Cascina CuccagnaMilan, Italywww.cuccagna.orgDescriptionLa Cascina Cuccagna is an experimental center for urban horticulture in Milan. It functions as acultural probe that shows a city, known all over the world for its greyness, what possibilitiesand opportunities the city has.Citizen RoleVolunteer gardeners care for the orti within the boundaries of the Cascina. The citizens actas the network that communicate this new and rather daring idea to the city of Milan. Perhapsmost importantly, the citizen talks to others about the success of the project and gets othersmotivated to create their own cascine.Degrees of InvolvementCascina Cuccagna requires a handful of people to be completely dedicated to the farmhouse.This dedication, or rather a familiar face, builds trust and a sense of camaraderie that can beseen, felt, and communicated throughout the city.
Contact Person Responsibilities:Volunteers must be coordinated and made to feel useful. Coordinators must be able to identifytasks that need to be completed, and assign those tasks to able and willing volunteers.Contact persons must be able to clearly and easily communicate the mission of the cascinato the public. This means they must be able to understand the social structures andunderstandings of physical public space that currently exist in Milan. By inviting the public into apreviously walled-off space, the public is taken out of their comfort zone and their expectationsare challenged.Public RoleCitizens of Milan have an opportunity that has not existed since WWII, when Piazza del Duomowas converted to a victory garden. The chance to garden, the chance to grow produce is not somuch about practicality or produce, but rather questioning the capitalistic and feudalistic waysthe city (and country) are being governed. Citizen participation in this organized guerilla gardenare making a statement Italy desperately needs to be made.Service DiagramEnabling SystemsCascina Cuccagna is currently organized by the public space and action group - Esterni.
Formed to catalyze the appreciation for public space and land, the group works as thecoordinator between donors, governments, and other financially interested parties.Role of Digital EnvironmentThe Cascina, though it could function entirely well without a digital platform, benefits from themaintenance of a blog, a Flickr account, and a detailed and updated events page that keepsthose interested coming back to the cascina. Also, because of the city’s established role inleading the world in new and experimental design, a digital platform for the Cascina allows thisrare and unique place to be shared with many who may either try to replicate it or find ways tomake it better.Background / HistoryThe Cascina Cuccagna was rescued from demolition by Esterni in 2008. The site had beena family farm, the land of which was slowly chopped off and sold. During WWII, the site wasbombed and the property abandoned. Since then, the site has been used for more purposesthan most care to remember.Public & Collaborative Services: Case StudyNeighborhood Care: Christopher Patten