vai al contenuto della pagina vai al menu di navigazione

Bologna - SALUS Space Garden


Via Malvezza 4, 40139, Bologna

Description of the space

It is a urban regeneration plan, where the former building (Villa Salus) has been demolished and replaced with a new residential building made of wood (X-Lam) and the total refurbishment of an existing building (former hyperbaric chamber). In addition, there are three reusable temporary buildings (made with shipping containers). There are not landscape constraints and the connection is given by public bus transportation (at about 800 mt.) and cycle ways. It is a peripheral area surrounded by agricultural fields, a nursery (garden centre) and a retirement home for elderly people.

Existing urban farming activities

Three different types of garden (recreational, educational and productive) are being developed within the Salus Space project, with traditional cropping practices. Food processing machineries have been acquired in order to create a small social enterprise, as well as shipping containers to be converted in a restaurant and meals preparation facilities.


Student teams are expected to develop a project that will include the following elements:

A rooftop multifunctional vegetable garden on the top of the building called “camera iperbarica”.

Community gardens in the greened space within the SALUS complex

A management model that fosters social, environmental and economic functionalities of the proposed activities.

Among all potential solutions new agricultural methods can be considered, such as hydroponic or aquaponics systems, to be placed in a new container/ functional module or greenhouse, nearby the productive garden or on the rooftop garden of the former hyperbaric chamber. All solutions should be thoughts as part of Salus Space ecosystem and provide an economic, social and environmental sustainability

The project is integrated in a very interesting area that is under construction, following innovative concepts. There will be a community centre with several public facilities: housing, theatre, restaurant, craftmanship ateliers, study centre, coworking and the urban agriculture project to be developed will be integrated within this collaborative ecosystem. The potentials are enormous, but also the challenges, mainly with reference to economic sustainability and the articulated governance system to be developed, with the active participation of citizens. The area was in state of abandonment for more than a decade and it is going to be given back to the community with an ambitious and innovative idea of creating a multifunctional and collaborative space able to economically support itself with the housing and the economic facilities to be carried out. Citizens have participated in the co-design process, and expressed their need to create a place for active participation with cultural and social opportunities, environmental quality and recreational and aesthetic gardens for the community wellbeing. The gardens must be developed to create a long term sustainability with food creation activities integrated with the ecosystem.


The funding that already exists and is dedicated to the project development accounts for about 120’000€.

Main objectives

Social, economic and employment, recreational, touristic functionalities. These objectives shall be addressed by activities fostering Job creation, knowledge sharing, environmental sustainability, social inclusion of migrants and refugees, circularity, collaborative management, creation of a multicultural space.


Innovation, sustainability, community building, social inclusion, multiculturality

Opportunities for the participating teams

Winners of the challenge may be involved in all phases of project implementation, supporting the local stakeholders, project partners and the citizens in the executive planning and implementation phase. The management system must also be co-designed and it aims to create at least 2 job position for refugees or disadvantaged people, but may also engage students.

Further information

Read the "Chart of Values" and get into the vision of the project to understand in a broader way the twofold meaning of Salus (latin word) as "wellbeing" and "safety" in a collective sense, thinking about what we have learnt from the pandemic experience.


FAQ Salus Space


Where will the 3 gardens (recreational, educational, and productive) located? Is it possible to redesign them or change their function?


The 3 gardens are not on-site yet. The first garden that will be implemented, by this year, is the productive garden, which is located in the East side of the plot, behind the residential building. It is a private land that has been given free of charge for the project implementation, already available.

The other 2 gardens are foreseen in the central area, that will be delivered on December 2020 and it’s possible to redesign them or propose a general rearrangement. Any change in current use or destination should build on strong sustainability grounds.


Besides the camera iperbarica's roof, is it possible to use also the roof of the housing unit for creating a garden?


The roof of the housing building is occupied by a significant number of solar and photovoltaic panels, therefore there is not the possibility to use it for other purposes.


Can the containers be used in the project?


The containers will be there until 2022, but for the moment their function is already defined. Indeed further temporary buildings, modules or shipping containers, can be added.


The functions of the new building (e.g. hosting a restaurant, workshops, and a theatre) are fully defined or can the building also host further activities?


The new multi-purpose building is designed to host the foreseen activities (restaurant, workshops and theatre) and cannot be modified.


Can further functions for the camera iperbarica be also planned? Can it host lectures or co-working?


The camera iperbarica (former hyperbaric chamber) can host many activities, especially linked to training and educational purpose. Suggestions and proposals are welcome. Coworking space is already foreseen by Salus Space project and will be implemented. The rooftop of the camera iperbarica is provided with electricity and tapwater. It is possible to integrate a greenhouse if weight loads are appropriately distributed and not excessive.


Where is it possible to find architectural section for the camera iperbarica building and for the housing unit to know the heights and slab thickness etc?


Architectural drawing of buildings are included here


How much is the area of the ground garden? Is it possible to have any horizontal dimension to use it as a reference while designing? Also the buildings heights, to be able to imagine the scale.


The productive garden is 400 sq.m. You can check sizes and proportions looking at the general plan, or at the single buildings maps.


What's the maximum number of users Salus Space can hold? And what's the capacity of the housing unit?


Housing building: 10 two-room apartments + 10 three-room apartments + a big apartment with 6 double rooms (for tourist rent). The restaurant will host 100 sits, but until the shipping container only is available a only a café with a kitchen will be created. In the final building the theatre will be 200 sq.m. while the container size for theatre is 60 sq.m. The temporary building can host a very small number of people, especially under Covid19 restrictions. The reserach center conference room will be able to host about 80 people, the coworking space 24 work-stations.


How will the marketing of the horticultural good take place?


This has not yet been decided. Possibly, a brand Salus Space will be created, and the commercial strategies will be jointly decided by representatives of the civil society, the partners involved in the space management and activities and the Bologna City Council. Equipments for processing vegetable products and herbs have already been purchased.


Is there a biking path nearby? Would it be possible to add recharge stations for electric bikes?


The local district (Savena) is rich in biking paths, although the area surrounding Salus Space is not yet well connected (e.g. between C. Marx road and Salus Space, along Via Malvezza, no biking path is present). Nevertheless, the project for a creating a biking/walkable path, with an embedded green corridor was recently proposed at the city council. It would connect Villaggio Due Madonne (40139 Bologna), with Salus Space. Possibly, the biking/walkable corridor could also be connected with another existing green corridor that would span from the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of Bologna University and FICO (Viale Fanin), to Spazio Battirame (via Battirame, 11), and to the train station Roveri (Via Stazione Roveri). Further details are included in this presentation.

  • Bologna SALUS Space
  • Map of SALUS SPace
  • CoDesign Activities
  • Historical images
  • Main Building
  • Camera Iperbarica Building
  • Shipping Containers

Follow us: