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Urban gardens: return to earth and to community

It’s been happening for years in other European countries, and now the Italians too have become a population of “urban farmers”: almost 5 million citizens are engaging in the cultivation of allotments, gardens and terraces. The phenomenon is ever growing, even in larger cities, where habitants form associations and obtain uncultivated plots of land from the council for agricultural use.
In Rome there are currently 70 shared allotments of different sizes scattered around the city.
Among them, the one that is cited as best practice, is the “Tre Fontane” Urban Gardens in the EUR district.
The green area of 23,000 m², originally used as a dump and in the building speculators’ designs, has now been reclaimed and saved by voluntary citizens.
The peculiarity of “Tre Fontane” is not only the 100 allotments for the self-production of wholesome vegetables, fruit and medicinal plants, but the aim of becoming a meeting place with a strong social community that offers organized recreational activities and educational workshops for adults and children. Through their events, participants learn about the environment, get in touch with nature and relieve the stress of daily city life. In these free public spaces, mixed generations of all social backgrounds find their own role in the harmonious integration.
For these reasons, "Tre Fontane" Urban Gardens are becoming famous and are referred to as an example to be copied.

In this project, which is in progress since December 2015, I intend to document the life at least two years of these particular allotments, as I am convinced that the future of our civilization cannot be separated from the recovery and care for our roots that lie in the earth, with respect for our environment and a solidarity network.

The project is still ongoing.

In September 2017, the Project won the 1° prize of the photo competition "Crediamo ai tuoi occhi" organized by FIAF (Italian Federation of Photographic Associations)/ CIFA (Italian Center of Author Photography ).
The award consisted in the publication of a book with a 55 photos selection, which can be found on the FIAF website: http://shop.fiaf.net/index.php/libreria/collanamonografie/monografia-97-maria-caterina-feole.html

These 55 photos are published here; there are also 5 new photos.
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