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Migrants help Florence flourish


Local families inspired to set up the Associazione Amici del Nidiaci to protect an important community garden in Florence have been recognised.

The Nidiaci garden is based in the San Frediano district in Florence’s Oltrarno, and is an important natural asset because it is the last green space of its type in the old town that hasn’t been built on. And the Associazione is excelling at bringing together the diverse group of people who call the area home: more than half the local kids have at least one parent who were born abroad. It has generated a strong community spirit among them all to ensure the garden is used for the benefit of its citizens. These efforts have been recognised with a ‘Special Mention’ from the jury of the 2018 Transformative Action Award, Europe’s leading sustainability award, co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark). It celebrates ‘Transformative Actions using the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to bring about socio-cultural, socio-economic, and technological transformation of societies’.

For the the Associazione Amici del Nidiaci, ICLEI states its challenge as: ‘rebuilding an extended local community, including natives and immigrants of different social backgrounds, religions, political views, on a bottom-up base in one of Europe’s most symbolic historic centres; educating a community along principles of zero waste, self-help, civic education, respect, identity, garden, history, trees, where monuments belong to those, wherever they may be born, and who accept stewardship for them’.


“Associazione Amici del Nidiaci’s Transformative Action presents an inspiring, sustainable solution to a social challenge cities are now commonly facing. Their action creates real local value and impact, reflecting that our responsibility does not end at national borders,” said Wolfgang Teubner,  Transformative Action Award judge, in an ICLEI press release.


The special mention came as the build up continues to the award ceremony, which will be held on 15 November in Brussels.

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