Innovating in the countryside, farming in the city #MilanoSottoSopra #UpsideDownMilan

April 2017

- October 2020


Circular economy

The initiative

An agricultural hub of excellence is being built at Cascina Nosedo, near Porto di Mare, an area in south-east Milan that straddles city and countryside, while the adjacent land will be used for “zero-km” short supply chain food production. The initiative is trialling an open innovation model for peri-urban agriculture, bringing together new youth-driven entrepreneurship, an improved agricultural system and care and protection of the landscape, as well as social inclusion undertakings for regenerating the city outskirts. After its redevelopment, Cascina Nosedo will be a hub for farming startups and a reference centre for innovation in the sector, from the implementation of new technologies in food production, transformation, distribution and consumption to carrying out tests in new contexts, such as the recovery of production waste and new last kilometre logistics. In addition, work is also being carried out on a hydroponic system.

The role of the Foundation

Fondazione Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the initiative

Technical details

OpenAgri is an initiative worth 6 million euros, 80% co-financed by UIA – Urban Innovative Actions, a DG REGIO programme financed by the European Regional Development Fund for 2014-2020 which supports innovative ideas to address urban challenges that can affect the future of the European Union. OpenAgri was selected from among 370 proposals from all EU countries. The City of Milan is lead partner, assisted by 15 partners from the worlds of academia, business and charitable bodies.

First results

LABORATORY FOR 18 PROJECTS IN 30 HECTARES: 18 innovative agro-food projects were selected through a public competition published by the City of Milan; these projects are installed on the 30 hectares/75 acres of land provided by the city and initial testing has started.
MASTERPLAN: this involves an experimental agro-ecological park which has prepared an overall plan for the farming land in Vaiano Valle, expanding the environmental system of Parco Vettabbia and Chiaravalle and setting out ecological regeneration plans that have impact on the peri-urban agricultural landscape. In the masterplan, land for farming identified in the plots designated as OpenAgri’s “outdoor incubators” is located next to areas for public use and new tree planting to renaturalise the environment and protect agricultural production.

Financial supporters