AMB inaugurates 36 plots for urban social community kitchen gardens
| Subject: Social Policies
Today, Saturday 12 March, the AMB (Barcelona Metropolitan Area) has opened 36 plots for urban community kitchen gardens of a social nature in Sant Boi de Llobregat, located on the road from Sant Boi to Sant Climent de Llobregat. The inaugural ceremony, which was held in the morning, was attended by Mayor Lluïsa Moret, the deputy mayor for the Sustainable City of Sant Boi de Llobregat, Josep Puigdengolas, the AMB infrastructures coordinator, Antoni Farrero, and the director of the Marianao Foundation, Josep Torrico.
The project, designed and funded by the AMB, with the City Council ceding the land, becomes an opportunity to set up social agricultural spaces in the urban settings of the Llobregat River basin, and is framed within the European SIDIG-MED project. The action consists of constructing peri-urban kitchen gardens with a minimal ecological impact, designed and managed via a participative system that is focused on social inclusion. ‘We are working in kitchen gardens for people at risk of social exclusion, with a twofold objective: their own production of kilometre-zero foods and skills training for citizens involved in the programme. The purpose is to create a space for interaction and participation that supports people in the entire city,' explained AMB.
Assignment of plots and urban kitchen garden network
After the project has been started up, it will be the Marianao Foundation –by the concession of the Sant Boi de Llobregat City Council– that will be in charge of managing these 36 plots of land and the adjoining facilities, approximately half an hectare of land. The Marianao Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the municipality, with extensive experience in social-educational projects for the local community and, more broadly, in the Baix Llobregat.
One-third of the plots have been allocated, firstly, to citizens registered with municipal social services. Another third were awarded by a raffle with local citizens interested in the project, and the last third were allocated to organisations and associations.
The AMB's future plan is to extend the project and create new kitchen gardens with these features in other districts and municipalities in the metropolitan area, until it has created an entire network of urban kitchen gardens that are spaces of interaction. Always with the same priority objective: minimal ecological impact to the area.
To take on this challenge, the AMB has committed to sustainability. The watering system maximises saving water and minimises electric consumption by using renewable energies, concretely photovoltaic panels. Old merchandise containers have been recycled to create the facilities. All fruits and vegetables grown will be organic.
SIDIG-MED is a Mediterranean project and partners include Rome (Italy), Mahdia (Tunisia), the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) and Amman (Jordan), leading the plan via the organisation Royal Botanic Garden (RBG). All four cities have promoted urban and peri-urban agricultural projects as tools for inclusion. Despite the similarities, each region has promoted its own project with different approaches and, therefore, exchanging experiences and results will be fundamental so that each partner can increase their learnings of new practices.