International Student Design Competition Tur(i)ntogreen - Farms In A Town

Place: Not Applicable, _NO_MAIN_REGION
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 2.000,00 | Period: From September 2012 To January 2013


The main aim of the competition was to raise awareness about issues that go beyond architecture and urban planning moving to a higher plateau of sustainable urban development - regardless of geographical location, the “Global” North or South - with the elements of social integration, economic viability and environmental and ecological balance.
The competition site is South Mirafiori neighbourhood in Turin.  The  Italian motown today represents the heritage of what the idea of an endless urban development and growth left in our cities. Not flexible and energy wasting building, hard to be retrofitted and adjusted to the new model of families and their needs, such neighbourhoods are one of the contemporary urban challenges. The competition guidelines have been addressed considering as directions to be explored topics such as urban agriculture, shared temporary work spaces for occasional workers, social engagement and participation, self construction and low-tech.


Research and Documentation Centre in Technology, Architecture and City in Developing Countries - Italy

Lead applicant

The Centre promotes research activities aimed at improving habitats in extreme climatic or social conditions, and scientific events (exhibitions, conferences, workshops, seminars). CRD-PVS also participates in international co-operation and technical collaboration projects jointly with Institutions, Universities, National and International Organisation, and NGOs. It is engaged in University and Post-University teaching and co-ordinates the Specialization Course in Habitat, Technology and Development for architects and engineers interested in co-operation with developing and newly emergent countries. To those interested in investigating the issue about the habitat in the developing countries, CRD-PVS offers an information service with a specialised library.

Mirafiori Foundation - Italy

Initiative partner

Mirafiori Foundation collects public and private funds to help improve environmentally and socially Mirafiori district, to support the transformation process started, to increase equality of access to opportunities for its inhabitants, preferring intervention methods that actively involve recipients.

University of Salford, Manchester - United Kingdom

Initiative partner

Research and teaching

Building Green Futures - architecture for a sustainable development - Italy

Initiative partner

The foundation's primary objective is the construction of enviromentally friendly buildings and the requalification of the urban environment in the most marginalized comunities of the developing countries

United Nations Human Settlements Programme - Kenya

Initiative partner

UN-Habitat has developed a unique position supporting urban development and the planning and building of a better urban future for next generations. This key process supports economic growth and social development, and reduces poverty and inequalities.

Visions of agro-urban neighborhoods where food production is strongly integrated with architecture, occupation and nature.

In order to assure a bright future to cities we need to consider transforming or to replacing the current models of urban management, life and development.
Students from all over the world proposed different scenarios of a future neighbourhood based on the principles of resilience, sustainability and integration. In this way Tur(i)ntogreen gave a great opportunity to Turin, but also to cities in general, showing that it’s possible and necessary building different urban spaces.


South Mirafiori was an agriculture area still years '40, when FIAT industry built her fabrics the area knew a period of immigration and a massive social housing development. Initially workers/farmers created a solidarity web but today the original community has practically dissolved. Anyway there is still people who cultivate (most are elderly) and who represent a wealth of knowledge to defend. In this extremely peripheral, there is still a mosaic of different elements mixed to legal and illegal urban garden.
Here public spaces have high unexpressed potential, with agricultural and green park areas of relevance to the local and urban scale, and a social fabric in need of younger generations. The allotment system, which is still in the process of legalization (ref. MiraOrti), will be integrated with the adjacent farms situated on the outskirts of the city, and it will become part of an agricultural urban system: it will be an opportunity to raise employment, education and production.

Garden South Mirafiori is rich of spontaneous gardens
Garden 2 Settlements from scrap materials
Miraorti Miraorti project tries to re-create a gardeners web, and to protect and legalize spontaneous gardens, proposing activities and involving citizens.
Miraorti 2 Miraorti's panels explaines main garden's rules and suggestions about agriculture
Public green Parks and green empty spaces, now not valorised and not connected, have a big potential to develop
Tur(i)ntogreen - get to know the context Let's take a ride in the project area
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Competition guidelines Here you can find all information about the competition
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Context This document, result of a workshop, is a tool to give you a glimpse of the competition context and guide you through the surroundings.

The participation has been over any expectation, involving 400 students from 50 Universities in 24 countries all over the World. 110 entries have been submitted, showing how students feel committed to these topics, enjoying the competition format and ready to reflect, contribute and participate to the transformation processes, both in the debate and with actions. The international interest gave a positive motivation to work to change the district in a sustainable way, respecting actual context and involving citizen.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Winners These projects represents the best and realistics agro-urban visions

There are some different category of beneficiaries:
- actual and maybe future Mirafiori’s residents, because the competition proposes a neighbourhood  which try to answer to their needs;
- the city, protagonist of an international competition
- participants students, who had the chance to know Turin and to propose their ideas to an international jury and, indirectly, to citizen. Winners were awarded with stages in important architectural firms, or publication / dissemination of their projects on international journals.

Tur(i)ntogreen was organised by CRD-PVS with the collaboration of UN-HABITAT: great part of work was made by their members (architecture and urbanism professors and professionals) and student’s collaborators. A group of architecture’s students participated in a workshop: they visited the area, took all necessary information about the contest and wrote the context flat. Mirafiori’s residents and local associations played an essential part by answering to initiative and collaborating during the analysis’ part.
More, the 16 members of jury, the 5 Students representatives and especially the 271 participant’s group from 41 countries made possible to realize it.

Citizens Residents received students and helped to collect data
Local organisations Lesson at "La Casa nel parco", one of the stakeholders which offer spaces and host activities in Mirafiori neighborhood
Participants The big number of participants from all over the world shows that Turin is internationally interesting
Staff and student collaborators CRD-PVS student's collaborators give material to workshop participants before visiting the area
Workshop's students Students in Mirafiori's urban gardens, guided by Stefano Olivari from Miraorti project

Fortunately we didn't find relevant difficulties: instead, the high number of subscriptions from all over the world was a very positive feedback.

This initiative doesn’t have a relevant direct environmental impact (yet), because its aim was to propose ideas and visions. Each scenario allows different ecological footprint and focus on many matters (energy and water savings, biodiversity defense, goods lifecycle closing, ecological and local materials,..)

Students from all over the world proposed different scenarios of a future neighbourhood based on the principles of resilience, sustainability and integration. In this way Tur(i)ntogreen gave a great opportunity to Turin, showing that it’s possible and necessary building a different city. 

The competition was shown by a web site, by social networks (twitter, facebook, youtube) and free digital publishing sites (ISSUU).
Projects of competition’s winners have been published on some international architecture’s magazine (Boundaries, Landscape World Magazine, ..) and websites. It has been presented at The International Conference PLEA 2013 (Munich) and at “Festival dell’Architettura in Città 2013” (Turin).

Festival dell'Architettura in Città 2013 Tur(i)ntogreen displayed at OGR, Turin
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Web link Summary and website links