Ortobello… work in progress!

Foto di Els Waters

Ortobello... work in progress!

The network/social-web for the realization of the first Community Urban Garden in BorgoBello and Perugia is growing: our research and study, visits to other community projects and shared planning and construction are moving forward. The first installations and plantings will take place on the 16th of April

A bit of history

OrtoBello was born in September 2013 from the project called “Caro Vicolo” (dear back alley), thanks to the Association BorgoBello and to The Umbra Institute. Our goal was to give new life – through participatory place making – to the forgotten back lanes of the neighborhood. And in only 18 months we’ve done a lot! We made a futuristic light installation in via del Deposito, where the American students from the Urban Spaces class and the association worked together with the Comune di Perugia (the city government). In via Fiorenzuola, we built and installed some lovely vertical gardens, which are being maintained by the citizens. Our creations keep attracting visitors and emulators.

The idea: a neighbor network of community urban gardens

Last summer, when we started to cooperate with the DSA3 department of the University of Perugia and SMeC, a new idea came to light: the dream of catalyzing an “archipelago of urban gardens” throughout the whole neighbor. We decided to call our new project OrtoBello. During last fall, we started gathering ideas and opinions and widely promoting the project and created a first gathering of dedicated volunteers – our Local Promoting Group. All our work culminated in the “OrtoBello Strange Fruit” flash mob and city event, held near the Urban Center, where more than 80 people participated.

From the ideas … straight to the facts!

Since January, new partners have joined the project, such as Riciclamiche, Bosco Didattico di Ponte Felcino and many individual citizens. The Local Promoting Group has met several times and identified the two areas in which to start Ortobello: the terrace in via del Cortone and the space near the escalators in via Fiorenzuola. After that, an action plan was drawn up and construction work and more began. Thanks to activities like seed-exchanging and visits to other urban gardens we gathered the tools, skills and information we needed to make our dream possible. We have also started to collect recycled material in order to create the raised-box gardens, the compost bin, a rainwater irrigation system, information panels, benches, and everything else we would like to create.

Some of our students – under the guidance of another Umbra Professor – are even painting a fresco to adorn the garden in via Fiorenzuola. In addition, in May OrtoBello will collaborate with the Distretto del Sale to install green showcases with micro-gardens along Corso Cavour, during the Flora Show (22-24 May).

The appointment for the inauguration of the first installations and plantings in via Fiorenzuola is set for April 16th.

We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, all those who want to work with us at the “construction site” or just participate in the project can contact us through our Facebook page or write us at ortobellopg@gmail.com.

Raymond Lorenzo e Viviana Lorenzo (teachers of the Urban Spaces class at The Umbra Institute, Perugia Italy)
Translation by Lavinia Amenduni, Alessandro Biti and Katelyn Orrok

Versione in italiano