Integrating top down policies and bottom up practices in Urban and Periurban Agriculture:

An Italian dilemma

  • Giuseppe Cinà DIST Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
  • Francesco Di Iacovo Department of Veterinary sciences, Università di Pisa, Italy
Keywords: urban planning, urban and peri-urban agriculture, agricultural policies, food planning, territorial planning, farming.


The paper deals with some relevant and contradictory aspects of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Italy: the traditional exclusion of agricultural areas from the goals of territorial planning; the separation between top-down policies and bottom-up practices; the lack of agricultural policies at local scale. In the first part the paper summarises the weak relation between urban planning and agriculture, showing how in Italy this gap has been only partially overcome by new laws and plans. Moreover the paper focuses on how, due to the lack of suitable solutions coming from regional and local planning, a large number of vibrant initiatives were started by local stakeholders. In order to show the limitations and the potentialities of these various approaches, three peculiar experiences based on Milan, Turin and Pisa are presented. They give a cross-section of the variegated Italian situation, demonstrating that a major challenge in Italian context affects the fields of governance and inclusiveness.

How to Cite
Cinà, G., & Iacovo, F. D. (2019). Integrating top down policies and bottom up practices in Urban and Periurban Agriculture:: An Italian dilemma. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, 3(1), 9-20. Retrieved from