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ROOFTOP GARDENS: growing greens for social inclusion

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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The shortage of building land in the city of Barcelona has led to people exploring new ways of fostering horticulture in the city. Besides a network of urban allotments that include 19 public garden plots, 355 allotments related to schools and 85 gardens opened due to community demands, the City Council has opened 5 new spots non-used up to the moment for gardening vegetables and herbs.


In 2016 the City Council decided to take advantage of non-used spaces in municipal buildings, such as rooftops, to place innovative urban allotments. This led to the creation of the 'Rooftop garden' project, run by the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities (IMPD), which, in addition to contributing to the increase of green spaces in the city, it puts special emphasis on promoting groups of people with various disabilities or mental health problems, who are direct beneficiaries of the experience.


The pilot project came to light in 2016, when the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities placed an urban allotment on its headquarters building rooftop, right in the centre of Barcelona. The project involved the IMPD as the public local organisation responsible for the experience, in partnership with the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA, from the Catalan acronym) and three occupational centres for people with disabilities. Three years after this successful beginning, the Barcelona counts on five urban allotments in operation on the rooftops of various municipal buildings, run completely by organisations of people with disabilities (about 120 people from 6 social organisations in 2019).


What's more, surplus produce –initially earmarked for the participants' own consumption– is delivered to vulnerable groups (school canteens, food banks, etc.), thereby fulfilling a social function while also fostering the idea of locally-sourced consumption. The participants themselves are responsible for making the donation, which makes it easier for them to experience the whole cycle at first hand. In addition, the change of role acts as a positive and empowering boost, as they move from a passive part (receivers, service consumers, beneficiaries...) to an active role (donators, producers, responsible ones...).


The project has shown remarkable benefits in the quality of life and personal development of people with disabilities. The rooftop allotments have become a space for coexistence, inclusion and learning for these people, while also being a green space that encourages sustainable agriculture.

Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - supra-local and local level
Award type: award
Award year: 2019
Project type
Sector: cross-sectoral
Type of activity:
Keywords: Disabilities inclusion green urban space
Short English description: In 2016 the City Council decided to take advantage of non-used spaces in municipal buildings, such as rooftops, to place innovative urban allotments. This led to the creation of the 'Rooftop garden' project, run by the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities (IMPD), which, in addition to contributing to the increase of green spaces in the city, it puts special emphasis on promoting groups of people with various disabilities or mental health problems, who are direct beneficiaries of the experience.
Further information
Organisation: Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities
Other applicants:
Homepage:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: 50-100
Number of people involved: 6-10
Country: Spain
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


ROOFTOP GARDENS: growing greens for social inclusion (41.39706094739339, 2.169274091720581)
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