Making agriculture relevant to social issues is the key of my professional ambition. I aim to build bridges between people and organisations and between the seemingly polar opposites of agriculture and urban life. After all, it's people who shape changes in society. Design, research, organisations and government are instrumental in this evolution.
It was a new approach in the early 2000 when I started with the idea of re-connecting the city and agriculture. However, I had the feeling that both had to connect at some point while we work towards a sustainable future. Together with my colleagues and pioneers in urban agriculture, I was able to convene relevant parties, open the discussion and search for common goals. Agromere, the virtual urban-rural district in Almere, which will feature in the development of Almere Oosterwold, was one of our first milestones. The Dutch city network urban agriculture (2010-2016) and its urban agriculture charter was a subsequent milestone.
Urban agriculture has gained a solid footing in the Netherlands over the past few years. In this period, the scope of action has grown from carrying out pioneering activities to deepening our knowledge and broadening the application. I am currently working together with colleagues on social, economic and environmental aspects of feeding the city, in national and international context. I am also part of the AMS -Amsterdam Advanced Metropolitan Solutions- team which elaborates research programme for Almere Flevo Campus. Beside these professional actions, I have the ambition to write a PhD thesis about the transition of our food system, with particular focus on the emergence of a new urban food landscape in Oosterwold (Almere, NL). I carry out the PhD research part-time at Aeres University of Applied Sciences Almere since 2017.