Mirafiori South: After Abandonment, the Rebirth!

Mirafiori Sud, Turin, 2010: The Miraorti project is launched, involving schools, associations, gardeners, and residents of the neighborhood in a four-year participatory planning process aimed at creating a large urban garden park in the neighborhood – a former industrial area where informal gardens are the norm. In these early years, 3 educational gardens and 2 neighborhood collective gardens are created, and the first educational pathways are activated.

In 2018, the project, now named Orti Generali, evolves: with the concession from the Municipality of Turin of 3 hectares (equivalent to 30,000 square meters) of land, it transforms into an innovative model of social enterprise, currently managed by Stefano Olivari, the original creator of the Miraorti project and an established landscape architect, and Matteo Baldo, a sociologist and professional educator.

Urban agriculture, innovation, social inclusion: Orti Generali, today.

Winner of the prestigious National Landscape Award in 2023 and representative of Italy at the Council of Europe Landscape Award, Orti Generali stands today as a model of urban regeneration. With 170 gardens covering approximately 12 hectares and the revitalization of one hectare of informal gardens transformed into an educational hub, urban farm, and collective garden, it has become a beacon of transformation.

Orti Generali embodies innovation and social inclusion, welcoming all. Gardeners with limited economic resources contribute primarily with their time, becoming invaluable in sustaining the project. For vulnerable individuals, specific pathways for social and employment reintegration are developed within collective and educational gardens.

But it’s also about socialization, experimentation, and outreach, always under the open sky! Orti Generali is now a place of gathering, with 20,000 square meters of green space open for socializing and sharing. At its heart lies the Kiosk, where the produce from the gardens, along with experiences and practices accumulated in the field, become nourishment for the body and mind, fostering learning, nourishment, and sociability.

Through collaboration with the Departments of Agriculture, Veterinary, Biology, and Geography at the University of Turin, Orti Generali has evolved into an open-air laboratory and innovation hub for experimenting with urban agriculture within the social fabric, extending beyond spatial considerations to encompass civic engagement.