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Gaiole in Chianti 2050


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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Territorio Ltd

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.


Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Gaiole in Chianti, Provincia di Siena

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The Comune di Gaiole in Chianti (local government area).

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

The lead applicant organisation and key stakeholders are located within the Comune of Gaiole in Chianti and actively participate in the existing food system. The competition group represents a broad crossection of the community ranging from growers, distributors, environmental technical specialists and regulatory authorities. 

This group reflects the interconnected themes of this competition and vision forming exercise. PLEASE REFER TO ATTACHED COMPREHENSIVE VISION DOCUMENT.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The comune of Gaiole in Chianti is located within greater Chianti and Tuscany, central Italy. Historically the area was settled by Etruscans and sat at the crossroads of the Sienese and Florentine principalities.The landscape is representative of continuous human habitation in the area for the last 3000years. 

The area has a distinct physical, social and cultural identity shaped by historic and present-day food systems. Physically the area forms the upper catchment of the Ombrone river and consists of hills ranging between 300m to 900m above sea level. 

The climate is warm and temperate with hot, dry summers, cool winters and rain mainly in spring and autumn. The landscape is sparsely populated with small villages with a total population of approximately 3000people.  A mix of wild, natural areas and cultivated lands with grapes and olives dominating the landscape. 

Renowned for liveability, Gaiole in Chianti was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most idyllic places to live in the world. It is part of the world-renowned Chianti Classico wine region and attracts global tourism focussed on wine, food and cycling. FOR A COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS BASELINE OF THE INTERRELATED SYSTEMS IN GAIOLE IN CHIANTI PLEASE REVIEW TO THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.


Policy No single control entity looks after the constituent parts of a food system in Gaiole in Chianti with a global understanding of the impact of each element on the other.The challenge is to create this singular vision and then embed this cross-cutting thinking within the Comune. By 2050 this singular vision for the Comune must be integrated with visions for broader systems and their relevant governance agencies, and therefore the greater region to enact change.

Environment The Gaiole food system focuses on the intensive production of wine and associated agri-tourism. Agricultural, urban and natural systems are currently viewed as separate and current policy and management of land reflects this.Current agricultural practice threatens biodiversity values, soil, and water security. These threats to the ecological systems today may be irreversible by 2050 as a result of climate change and increased demand for water and food.

Diet Before 1950, Gaiole obtained the majority of their food within the area. Biodiversity was valued and utilised with the farm and forests producing the foods they had consumed for thousands of years. Today with little food produced within Gaiole in Chianti, the community relies mostly on food imports. There is currently no relationship between production of food for eating, the community and the environment.Food knowledge including seed and cutting sharing, growing techniques and cooking is practised by a few, mostly the elderly in small Ortos. This knowledge is at risk of being lost today, if not recorded and shared.

Technology While technology today is used to measure weather and microclimates, it is largely geared towards viticultural practice and the increase of yields and grape quality. There is no coordinated approach to technology used to mitigate the effects of climate change or for protection of biodiversity.

Culture The people and the environment of Gaiole in Chianti have evolved together over thousands of years. This relationship is manifested at the Poderi and landscape scales. The link between cultural identity and sense of place has weakened with the specialisation of agriculture. Culture and tradition were once obvious in the landscape, expressed in the seasons, what was grown and how it was produced and consumed. Today, the landscape of Gaiole, while incredibly beautiful, displays a landscape largely a result of economic decisions made since the 1950s and as such its authenticity and legibility has declined.

Economy The economy relies on wine and tourism hence there is little diversification in economic sectors. Climate change scenarios to 2050 show that the wine industry is threatened, increased temperatures affecting yields and wine quality. Linkages between the landscape and agricultural activity are valued from a tourism perspective, there is an onus on visitation without a complex understanding of the territory. Opportunities to support a more comprehensive tourism industry are few. A local food economy currently does not exist. If current economic practice continues to 2050 the community will be increasingly vulnerable to global markets for food imports.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.


1 Policy 1.1 Connect actors, governance and policy at all scales 1.2 The Comune of Gaiole in Chianti must integrate all strategic planning entities which impact the food system.1.3 A 5 year review of the Strategic Plan allows integration of cross cutting themes.

2 Environment 2.1 Gaiole in Chianti must consider a landscape of integrated ecological systems 2.2 Uniqueness of the landscape must express a whole food system consisting of forest, water systems, settlement & farmlands by protecting & restoring heritage & by facilitating environmental stewardship by the whole community. 2.3 Regenerative & traditional agriculture practices ensure land, ecological systems & community prosper.

3 Diet 3.1 Promote a diet of local food where nutrition, local food & wine production, biodiversity, culture are strongly interconnected with positive environmental impacts.3.2 Reconnect with past diets & develop cuisine that is relevant today by capturing the existing food knowledge & sharing.3.3 Create new cuisine based on the food system, climate & seasons,modern demographic & tastes.

4 Technology 4.1.Develop technology for ecologically informed agricultural practices. 4.2 Technological development must improve technical capabilities of farmers & other actors within the food system to protect resources including soil, water & biodiversity within the area, larger landscape & watershed. 4.3 Technological research & development must be undertaken through innovative partnerships of a diverse group of stakeholders including growers, consumers, regulators & university participating in collective & practical research & knowledge exchange to enhance common resource protection. 4.4 Demonstration projects take full advantage of traditional & existing knowledge, innovation & research & link globally to a greater network of food system research to enable information sharing.

5 Culture 5.1 Relink the relationship between growing & consuming.5.2. Strongly redefine the link between culture & landscape through agricultural practice. 5.3 Provide for opportunities in the expression of the culture of food beyond export & tourism by developing a local food economy as an alternative to the existing commercial food practices.5.4 Clarify traditional agricultural & dietary practices which clearly define the culture of the area & re-establish physical linkages within a contemporary context.5.5 Interpret & communicate the uniqueness of the landscape & the relationship with its people. 5.6 Provide opportunities for young people to stay & live in Gaiole in Chianti with a focus on economic opportunities within the food system

6 Economy 6.1 Growth of the local economy & community by a return to Gaiole in Chianti of people to live & work can be stimulated through new economic opportunities as a result of a diversified food system.6.2 Establish the population capacity based on social economic opportunities & environmental limitations.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.


In 2050, the Food System for Gaiole in Chianti is community-based, local food production and markets scaled to the capacities of the environment (soil, water and biodiversity). 

 It embraces traditions and culture expressed in the landscape, community and people. The food system celebrates the pleasure of sharing quality food and wine grown by locals and enjoyed by the community and tourists alike.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?




In 2050, the Food System for Gaiole in Chianti is community-based, local food production and markets scaled to the capacities of the environment (soil, water and biodiversity). 

 It embraces traditions and culture, expressed in the landscape, community and people. The food system celebrates the pleasure of sharing quality food and wine grown by locals and enjoyed by the community and tourists alike.


In order to realise the vision outlined above proposals will need to be developed which reflect the opportunities emerging from the challenges which have been outlined.

At present we see the opportunities for change being developed through a bottom up, top down approach. These scales and thematic variation need consolidation and coordination.

We see at the broadest level a Comune wide integrated governance framework. Whilst at the detail level a number of projects have already started recovering landscaping and moving away from specialised agriculture.


At the strategic level Gaiole in Chianti Comune through its multi functional strategic planning activities is best place to integrated the big systems thinking required as the overarching framework for the shift in the food system.   

This strategic planning can integrate broader integrated thinking related to this topic as well as consultative and or control mechanisms for the full area taking on responsibilities currently assigned to other entities.

Embedding a food based vision into this strategic plan would facilitate the linkages between all entities engaged in the food system.


The challenges to the successful transition to a 2050 food system in Gaiole in Chianti relies on a comprehensive understanding of broad systems, not only as singular entities but also as integrated systems.

In order to understand these comprehensively the following systems need to be better understood and mechanisms developed to document the complete systems.

Multiple studies have been undertaken for the Chianti area but Gaiole in Chianti has generally missed out on this level of analysis. In order to be able to shift the food system for 2050 a comprehensive systems analysis needs to be undertaken at present this is being partially undertaken as part of broader Strategic Planning for Gaiole in Chianti, but more focussed area specific systems understanding is required.

The systems which need further consideration are :

1.Water cycle analysis within the context of the broader Ombrone catchment

2.Biodiversity analysis including forestry context, flora, fauna and soils

3.Economic Sectors, with a view on understanding multiple emerging food related sectors

4.Culture and Community, clearly defining uniqueness and population thresholds for the area.

5.Food identity, consolidating information on food types within the area.

6. Regulatory framework analysis linking broader controls to local controls for the protection of landscapes, culture and agricultural practice. 


A number of site specific projects supporting a shift in the food system in the area have already commenced and would form the basis of the bottom up approach to the Food System developed for 2050.

Ultimately these individual projects will test and inform a broader strategic regulatory framework linking with the broader Comune wide Vision linking the diverse elements of the Food System. These projects could be more influential across the broader region from site specific and systems perspective with greater investment.

Our Vision has been formed by Strategic government partners and local producers both currently contributing to this top down bottom up approach for a shift in the food system .

Live projects

Permaculture Farm

Lorenzo Costa is using permaculture design, applying regenerative agricultural techniques, working with a whole-system approach, the farm has started growing old varieties of vegetables and perennials, along with annuals, grains and legumes, fruit trees and berries.

Reintroduction of Grains

Cantalici has recovered 4ha of low lying fertile land on depositional soils and has seeded antique grain types. Shifting specialised production from wine and oil to also include cereals

Biodistrict formation

Stucchi Prinetti has established the bio district for the broader area and embodies fundamental organic farming practices to cultivation

Terrace restoration and recovery

Multiple farms are restoring historic drystone walls and are recovering abandoned farms.

Mixed Cropping

Small scale mixed cropping is occuring informally mainly visible through orti scattered around the comune mainly for private consumption

Cultural Celebration L’eroica

A cultural event based around historic cycling traditions. Born In Gaiole in Chianti the event is now world wide and has at it core the culture of place. this includes celbrating food, landscape and the white roads with this landscape.

Grain Recovery Estruscan Site Cetamura del Chianti

Estrucan ancient food seeds have have been found on this site. The excavations have been ongoing for the last 50 years and have revealed a better understanding of ancient agricultural production in the area.

Potential Projects

The following projects are opportunities linking with the broader strategic thinking in order to realize the vision:

Education + R and D

Interpretative centres,agricultural schools, botanic gardens, need to be considered to support the shifts. This would also start to link a broader tourist offer and these education programs will filter into formal curriculum.


Establishing a local produce market purely selling food and goods produced in the area.

Urban Centre projects

The centres need to be reconsidered within the context of the potential population structure reflecting new economic opportunities. This is both in public and private realms.


Value add opportunities supporting new agricultural product such as textiles. Regional linkages to other industries such as fashion


Food distribution is critical to ensure the quality and supply of food. This element sits between control of the quality ie a regulatory approach but has a physical dimension which attaches itself directly to growers or a distribution market.

Mixed Cropping 

Linked with a broader subcatchment understanding, an area needs to be dedicated to mixed cropping from a agricoltural, economic and ecological performance perspective. This project is the basis for understanding the approach to a return to mixed cropping across the broader area.

Trail Head Park

The knowledge center in the broader understanding of an integrated forestry management system.

For example:

      Agri forest uses

      Monitoring of Flora and Fauna

      Monitoring of Game Populations

      Establishing sustainable game population strategies

      Upper catchment monitoring

      Recreation strategies.

 Former Quarry

 Disused quarries offer water storage potential.

       Within the broader water cycle context these quarries could provide water supply   within the context of a changing climate and demands for water.

The Sub Catchment 

This Project pulls together all landowners within a subcatchment area to work together to meet water systems and soil/nutrient systems goal. Measurable targets for water quality of discharge surface water measure performance of agricultural practice, landcover types and SW infrastructure within the subcatchment. Goals include:

      Improvement of surface runoff quality

      Rainwater harvesting technologies

       Aquifer recharge

       Interconnected with mixed-cropping processes, yield and quality targets and  forestry management.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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Attachments (1)


This document contains; brief baseline analysis, vision statement and outlines the opportunities for the Food System for Gaiole in Chianti 2050


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