An overview of projects related to urban agriculture, in which Wageningen UR researchers are or have been involved.
Wageningen UR is involved in the project ‘Farmers for Nature’ in the Biesland polder, which is located near The Hague and Delft. Farmers in this polder not only produce organic food, but also take care of nature and landscape and welcome city dwellers on their farms to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Part of the ‘Varkansen’-project has been consultancy by Wageningen UR in the City-Pig project of Delft Technical University and MDRDV Architects. This projects looks at the possibilities of pig husbandry in cities. This project offers a new perspective on the relationship between pig husbandry and urban areas.
Wageningen UR has developed the virtual suburb Agromere, together with stakeholders from in around Almere City. In Agromere, agriculture has been attributed a place in the urban living environment. The Agromere design inspired Almere City to include urban agriculture as a pillar of urban development in its concept planning vision for the Almere Oosterwold area (Schaalsprong Almere 2.0). This suburb of about 3,000 hectares will have 15,000 houses, but it will also contain food production aimed at the local population. Almere Oosterwold is projected to supply 10% of the future food demand of Almere City. Almere City aims to integrate local food production, energy production, social cohesion, local services and closed production cycles in Oosterwold.
Opportunities For Pigs
The Wageningen UR project ‘Varkansen’ (Opportunities For Pigs) develops interesting concepts for sustainable pig husbandry. A number of stakeholders come together to discuss the possibilities of new husbandry systems that take the needs of the animals, farmers, consumers, citizens and environment into account. This leads to potential husbandry systems that are much more integrated in the urban environment.
GKC Program Nature and Landscape
The GKC Program Nature and Landscape organises a so-called learning-network on city-countryside relationships. This program is coordinated by Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. The learning-network devotes much time to urban agriculture. An important goal of the network is to make sure that knowledge on urban agriculture and city-countryside relationships makes its way to schools, colleges and universities.
Food production in urban wastelands
Wageningen UR helps the city of Rotterdam in using urban agriculture as part of its urban landscaping policy. Wageningen UR also works with other urban counterparts in researching the possibilities for (temporary) small-scale, highly productive, multicultural food production in urban wastelands and disused courtyards.
Food Policy Council
The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University currently researches the possibilities of a so-called ‘Food Policy Council’ as a means to integrate diverse policy areas and facilitate the cooperation between policy makers, NGOs and the business community. This project is commissioned by the Brabant Environmental Federation and the Province of Noord-Brabant.
In ‘t Veld Commission
The In ‘t Veld Commission was created in 2008 by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Province of Zuid-Holland. The commission advised on a strategy for keeping the former buffer-zone of Midden-Delfland open and green. According tot the commission, different forms of urban agriculture can be used to involve citizens of the neighbouring cities of Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam, Schiedam and Vlaardingen in the management of the rural landscape. Arnold van der Valk of the Land Use Planning Group was a member of the In ‘t Veld Commission.
Wageningen UR interviewed citizens of Almere, Amsterdam and Tilburg-Noord with a variety of questionnaires. These were looking at the image that urban citizens have of agriculture in their own surroundings, their opinion on what the important functions of agriculture are and the ways in which they would like to use agriculture in the future.
EU-project on horticulture in the city
The Socio-spatial Analysis Group worked with universities in Vietnam and China on an EU-project involving horticulture in cities. This project looked at the possibilities of partly preserving existing horticultural areas in expansion projects for Hanoi and Nanjing. These horticultural areas were intended as ‘green lung’ areas and ‘urban overflows’. At the same time the project assisted farmers with the translocation and modernisation of their businesses.
The Landscape Supermarket
Wageningen UR and Van Bergen Kolpa Architects have jointly created the concept of the ‘Landscape Supermarket’. In this concept the metropolitan parks that are being developed in the Randstad area are used for regional and specific food production for the Randstad. The scale-model for the Landscape Supermarket was part of the exhibition Foodprint of the Stroom Foundation in The Hague.
Conference on Sustainable Food Planning
The Rural Sociology and Land Use Planning Groups of Wageningen University are currently organising the first European conference on Sustainable Food Planning, in cooperation with the School of City and Regional Planning of the University of Cardiff. This conference focuses on the relationship between food and sustainable urban development. The conference aims to create a European network of researchers, policy makers and planners who are (or will be) involved in food production in and around cities.