Farming the City

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15-19 September, Broedplaats Westerdok, Amsterdam.

In response to economic and environmental pressures, innovative city administrations are actively seeking temporary land and building uses that support the city and its people physically, economically and socially. Urban agriculture projects can bring positive new life to the many unproductive urban voids that are mushrooming in our cities, leading to better living environments and stimulating local economies.

Through Farming the City, CITIES and the dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening Proeftuin Amsterdam are bringing together farmers, local communities, policy makers, academics, students, architects, designers, technologists, engineers, city users, commuters and tourists to trigger imagination and share knowledge, skills and ideas about urban agriculture. By highlighting the range of innovative projects taking place around the world, it aims to promote existing projects and to explore creative new ways of taking city farming projects forward. CITIES proposes a collection of case studies and examples of urban agriculture projects from Amsterdam and all over the world. The examples of urban agriculture shown in this exhibition are divided into three groups.

Community activism
Typically, urban agriculture projects have been developed by local communities, for example produce markets, city farms and garden allotments. An emerging new public policy focus on community engagement and local partnership working is creating new opportunities for community-based projects to inspire, develop and prosper:

Innovative public policy
Local authorities recognise the benefits of encouraging urban agriculture through existing and future planning and land use policy. Supporting city farming delivers a range of benefits: providing locally-produced fresh food, greening the city, reducing waste, improving public health and enabling the growth of productive community partnerships.

Design, technology and engineering
As economic and environmental pressures rise up the political agenda, technological innovators, engineers, architects, landscape designers, planners and urban designers have responded to the need to develop more sustainable ways of living. New forms of vertical farms, green domes, roofs and walls, water gardens, green towers, green bridges and perfume jungles offer new scope and potential for the viability of urban agriculture.

During the launching event, local actors, active in the urban agriculture field, will work together to define new strategies. Eight workshops, one each city district, will be hosted by city council representatives. For the city center, a selected group of professionals from different disciplines will work on the definition of new visions and plans, while in the other districts attention will be focused on the implementation of existing plans. The final results will be presented during the opening of the exhibition.