Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

Daniela Poli
Daniela PoliUniversità degli studi di FirenzeItaly

Proponent
Department of Architecture of the University of Florence
Metropolitan City of Florence
Municipality of Florence
Municipality of Scandicci
Municipality of Lastra a Signa

Main responsible entity
Department of Architecture of the University of Florence

Date/Timeframe
May 2015- September 2016

Funding source
Regional Authority for the promotion of participation of Tuscan Region (L:R: 46/2013).

Location
The project area coincides with the periurban area among Florence, Scandicci and Lastra a Signa. More specifically, the site covered by the project is the rural/agricultural area of these three municipalities included among the rivers Arno, Greve and Vingone.

Background/Context
The plain between Florence and Lastra a Signa, covered by the project, is strongly urbanized (in 1954 the urbanized surface was 23% of the total, passed to 60,5% in 2007). Nevertheless, the territory situated on the left side of the Arno river preserves a rural connotation, hosting proximity agriculture and horticulture. In some riverfront areas (Mantignano, San Colombano) and on the lower hilly slopes of Scandicci, there are small or medium plots of land creating an agricultural mosaic. This kind of fabric is characterized by the association of arboreal and herbaceous crops (mostly vineyards and olive trees) and by a traditional texture which is still dense or medium-dense. There are also little fields of mixed crops (herbaceous and grapevine), which are really valuable for their meaning in terms of historical and cultural heritage. The level of ecological diversification is generally quite high.

Focus/Objectives
The main goals of project were:

  • protection and regeneration of the periurban agricultural area;
  • promotion of food security through the construction of local networks of farmers, citizens and public institutions;
  • support of agricultural practices inclusive for the empowerment of vulnerable individuals and groups (disable, indigenous people, migrants, prisoners).

These objectives have been pursued through the tool of ‘Parco Agricolo Perifluviale’.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
The project addresses a participatory management of the territory aimed at inclusiveness, at food security and at well-being of the community. Particulary it aims to build of the ‘social pact’ consist of networks of local actors. These pact are real sites of self-construction and care of rural areas, whit benefits in the security food of populations involved.

Key actors involved and their role
The project has involved many actor: public institutions, associations of citizens, farmers through various modalities of interaction and negotiation addresses at building ‘social pacts’ for the care and development of rural areas and promote food security.

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
The main changes observed are:

  •  a growing of awareness in the local population of the importance of the provenance of their food. Consequently increased their attitude a to turn to agricultural markets supported by local producers to meet their basic food needs.
  • a growing of experiences of social farming. The social farming is a farming practice that uses agricultural resources to provide social or educational care services for vulnerable groups of people. Particularly the social farming experiences observed in the area of the project concerns the work involved migrants and ex-prisoners.

Challenges faced
The main challenge faced is the institutional recognition of the ‘Parco Agricolo Perifluviale’. The institutional recognition of the Park to increase the possibilities of access to funding and to the protection of agricultural practices action.

Lessons/Key messages
The food security can only be guaranteed through the active involvement of local actors.