Descriptive Summary

Salus Space, in the suburbs of Bologna, is a vibrant example of redeveloped multifunctional urban space, with the aim to favor social integration and local food production. The space includes a blended housing for elderly, migrants, refugees and young families, as well as a Syrian restaurant, a library, a vegetable garden and common areas for workshops, art and a weekly local market. Salus Space also hosts an innovative indoor hydroponic system developed within two shipping containers and used for the production of mushrooms, lettuce, kale, microgreens and much more, which represents the first demonstration case of UNIBO within FrontAg NEXUS project.


The demonstration case was developed from a collaboration between the Municipality of Bologna and the University of Bologna, in the framework of a previous Horizon project.

Aims and Goals

The simplified hydroponic system in Salus Space aims to serve as a model for sustainable urban production and development, advocating for an optimized use of cultivation resources (e.g., water, land, fertilizers), a reduced ecological footprint, and positive impacts on social inclusion. Furthermore, Salus Space center endeavors to develop and demonstrate innovative approaches to urban agriculture and sustainable construction, serving as inspiration and a model for other cities.

Through the collaboration with the University of Bologna, the simplified hydronic system in Salus Space provides opportunities for research, education, and hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture and urban development.

Actions taken

One capacity building was already developed. It particular it consisted in a workshop involving 40 students on grafting of horticultural crops (tamato, cocumber) with a specific focus on application in hydroponic systems.

Main Achievement to date

By transforming modular shipping containers into innovative spaces for living, dining, and indoor agriculture, Salus Space demonstrates a holistic approach to urban development that prioritizes sustainability, community engagement, and environmental stewardship. Additionally, Salus Space's collaboration with the Municipality and University of Bologna showcases effective partnerships between local government, academia, and private initiatives to address urban challenges and promote positive change. Overall, the main achievement of Salus Space is to serve as a tangible example of how urban areas can be reimagined to harmoniously coexist with sustainable agriculture while enhancing the quality of life for residents. The demonstration case already served as a show case during capacity building activity.

Lessons, replicability and scalability potential

the system is a great example of how agriculture can be integrated into urban fabric thanks to the application of innovative technologies.