Submitted by UIA admin on Mon, 12/19/2016 - 11:43


Milan OpenAgri project
Challenge addressed

Food is more and more considered as an emerging multidimensional policy challenge. In fact it regards ecological concerns, social and public health problems, economic perspectives, spatial patterns and city planning. In 2015 the Municipality of Milan adopted its own Food Policy with the aim to develop sustainable food systems to deliver healthy and accessible food to all, protect biodiversity and fight against food waste. At the same time it promoted the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact through which 132 (and growing) cities from all over the world committed to make urban food systems more inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse.

OpenAgri is a first answer of this type to the challenge. The project will create an "Open Innovation Hub on Peri-Urban Agriculture" in Cascina Nosedo, an ancient farmhouse located in Porto di Mare, an area defined as “urban fringe”, representing the transition zone between the consolidated part of the city and the agricultural lands. This is where the city ends. “Cascina Nosedo” will be re-structured and will serve as a living lab for social inclusion, jobs and skills creation, open innovation along the food supply chain while increasing the level of resilience and sustainability of the city.

Solution proposed

On the entrepreneurial dimension, this Hub will promote development projects involving SMEs and startuppers, and will experiment innovative tools for increasing and transferring capacities. In particular the project will look at accelerating new food enterprises based in the city, to promote green transport for food companies and to foster skills and competences to lower the environmental impacts of farming.

On the social dimension, community-led initiatives for inclusion, urban regeneration, social and territorial cohesion projects will be implemented. The main purpose is to strengthen and implement services, initiatives and skills, strongly related with the Hub at Cascina Nosedo. “Porto di Mare Area” can be changed from a problematic suburbs to a great experience of collaboration and sharing of new knowledges and opportunities especially for young people, disadvantaged groups and foreigners.

As per the sustainable and technological dimensions, the project will prototype disruptive and innovative solutions for peri-urban agriculture through new ways for food production, new tools such as a “kitchen fab-lab”, the aquaponics system and new prototypes technologies will be tested. 

  • Comune di Milano
  • Camera di Commercio, Industria, Agricoltura e Artigianato - Chamber of commerce
  • Fondazione Politecnico di Milano - Research Center
  • Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano -  Incubator dedicated to technological companies and startups
  • Università degli studi di Milano - University
  • Politecnico di Milano - University
  • Avanzi - Think Thank
  • Cineca - Reaserch Center
  • FUTURE FOOD INSTITUTE Trust (FFI) - Research Center
  • ImpattoZero Srl - Private Company
  • La Strada Società Cooperativa Sociale  - NGO
  • Sunugal - NGO
  • Poliedra - Centro di servizio e consulenza del Politecnico di Milano - Research Center
  • IFOA – Istituto Formazione Operatori Aziendali - Training Center
  • Mare s.r.l. impresa sociale - NGO
  • FOOD PARTNERS SRL - Private Company
Expected results

Through the project, the City aims at:

  • developing its peri-urban agrifood sector in a way that will enable it to attract investments for producing further innovative processes 
  • contributing to food availability, particularly of fresh products, increasing food security and improving eating habits
  • regenerating a peri-urban zone of the city by making it an example of social inclusion and innovation
  • becoming an international model of peri-urban integration for other cities
Main milestones

January 2017: beginning of basic trainings on farming, biodiversity, renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles  targeting youngsters, NEET and foreigners

April 2017: Streams of Innovation identified (call for ideas for startups and the co-creation of development projects involving SMEs and startuppers)

June 2018:  End of the construction works to restructure Cascina Nosedo and opening

September 2018: Aquaponics System and ICT platform in place to  create an innovative and sustainable way for food production, demand and delivery

March 2019: Startups business plan and SMEs pilot projects implemented

"We have the opportunity to act on some of the priorities related to the growth of our City: the development of peri-urban areas, the support to entrepreneurship and the implementation of the Milan’s Food Policy. We will invest in the regeneration of Porto di Mare area turning it into an attractive pole to host innovative entrepreneurial ideas and start-up in the agri-food sector."

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan
The project in numbers
youth unemployment rate (between 15 and 24 years old) in the Municipality of Milan
NEET in between 15 and 29 years old in the Province of Milan (data 2014)
Km2 agriculture land in the Municipality of Milan
agri-food products marketed locally at EU level
Contact of the project
Rossana Torri
Project Manager
Luis Miguel Nunes de Sousa
UIA expert

Project News

Check our latest project video!

The city of Milan with this UIA European Project is experimenting a very innovative policy: new economic and entrepreneurial activities will be located within an agricultural urban plot. This will lead to a new local economy ecosystem. It’s a risky and unprecedented trial that we think it’s worth pursuing.


Launch of the Lab

Launch of the Urban Agriculture Lab

drone mapping

Drone mapping in the Lab