Case Study

Urban agriculture: taking care of vegetables and citizens – Parco Agricolo Sud Milano

Contact name

Maria Pia Sparla - Service Environmental Enhancement Responsible - Parco Agricolo Sud Milano

Institution name

Parco Agricolo Sud Milano

Region & country

Lombardy - Italy


The Parco Agricolo Sud Milano encompasses 47,000 ha of agriculture and protected nature around Milan: 61 municipalities are involved.

Periurban agriculture plays a role of primary importance, not only for soil conservation, but also for food production and environmental education about food security and safety and food production chains. The citizens demand for food at Km 0 is increasing and the periurban agriculture can well meet this need.

Background of the project

Before the Park establishment, the area was just an agriculture-exploited land.
The Parco Agricolo Sud Milano (“Rural Park South Milan”) is a large protected rural area located south and south-east of Milan, Italy. The park was established in 1990 with the purpose of preserving, safeguarding, and enhancing the natural and historical heritage of the Po Valley. It is 47,000 hectares wide and is located between Milan and the southern border of its Province.

The main goals of Parco Agricolo Sud Milano are:
1) Safeguarding landscape and environment connecting it with the areas within the urban green system;
2) Ecological balance for the metropolitan area;
3) Safeguarding, qualifying and increasing the agro-wooded-cultivation activities coherently with area destination;
4) Citizens using the area for cultural-recreation activities.

According to these goals the Park managers identified actions in order to accomplish them.

Solution and actions taken

The Park established good relationship with local farmers and producers and started to promote local products among people living in Milan and neighboroughs

The Park has launched a major action for the enhancement of farming through the right of farms located in the Park to use the brand “Manufacturer of environmental qualityParco Agricolo sud Milano” to farms operating in-house can implement actions on the environment and the territory of the Park.
The brand guarantees that the producer respects the shared goals of the Park for the use and protection of agricultural characteristics, environmental protection and rural land conservation.

Other institutions or parties involved


The brand “Manufacturer of environmental quality – Parco Agricolo Sud Milano” has allowed farms to develop their agricultural activities for the environment and to offer products and services to citizens by the brand certificates issued by the Park.

The Earth Market has favored the knowledge of farms and their products to consumers who are now about 5000.

The project has increased the economy of farms up to 20-25%.


Involvement of hundreds of local farmers has been one of the main challenge. Promoting the actual quality of products that are made so close to a big and potentially polluted city (i.e. Milan) has been another problem that has been faced and solved successfully.

Lessons learned

Beeing patient and stubborn is the secret of our success.

Contact name

Maria Pia Sparla - Service Environmental Enhancement Responsible - Parco Agricolo Sud Milano

Institution name

Parco Agricolo Sud Milano


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