Successful kick off meeting for MADRE project in Barcelona

MedCities hosted the kick off meeting of MADRE, a project aimed at fostering metropolitan agriculture as lever for an innovative, sustainable and responsible economy,  co-financed by by the Interreg MED Programme.

The MADRE project partners met in Barcelona on 14-15 march for the kick-off meeting. The event was a great opportunity to discuss about the metropolitan and peri-urban agriculture in each of the six Mediterranean territories.

Mr. Xavier Tiana, Secretary General of Medcities, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of urban agriculture in all the Mediterranean region, underlining its positive impacts in terms of social and economic development. He also pointed out the willingness of Medcities to transfer the project results to their entire network of more than 50 cities from the different shores of the Mediterranean.

The meeting was also attended by Francesc Magrinyà i Torner, Director of the Strategic Planning Area of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, who presented the projects related to urban agriculture that the metropolitan city is developing.

MADRE partners had also the opportunity to make a field visit to two urban agriculture practices located in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. These were the social gardens of Can Pinyol and the Parc Agrari del Baix LLobregat.

Can Pinyol (Sant Boi de Llobregat) is a community garden designed trough a participatory process and that currently hosts different associations supporting disadvantaged people. This experience was the result of the SIDIG-MED project, and it was considered a good practice as it combines economic, social and environmental aspects. Energy supply is provided by a solar system and there is a rainwater recovery system for irrigation. Moreover vegetable waste is recycled to produce compost, and only organic farming is practiced. The structure to recover the gardening tools and the locker room are recycled containers designed in the framework of a competition. Fundació Marianao manages the space and the activities and the different associations involved in it participate in all the decision processes and they also are responsible of the maintenance.

Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat is located in the Llobregat Delta, 10 minutes west of Barcelona. It was founded in 1998 by a diverse group of organizations seeking to ensure the continuity of sustainable agriculture on Barcelona's urban fringe in order to preserve this area (2900 hectares) from the great urban pressure. The Park host more than 200 businesses, whose 85% of the production is dedicated to the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. The park is managed by a Consortium that promotes specific programs to conserve production, ecological and cultural values in the agrarian space. The Park is also aimed at developing the economic, environmental and social roles in a framework of sustainable agriculture integrated into the territory and in harmony with the natural environment.

In the coming weeks, the six territories involved will set up local groups to gather metropolitan stakeholders on urban agriculture to identify hot topics, local challenges and key issues they encountered in their own context. Then in autumn thematic transnational workshops will be held to point out common policy recommendations.

For more information please contact:

Valeria Stacchini, MADRE Communication manager, valeria.stacchini@cittametropolitana.bo.it

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