Cultivating integration with urban regeneration? The urban gardens in Naples and Bozen
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At: XII convegno nazionale dei sociologi dell'ambiente Politica, ecologia e società nell'Antropocene ; Salerno ; 26-27 Settembre 2019 ; Urban gardening promotes local social cohesion (Veen, et al. 2016) by fostering socialization among individuals with different educational and social extraction (Gurski 2004), or belonging to different generations (Moller 2005). This implies a positive relation between social involvement and garden participation (Litt, et al. 2015). Participation in local activities and in neighborhood as well as in public education meetings are increased by gardeners confronting non-gardeners (Rusciano 2018). Urban gardening contributes to urban regeneration. The cultivation of vacant, brownfield, degraded spaces or at risk of further urbanization promotes the revitalization or the regeneration of these areas as well as it prevents negative effects as pollution and further land consumption (Schram-Bijkerk, et al. 2018). Naples and Bolzano are two apparently different cities for urban problems, social and economic structures. However, both have implemented projects for the revitalization of brownfield sites aimed at the preventing social exclusion of specific categories of disadvantages people. The first case study analyzed concern the project of urban gardening inside the De Filippo park, located in Ponticelli, east of Naples. This project fuels the desire to create an active citizenship, with a renewed request from the subjects to return to grow fruit and vegetables, taking advantage of abandoned spaces. The City of Naples, with a memorandum of understanding of 2015, has entrusted these spaces to the Department of Drug Addiction of the A.S.L. Napoli 1 with the day center Lilliput 'which has created an urban garden in the territory dedicated not only to users, but also to other families, associations and citizens to raise awareness to the protection and care of the neighborhood. The second case study concerned the project of urban gardening in some districts in Bozen. Here, urban gardens are realized primarily to prevent excessive land consumption, illegal occupations or use of vacant areas for uses not provided for in local development plans. Secondly, they promote social cohesion among local population with different cultural background (German and Italian background) as well as the migrants´ cohesion. The aim of this presentation is therefore to present two urban gardening projects in two very different contexts, but with similar objectives. Specifically, it includes a description of the two urban regeneration projects and the effects on reduction of land degradation and consumption. Secondly, it offers an overview of the positive social effects on the integration of disadvantaged people (patients and migrants), as well as on social cohesion of local population.
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