Integrating top down policies and bottom up practices in Urban and Periurban Agriculture:
An Italian dilemma
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.