Urban Farming Models, Ecosystems and Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Environments: The Case of SATURN Pan European Programme

Anastasia Nikologianni, Alessandro Betta, Mattia Andreola, Angelica Pianegonda, Gian Antonio Battistel, Anna Ternell, Alessandro Gretter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The ?System and sustainable Approach to virTuous interaction of Urban and Rural LaNdscapes? (SATURN) project is exploring how resilience at a city scale might be achieved and how the issues of landscape fragmentation, governance and land management can be addressed resulting in a sustainable future. The EIT Climate-KIC SATURN project is based on a collaboration between three cities of very different scales and contexts, those of Gothenburg in western Sweden, Trento in northern Italy, and Birmingham in the United Kingdom. This paper focuses on the ways in which urban farming can become an important tool to mitigate or adapt to climate change in urban environments by exploring how the three major cities of SATURN deal with these concepts. Using the experience gained throughout the SATURN project as well as the strong communication developed within the consortium, the paper introduces the reasons why urban farming is not just an agricultural activity, but it relates to climate awareness, health and an element of community. With the examples of different urban farming models, this research presents the fully entrepreneurial model of Gothenburg, where a business model fosters sustainable and successful small-scale farming through municipal management of small allotments with associated basic infrastructure leased out to entrepreneurs. Public underutilized land is matched with farmers in order for them to scale up their businesses and provide sustainable food, by limiting the shipping distance of the produce. In the Trento case, bottom-up and more institutional processes have been combined to foster short local supply chains through the Nutrire Trento networking process which could benefit from the introduction of a land lease scheme named ?banca della terra? (to support agricultural land recovery). The case of Birmingham presents a different model where farming in an urban environment is mostly seen as a support to communities, mental health and awareness, rather than an entrepreneurial activity. The innovation in this paper comes in the form of different European models related to urban agriculture and best practices, demonstrating how abandoned and underutilised public and private land can be regenerated and become an active part of the urban realm. Insights on the ways in which the three different models operate, as well as results on how farming in an urban environment can enhance resilient cities are discussed in this paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-24
    Number of pages16
    JournalAthens Journal of Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Mar 2022


    • saturn
    • landscape architecture
    • EU Project
    • Funded project
    • landscape design
    • city
    • urban centres


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