Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Daniela Poli

Università degli studi di Firenze


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


May 2015- September 2016

Funding source

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


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.


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.


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.