A Bespoke Garden

Back in 1939 Fiat opened one of the largest car factory in Europe on the southern edge of Turin: "Mirafiori" .
By then a massive internal migration process moved hundreds of thousands of people from the underdeveloped South to the wealthier North.
Between ‘53 and ‘65 the local population doubled, dictating the construction of a new dorm-style district called “MirafioriSud”.
As a response to a new urban life-style, those former countrymen started occupying small allotments of state-owned and private soil.
Season after season they have molded the landscape to their cultivation needs. Nowadays there are about 700 spontaneous allotments – standing for the creativity, persistence and identity of their owners – which, following a renovated interest upon urban green, are now involved into a transformation process.
On one side there’s an institutional project which would remove all the allotments in order to create a public park regardless of their history, and socio-anthropological value. On the other side, a group of scientists has undertaken a long term project based on the will to study this complex reality.
Today this interstitial area, between the town and highway, too small to be exploited by traditional agriculture, expresses a great potential of grass-roots farming capable of creating social connections and endorsing urban suburbs.

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