Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Italian Studies

First Advisor

Nicoletta Marini-Maio

Second Advisor

Luca Trazzi




This research examines a geographical and historical panorama of Italian agriculture, the history of urban agriculture, the phenomenon of urban green zones from the Middle Ages to present day in the city of Bologna, and four urban garden case studies in the Bologna area: a city-owned community garden on 142 Via Saragozza, a preschool in the Giardini Margherita greenhouses, an urban farm in the marginalized Pilastro neighborhood, and an African garden in a refugee welcome center in Crespellano. In all four experiments, urban gardens are tools of socialization and civic collaboration. Through my interviews and observations, I unearthed the environmental, educational, and social impacts that these Bolognese urban gardens have on their community. Urban agriculture is an evolving field dedicated to improving abandoned urban zones, fostering new community relations, educating residents about sustainability, and guaranteeing food security by providing local, high quality produce to an area. With increased urbanization and growing city populations, urban agriculture is at the forefront of sustainable food access and presents a unique new facet of the Italian culture.