Il Mulino, 2018
119 Bauman Zygmunt, La solitudine del cittadino globale, Feltrinelli, 2014.
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121 AA.VV., An Economy for the 1%, Oxfam Briefing Paper, 2016
122 Richard Noorgaard interview
123 Burckhardt L., Il falso è l'autentico. Politica, paesaggio, design, architettura, pianificazione, pedagogia, Quodlibet, 2019, p. 24
124 Reign of the people
125 Formation of public opinion
126 Kant I., Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?, in Akademie-Ausgabe, De Gruyter,1923
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130 Ocalan A., DemocraticConfederalism, International Initiative Edition, 2011
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133 Ibidem, p. 22
134 In Italy we can list a variety of social pacts: patti di cittadinanza attiva, contratti di fiume, biodistretti, ecomusei, osservatori del paesaggio, parchi agricoli.
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137 Enrico Berlinguer, intervista 1984
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146 Bauman Zygmunt, La solitudine del cittadino globale, Feltrinelli, 2014.
147 Micheletti M., Political virtue and shopping, 2003
148 Engaged consumption – Luigi Ceccarini
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150 AA.VV., Rennes Métropole, Ville vivrière?, Renne, 2011
151 Petrosino S., Ripensare il quotidiano, Vita e Pensiero, 2012: Fantastiche messe in scena
152 Dugin A., Die vierte politische Theorie, Arktos Media, 2013: Control over the individualistic perception of reality
153 Petrosino S., Ripensare il quotidiano, Vita e Pensiero, 2012
154 Galbraith J. K., The Affluent Society, Houghton Mifflin, pp. 126-131, 1952
155 Bauman Zygmunt, La solitudine del cittadino globale, Feltrinelli, 2014.
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