European award for the ‘Rooftop Gardens’ projectThe urban cultivation project for people with disabilities to grow vegetables on the rooftops of five municipal buildings in Barcelona has been recognised in the supra-local and local category of the European Public Sector Awards (EPSA). The awards were presented in the Dutch town of Maastricht, in a ceremony culminating a process which saw 160 projects put forward by local, regional and national administrations from 28 European countries, with 40 being recognised as good practice.
Three projects were shortlisted last month in each of the three EPSA categories (local, regional and national). Project chiefs from each initiative presented them in public this week at the meeting in Maastricht, before the winner was confirmed today. Having visited each of the projects on site, the high calibre international jury announced Rooftop Gardens as one of the winners.
The Rooftop Garden (‘L’hort al terrat’) project uses the roof terraces of five buildings belonging to Barcelona City Council: the head office of the Area for Social Rights, the Manager’s Office for Resources and International Relations (in C/ Avinyó) the District Office for Sants-Montjuïc and the youth centre in Fontana. The working methodology for these cultivation patches is the same: specialists from the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities (IMPD) collaborate with entities working with people with functional diversity in different areas, who then manage them.
People participating directly in the management of the cultivation patches have physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities or mental disorders. They work with support from the Institute of Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (IRTA), who are responsible for the agricultural and technical side of the plantations. The vegetables grown are taken into social dining rooms and the Food Bank. The project goals include empowering people with disabilities (enabling them to show society their strengths and abilities), learning relating to the cultivation of plants and vegetables and the development of a greener city.