The role of the olive tree in the city. Urban strategies for management of the natural capital, and for innovation and social cohesion - case study of the city of Pesaro, Italy
In the policies of Italian and European cities, there is growing awareness and interest in experimenting with actions and strategies for maintenance and enhancement of the natural capital in urban areas. This is being applied through innovative forms of management and activation of coordinated public-private strategies by policy makers and active citizen groups. Starting from an experimental case study of the city of Pesaro, the multidisciplinary research group of the Polytechnic University of Marche identified the widespread presence of over 4,000 olive trees in the urban and peri-urban territory. The plants were classified according to the space given over to them, and their size, management method and ornamental and productive value. The results highlight widespread distribution of olive trees with particular prevalence in the areas of more recent expansion that border rural areas. There is also a substantial lack of their preparation by the managers of these private spaces, with excessive pruning and reduced ornamental value of at least half of the olive trees surveyed. Considering that 4,000 olive trees correspond to about 20 ha of cultivated olive groves, plans implemented by the local councils to organise courses and technical promotional activities for their management should have high positive impact on the city. With all of its various characteristics and typologies, urban olive growing can be seen to have still unexpressed potential for construction of coordinated management programs in many urban contexts. When appropriately inserted into the wider context of landscape values to be protected, these actions are essential for maintenance of biodiversity in the cities in terms of the local ecological network. If correctly guided as part of a conscious 'urban strategic vision', these represent opportunities for development of micro-economies and widespread micro-services.
Pantaloni, M., Marinelli, G., Zucchini, M., Bibbò, S., Minelli, A. and Neri, D. (2021). The role of the olive tree in the city. Urban strategies for management of the natural capital, and for innovation and social cohesion - case study of the city of Pesaro, Italy. Acta Hortic. 1331, 165-172
urban olive culture, social cohesion and innovation, urban regeneration and resilience, urban green infrastructure