Non solo un giardino

Leading agency: Laboratorio Zen Insieme
Area(s) of intervention: Palermo, ZEN neighborhood
Total budget: € 8.000
NOPLANETB contribution: € 7.200
Duration: 6 months
Starting date: 1st of November 2018

Summary of the project

The project idea contributes to the achievement of the goal of No Planet B: promotion of the link between the actions that increase the urban green space and the urban regeneration initiatives, with the utmost attention to the use of green areas by citizens. The greatest strength of the project idea is that the neighbourhood already feels the garden as its own and in a voluntary and spontaneous way everyone takes care of it as much as possible. The CSO, Laboratorio Zen Insieme, operates starting from the concept of urban resilience, thus enhancing a community that wants to self-design innovative social, economic and environmental responses to its problems, believing that the participated and bottom-up paths contribute to the environmental awareness, to the education for the cohabitation and active citizenship. Within this framework, Manifesta 12 is building a garden in the neighbourhood. The creation of a garden leads to occupy its living spaces, inviting all inhabitants to become gardeners and to actively participate in the evolution of the project. Gilles Clemènt and Coloco designed the garden in one of the urban gaps of the neighbourhood for Manifesta 12, allowing its restitution to the citizenship, minimising the conditions of decay and creating a new place of exchange and aggregation. The garden can be conceived as an opportunity to strengthen the sense of community and the importance of active citizenship.


  • 20 adults
  • 50 children
  • General audience

Overall achievements

A lesson learned is certainly the methodological innovation of shared management in the solution of the problem of the empty, unused and abandoned spaces typical of those parts of cities grown too quickly and without a precise urban planning. The biggest achievement is the need to include activities like this in the normal and regular training of the younger generations and how spaces like this can also generate new forms of employment. The activities carried out (for 50 children and 20 adults) explored what living and enjoying the garden mean, sharing the conviviality of food and celebration, teamwork, playfulness and knowledge, the return to the land in a highly urbanized and artificially built context despite its agricultural past.

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