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1. Background

In recent years, the city of Valencia has seen a growth in municipal initiatives aimed at strengthening urban agriculture (specifically, urban gardens). From the drafting of the Urban Agriculture Plan (PAU) in 2021, to the contracting of technical assistance to drive some of these actions, there has been a growing commitment to sustainable urban development. However, the PAU is currently in a state of pause, mainly due firstly to resource constraints, and more recently to the reorganisation of the municipal government team after the last elections. These factors have led to a temporary halt of the initiatives envisaged by the PAU.

You can consult the PAU through either of these two links:

2. The U-GARDEN Project

In parallel, the U-GARDEN project was born, a research project funded by the European Union (ENUTC-2022, PCI2022-132970) coordinated by the Universitat de València (Institute for Research in Social Welfare Policies) that focuses on urban gardens as an element to enhance urban greenery in a more social way. This project is being developed in Valencia, Göteborg, Warsaw and Brasov, and involves a wide range of actors, including universities, city councils and local associations such as the Per l'Horta Association. One of the central objectives of U-GARDEN is to support the PAU and to promote networking and collaboration between different urban gardens and collectives, offering resources to facilitate the creation of meeting spaces and, potentially, an organised network of urban gardens.


3. What the sessions consists of

The sessions organised within the framework of U-GARDEN’s Urban Living Lab are designed as spaces for meeting, dialogue, and co-design between participants from different urban gardens in the city of Valencia. These sessions seek to identify common needs, share experiences and best practices, and debate, following the principles of deliberative democracy, on the possible structure and organisation of a potential network of urban agriculture in Valencia. They are intended to be moments of collaborative learning, where everyone involved can contribute and benefit.

4. Long-term impacts

The long-term purpose of these days is to support the strengthening of the urban agriculture community in Valencia by promoting an ecological and collaborative approach to garden management. The aspiration is to facilitate the existence of a structured space that not only facilitates communication and exchange between the gardens, but also serves as a platform for continuous training and mutual support between gardeners.

In addition, the aim is to improve the visibility and accessibility of urban gardens for all citizens, thus enhancing their role in the creation of a greener, healthier and more cohesive city, based on scientific evidence that demonstrates the potential of gardens to improve the health and well-being of the population, as well as to promote social cohesion and a sense of community in the neighbourhoods.

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Session 1 – Fraternity day

On 4th of November 2023, the first day of the U-GARDEN project marked a promising start for collaboration and exchange between urban gardens in the city. Approximately 20 people, representatives and participants of different gardens, met to share their experiences and visions.

The day began at the emblematic Botja gardens in Ciutat Vella. Here, participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history and evolution of this green space, learning directly from those who have been involved in its care and development since its beginnings. The discussion focused on the internal organisation of the garden, the challenges faced over the years and its future prospects.


Afterwards, the group headed towards the urban gardens of the Benimaclet Neighbourhood Association. The initial idea was to go there by bike, but the weather conditions of the day (with strong winds) did not allow it. In Benimaclet, a guided tour was given in which the participants explored the transformation of areas that were formerly traditional orchard land into today's urban gardens. Different topics were addressed, such as the challenges of urban development and how these green spaces are adapting and resisting the expansion of the city.

The day concluded with a snack, offering a moment of relaxation and more informal dialogue. This was a valuable time for collective reflection and exchange of ideas. During this meeting, the basis for future collaboration was raised and discussed, considering the creation of a space for meeting and mutual support between the different urban gardens. The positive feedback from the participants underlined a common interest in strengthening the urban agriculture network in Valencia.


With the exchange of contact details and the promise of future meetings, this day laid the foundation stone for a project that aims to cultivate a more united and sustainable community of urban gardeners in Valencia.

Session 2 - Working session in the urban gardens of Malilla

The Second Urban Living Lab sessions, held in the framework of the U-GARDEN project on 3rd of February 2024, brought together approximately 40 representatives of the urban garden community for a day dedicated to exchange and collaboration. This meeting, which took place in the historic Alqueria del Parc de Malilla (Alqueria dels Peris) and in the Municipal Gardens of Malilla, was designed to deepen the possibility of forming a meeting space or network of urban gardens in the city.


The day began at 10:30h with a brief introduction of the participants, which, in addition to the technicians and researchers from the Universitat de València and Universitat Politécnica de València who are part of the U-GARDEN Team, included people representing the following allotments: Huertos urbanos de Malilla (Geshuma), Espai verd Benicalap, Huertos urbanos de la AAVV de Benimaclet, CSOA Horta Benimaclet, Huertos urbanos de la Rambleta, Huertos Urbanos de Sociópolis, Huertos urbanos del Grau, Huertos de la Punta and els Horts de la Botja. After a brief introduction to the U-GARDEN project, the session focused on exploring the participants' interest in creating a meeting space or network of urban agriculture for the city. Using an adapted SWOT methodology, led by the U-GARDEN team, participants discussed the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats related to the formation of such a network. Potential benefits, such as increased advocacy and the possibility of sharing resources and knowledge, as well as challenges, including coordination and sustaining members' commitment, were discussed.


The session closed with an open space for participation in which the participants' interest in moving forward or not in the creation of this space was explored. This activity led to the conclusion that there is a genuine interest among the participants in forming a network or meeting space, evidencing the perceived value of synergies and mutual support.

However, it was stressed that the current sessions, although beneficial, only represent an "informal" form of networking. The need to work on a more defined structure that can serve both the internal interests of the gardens and external representation and visibility was recognised. Despite the general enthusiasm, there was a range of opinions on the specific objectives this network should pursue and how it should be formalised and organised.

The conclusion of the day was marked by significant commitments from the U-GARDEN team. It was agreed to dedicate a specific section on the project's website to host detailed information about each of the city's urban gardens. This section will include comprehensive data such as the origin and history of each garden, its distinctive features such as size, location and typology, as well as details on the available infrastructure, the management and organisational models adopted, and any ongoing initiatives or special projects. It will also address the challenges faced by each garden, their successes and failures, and request information on the type of external support they need and their future expectations.

In addition, an online participation forum would be established to allow all interested people to interact and contribute their ideas and experiences. As part of this collaborative effort, a questionnaire would be distributed to session participants and other members of the urban garden community, with the aim of identifying priority topics for future sessions and workshops within the framework of the U-GARDEN project.


After the group work, the participants enjoyed a guided tour of the Municipal Gardens of Malilla led by several members of the Geshuma Association of Malilla. This tour allowed participants to get a first-hand view of a successful, albeit not without its challenges and complexities, initiative of municipal urban gardens.

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Welcome to the participation forum of the Valencia’s Urban Living Lab. This space is designed so that everyone interested in urban gardens can contribute to the process of creation and development of the Valencia Urban Agriculture Space/Network. Here you can share opinions, suggestions and experiences to enrich this process.

Our team will review the comments in this forum on a weekly basis in order to ensure that all contributions from people who cannot attend the conference - or who can attend the conference but want to share further elements for discussion - are taken into consideration and effectively integrated into the participatory process.

We encourage all participants to contribute to a constructive debate, always with respect and following care ethics, to foster an inclusive and collaborative community.

Contributions are completely free and can refer to the results of previous sessions as well as opinions, recommendations, etc. for future sessions.

Here are some questions that may be useful for reflection:

  • What do you imagine the collaboration between the different urban gardens within the network should be like?
  • What specific activities would you like to see organised in the framework of this network?
  • What are the main challenges your garden faces and how could the Urban Farming Network help?
  • What resources or tools do you think would be most beneficial to share within the network?
  • How do you think the network could contribute to improving the visibility and recognition of urban gardens in the city?

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Horticultural manuals

Library of horticultural manuals prepared by the network of urban gardens in Madrid, different topics

Management of sustainable urban gardens


General. Website with general information on how to grow

General. Seeds and seedlings. Initial care

General. Maintenance and care in orchards

The seeds. Instruction manual

Horticultural Crops. Alicante Provincial Council.

Introduction to organic farming

Videos on crops/products

Urban Gardens Programme. Video 8. Courgettes. Pruning and trellising.

The culinary power of plants, Stevia, with Juan Alonso, Coordinator CIEA El Huerto del Retiro.

How to sow Carrots (Urban Vegetable Garden) | La Huerta de Iván.

How to plant tomatoes. The home garden.

Canal Prestosu | Agro: How to plant strawberries in an urban garden.

How to sow lettuce and chives. Efe One Joaquín.

How to plant potatoes. The home garden.

How to Sow Aubergines - El Semillero || Cultivo Berenjena || La Huertina De Toni.

How to grow peppers successfully. Tips and Tricks | La Huerta de Iván.

How to Sow and Grow Pumpkin or Squash. Vegetable garden addicts.

How to Plant Beans || Bean Growing Step by Step. Urban Garden, Planeta Huerto.

How to Grow Fava Beans Successfully Step by Step. Bean Growing. How to plant broad beans. Planet Vegetable Garden.

How To Plant Broccoli In The Garden || Organic Garden || La Huertina De Toni.

Grow cauliflowers. Planting and sowing cauliflower from seed. Jaime's forest garden.

How to Plant Cabbage Cabbage Step by Step to Success. Urban Garden. Planet Vegetable Garden.

KALE (Kale): How to grow this super vegetable. The family garden.

How to Sow Spinach in the Urban Garden | La Huerta de Iván.

How to Plant Chard Successfully Step by Step. Urban Vegetable Garden. Planet Vegetable Garden.

How to Plant Beetroot | Urban Garden. Iván's vegetable garden.

How To Grow Radishes In Pot Container Or Urban Garden. Toni's vegetable garden.

How to sow and grow artichokes. The family vegetable garden.

How to sow and grow thistle. The home garden.


Basic home composting manual

Basic composting manual



Water and irrigation in urban gardens

Urban Gardens Programme. Installation of irrigation systems, 1st part. April 2020.

Urban Gardens Programme. Installation of irrigation systems, 2nd part. April 2020.


Urban gardens programme. Types of soil

Soil type test

How to improve and fertilise garden soil

Plot preparation

Urban Vegetable Gardens Programme. Plowing and preparation of plots of land. April 2020.

How To Prepare The Garden For Growing Or Deep Bench Method

How to Make a Soil-less Vegetable Garden "Suelo Vivo".


Video: pollinators for your garden.

Video: the pollinator garden of the Manoteras orchard

Pests and diseases

How to prevent pests and diseases in the urban garden (Bricocrack).

How to combat garden pests in an ecological way - Put a vegetable garden in your life.

Spider mite. Everything you need to know about this pest that dries out our plants. The Family Vegetable Garden.

The 3 best, cheap, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly treatments for aphids || en20metros.

Eliminate ants at home and in the garden - homemade recipe ELIMINAR PULGONAR - La Huertina De Toni.

Eliminate Fungi on plants : Home Fungicide to Fight Mildew, Powdery mildew, Rust. Orchard Addicts.

How to get rid of mealy bugs. Huertum.

Eliminates caterpillars and worms from plants. Organic insecticide. Homemade Pest Repellent. Garden addicts.

White butterfly: how to treat cabbage caterpillars. The home garden.


Mediation and communication

Mediation and facilitation


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For further information, questions, queries, etc. please contact us directly at this email address:

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