Cascina Falchera, Turin, Italy

Cascina Falchera - a place for educational and agricultural experimentation, a hub of social innovation, and a hub for biodiversity.

Cascina Falchera is an old farmhouse located in an urban farming and educational area on the outskirts of the City of Turin. The aim of the project is to regenerate the area through circularity principles and reconnect people, especially the young generations, with natural spaces. This includes a renovation of the eighteenth-century farmhouse, which is being transformed into a modern and sustainable hub for the local community, and a regeneration of the surrounding landscape with new green and biodiverse areas. 

An improvement of the existing water management system will also be an important part of the project: The traditional water stream system will be modified to create a more efficient and sustainable water collection and distribution. Social, economic, and environmental sustainability is key when the area is being transformed, and the local citizens are being involved in the process.

  • News and photos
  • The site
  • History
  • Site characteristics
  • Vision
  • The main actions and approaches foresee

Here you find stories and slide shows from Cascina Falchera. Below this section, you can find the background story for the site.

(01)
Film: ”Reconnecting people with nature”

How can humans reconnect with nature? Together with project partners and the locals, we experiment with this as part of the Desire project in the northern part of the city of Turin – at Cascina Falchera, an old farmhouse owned by the Municipality of Turin and run by the social cooperative, Consorzio Kairòs.

Cascina Falchera works on developing a biodiversity hub, where people can explore and experiment with their connection with nature. Among the activities are water-saving camps for young people. We visited one of them. Have a look at the film.

Desire is a part of the New European Bauhaus initiative from the EU.

Meet:

  • Domenica Moscato, Desire Project Manager
  • Nicoletta Daldanise, Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Giorgia Curtabbi, PhD student in Design and Inhabitant of Falchera neighbourhood

The filmmaker is Benjamin Hesselholdt.

(02)
Story: Water Saving Camps

How do you manage rainwater in an area that is sometimes affected by flooding, other times by drought? Our partner organisations are looking at these challenges. Click on the link to read the story.

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Photos from Water Saving Camp, September 30, 2023. Credit Benjamin Hesselholdt.

Photo: Benjamin Hesselholdt

Photo: Benjamin Hesselholdt

Water Saving Camps in July 2023. Credit Marzia Allietta.

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

Water Saving Camp, July 2023. Photo credit Marzia Allietta

The site

We have prepared a Design Manifesto and five design principles (engagement tools) to steer us and the activities. This site has been chosen: Principle: Biodiversity | Principle: Belonging | Principle: Aesthetics. Learn more here

(01)
Cascina Falchera is located within the Falchera neighbourhood of north Turin.

The neighbourhood (about 8,000 inhabitants), located in the territory of District 6, consists of two settlements: “Falchera Vecchia,” whose development dates back to the 1950s, and “Falchera Nuova,” built in the 1970s. In the area, there is a strip of ponds and artificial lakes to be reclaimed.

In 1999, in order to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants and change the negative image of the neighbourhood, a process of local participatory development was initiated aimed at encouraging the sharing of social and urban planning actions through the active presence of local stakeholders. The Social Table, formed by associations and entities active in the area, gave birth to the Falchera Development Committee, a body that annually plans and implements a program of activities (events, information desk, socio-cultural initiatives) supported by the City.

(03)
@cascinafalchera (Turin, Italy) - a place for educational and agricultural experimentation, a hub of social innovation. Meet Domenica Moscato from our partner organisation KAIROS CONSORZIO DI COOPERATIVE SOCIALI - SOCIETA COOPERATIVA SOCIALE O.N.L.U.S. Press the icon at the bottom right of the video to expand the image and see the entire video.

History

(01)
The period in which the most important spread of farmsteads occurred in the area was between the 18th and 19th centuries, as an e° ect of the emerging capitalist organization of cultivation and animal husbandry, as the structure of farmsteads was particularly suited to a rationalization of agricultural production. It is likely that in 1701 the Falchero brothers purchased a piece of common land.

In the late 19th century, the Falchera area was a predominantly rural area, dotted with agricultural and pastoral land and a fair number of farmhouses like Cascina Falchera. After the second world war, the area has undergone a change and one of the most prominent projects in the post-war architectural and urban panorama in Turin was designed by the architect Giovanni Astengo. The suburb, built between 1952 and 1954, stood apart from the rest of the city, with a series of three-storey blocks of flats with characteristic red brick facades.

Site characteristics

(01)
The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities declared for the Cascina Falchera the recognition of cultural interest. This aspect is certainly a value but it is also a bureaucratic limitation that does not allow flexibility and speed of action. Indeed, a new governance concept is under construction to regulate public-private partnerships.

The challenge has connected with the long-standing work of the City of Turin started in the late 90s to invest in suburban areas and promote a collaborative management use of the public spaces.

Moreover, the water management system is central because Consorzio Kairos wants to innovate the traditional system of “bealere” (small streams of water that bordered the farmsteads in Piemonte) used to irrigate fields by the flooding method. It is necessary to modify them so that water collection and distribution are more efficient and sustainable.

Vision

(01)
Falchera is characterized as an area of high social disadvantage with different targets living in a condition of marginality and hardship.

 The main challenge is to transform the Falchera area under an idea of circularity in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability. This circular approach will be reached through three fields:

Regeneration of Falchera lands to improve landscaping and quality of life, with particular reference to those lands as part of the agricultural rural management of the soil implemented in different areas of the district.

high-tech renovation of Cascina Falchera by restoring the ancient splendour of the eighteenth century farmhouse in a modern key that combines environmental sustainability (e.g. solar panels, geothermal heating systems) with the innovative use of technology to support community building and redesign of the spaces in the local community.space for nature by designing new green and environmental friendly areas (e.g. bio lakes) to support local biodiversity and improve the connection of the community with water and water management systems still existing from the ancient age in the Po Valley.

The main actions and approaches foresee

- Consultations and call to action to involve citizens in the collaborative creation of the new Falchera.

- Blended educational pathways to rediscover Falchera and the role of water in this area for people, communities and biodiversity.

Creation of an Action Plan to stimulate the regeneration and relaunching of the Cascina Falchera area under the principle of the New European Bauhaus.

Capacity building for civil society players to secure multiplier actions and create high-impact actions.

Renovation actions on Cascina Falchera to support the transition from a rural farmhouse to a modern green-oriented and digital friendly local hub that is also able to valorize its ancient history.

Regeneration actions such as the creation of sustainable bicycle route to discover Falchera, the restoration of part of the ancient water management system of the Po Valley still in place in the area, designing of bottom up project for water management system to support urban gardening and biodiversity sustainable practices (e.g. for pollinators or for migration’s birds).