Building an agroecological urbanism requires exchange and moments of collective development.
Where are we in conversation?
ORFC session "Scaling Up Peri-Urban Agroecology: Future Strategies, Policy and Practice"
January 6th, 2022
Urbanising in Place team members collaborated with the “Fringe Farming'' and “Rootz into Food Growing” projects to deliver a session on peri-urban agroecology at the (online) Oxford Real Farming Conference 2022. Findings from the Urbanising in Place research were shared in a session that developed strategy, policy and practice for scaling up agroecological food systems in and around cities.
Resourcing and Agroecological Urbanism book published
March 8th, 2021
Foregrounding an innovative and radical perspective on food planning, the newly published book “Resourcing an agroecological urbanism: political, transformational and territorial dimensions” makes the case for an agroecological urbanism in which food is a key component in the reinvention of new and just social arrangements and ecological practices. The book is a fundamental read for all those interested in understanding the multiplicity of knowledges needed for an agroecological urbanism. The concluding chapter begins to put the preliminary results of our project in context. You can buy the paperback with a 20% discount using this code: SMA03.
SOIL NEXUS Further funding on urban soil remediation
December 1st, 2020
A coalition of partners from the Urbanising in Place project has successfully been funded by Future Earth (Pegasus 3 call) for a 12 month-project, investigating best practice and community engagement approaches in urban soil remediation. Working in the framework of agroecology, the project is titled: SOIL NEXUS – Building policy tools for water- and waste-based urban soil remediation. Alongside experimental data collection and analysis, the project runs 4 days of interactive workshops planned for January, March, May and September 2021. Among the aims of the project are i) to provide evidence of quality assessment for the agroecological remediation of urban damaged soils; ii) to gather an overview of existing best practices in soil remediation aligned to agroecological principles; iii) to raise global awareness around soil care and stewardship, and iv) to provide guidance for public policy.
Briefing 'Fringe Farming in London'
August 11th, 2020
Following a workshop event in February 2020 Sustain and Shared Assets produced a short briefing report that investigates existing farm productivity in London’s Green Belt land, identifying data gaps, structural barriers, current opportunities and steps that should be taken to allow this vision to take place.
Article on the Agroecological Centre of Rosario
June 8th, 2020
The Agroecological Center of Rosario is a strategic tool for the consolidation of agroecology in the city of Rosario and the region. The centre functions as a space in which adequate responses can be developed to the new challenges that demand healthy, high quality food, produced with inclusive technologies, without the use of agrochemicals and at the service of the development and growth of agroecology in the green belts of Rosario and Santa Fe and in their metropolitan regions.
Online course urban and peri-urban agriculture experiences in the cities of Tlajomulco (Mexico) and Rosario (Argentina)
June 6th, 2020
In an online course, Raúl Terrile of the municipality’s Food Program Secretariat presented Rosario’s experiences in developing urban and peri-urban food policies with an agroecological approach within the city and the region. He made use of the agroecological building blocks that are being developed within the Urbanising in Place project.
Soil Care with London practitioners
March 3th, 2020
Growers from projects across London came together to discuss their practices of soil care, nutrient cycling and waste management, and the potential opportunities and barriers for collective soil care. The workshop helped provide more information on the soil care practices and narrow down some clear pathways for politicising this work by (1) raising the wider public’s awareness about the importance of soils, (2) putting knowledge back into the hands of growers around soil health, and (3) working with councils/growers to direct more resources towards agroecological growing.
"The Agroecological City” in Latvia
February 27th, 2020
A local workshop, organised by Sampling and Art Academy of Latvia, aimed to involve local growing communities in the debate about diverse forms of agriculture in the city. Presentations by Liene Jākobsone, Manten Devriendt, Aleksandrs Feļtins, Māris Narvils, Nora Gavare and Līga Lepse contextualised the issue from different perspectives. The workshop was followed by a lunch prepared by the renowned Latvian chef Juris Latišenoks, using self-grown products brought by the participants.
Fringe farming in London
February 4th, 2020
The workshop explored existing practices in London in terms of growing food at the urban fringe, the barriers and opportunities to increase food production there, and how local municipalities on the edge of London can support an increase in the amount of land and people making a living and gaining skills through growing food. Participants produced a number of action plans, including to explore the potential for increasing food growing in one specific municipality, to improve joint lobbying with respect to national policy, and to develop the idea of promoting London as a Market Garden City.
The prefigurative power of urban political agroecology
November 19th, 2019
The paper on “The prefigurative power of urban political agroecology: rethinking the urbanisms of agroecological transitions for food system transformation” by team members Chiara Tornaghi and Michiel Dehaene got published in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Building on insights from the four case-studies of the project, the paper reframes agroecological transitions as a paradigmatic change in biopolitical spatial relations, economic values and planning agency.
Paper 'Urban manure systems and the historical articulation of the urban nutrient question'
October 29th, 2019
In OASE #104, team member Hans Vandermaelen published a paper on the urban household of metabolism. The paper describes urban manure systems as an historical articulation of the urban nutrient question.
Opinion piece by Liene Jākobsone and Manten Devriendt published in magazine ‘Bioloģiski’, issued by the Latvian Organic Farming Association. It introduces the research to a broader audience and suggests opportunities for agroecologically driven urban transformations in the context of Riga.
Agroecological ambitions in the new Brussels Capital Region’s Government Agreement
July 17th, 2019
The inspiration of the Centre for Agroecology in Rosario was one of the many incentives for a clear ambition in the new Brussels Capital Region’s Government Agreement. Under the chapter “Urban Agriculture'', the Government Agreement pleads not only for the strengthening of the Brussels’ Good Food Strategy, but also plans the establishment of a “scientific reference centre giving an overview of the best agroecological techniques fitting in an urban environment”, including supporting infrastructure, a seed bank and, a land observatory.
Workshop "Towards a Brussels Center for Agroecology"
September 12th, 2019
The Brussels’ team organised an evening centred on a potential ‘Centre for Agroecology’ in Brussels. It was the first time that the two main movements depicted in the Brussels’ research hypothesis - the residualised mixed farmers of the Pajottenland and the new urban farmers - met each other about the question of Agroecology. After an introductory presentation, three parallel tables focused on (1) Communities of Practice, (2) an Agroecological Programme and (3) the Zavelenberg-Hoogsteyns site in Ganshoren – Koekelberg.
Agroecology as public policy: Resourcing Agroecological Urban Food Policies
June 10th, 2021
There is a growing attention for agroecology in debates around urban food strategies and policies. Already for several years this is considered a promising policy area, and agroecology was even already mentioned in the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact signed in 2016 as one of the relevant approaches within policies for food production in and around cities. There is, however, little experience and practice on how to operationalise such agroecological policies. What are the reasons and bottlenecks for this? And what are possible strategies to move forward with agroecological urban food policies? In this seminar we will open up the floor to discuss these questions, and also learn from experiences that have pioneered agroecology as a public policy. Moderator: Henk Renting (Aeres University) Panelists: Antonio Lattuca and Raul Terrille (resp. coordinator Urban Agriculture programma and coordinator Food Programme of Municipality of Rosario and Coordinator Green Belt project Rosario, Argentina) Daniel López-García (Network of Cities for Agroecology, Spain) Andrea Calori (EStà – Economia e sostenibilità, Milan, Italy) Jan Pille (City of Brussels, Department of Environment, coordinator for development of the Centre for Urban Agroecology, Brussels, Belgium) Maddy Longhurst (coordinator of The Urban Agriculture Consortium, United Kingdom)
Seeing with the farmers: interrogating food policy from the perspective of the growers
June 15th, 2021
While peri-urban farmers de facto operate in complex urbanised landscapes they tend to not be seen as part of the urban constituencies that urban food policy plans are serving. How can cities meaningfully engage with farmers and systematically interrogate their food policy plans from an agroecological growers perspective? What collective investment strategies could be the result? Moderator: Michiel Dehaene (Ghent University) Panel: Kees van Veluw (Lecturer Permaculture at Wageningen University and Advisor Agroforestry and Animal Production at Louis Bolk Institute, KWIN alternative data collection and monitoring of regenerative and nature inclusive food production) Hans Vandermaelen (De Hongerige Stad – Movement of agroecological farmers and citizens against the sale of public farmland in Flanders, Belgium) Marian Simon Rojo (Urban & Regional Planning Department, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) Alice Gillerot (Researcher roles of agricultural collectives in the agroecological transition of territories, France) Lucie Sovova (Wageningen University and Research, the silent presence of self-growers)
Solidarity, care and the challenge of building an agroecological urbanism: the role of political pedagogies and community kitchens in bringing forward value shifts
Agroecology is rooted in a value system that includes principles of social justice, cultural sensitivity, ecological stewardship, more-than-human solidarity and care, that are territorially specific and built with communities in their particular geographies . Most research, knowledge and practice on building agroecological territorial food systems is based on rural areas. But how to bring forward agroecological value systems in an urban context saturated with strangers, and dominated by neoliberal capitalism,and contribute to building an agroecological urbanism based on care and solidarity? What kind of support and strategies could enable such a value shift and enable transformative practices to thrive in an urban context? This seminar is organised in three parts: part 1 (2nd July) explores approaches, strategies,ideas and concepts that promote value shifts; part 2 (9th July) presents examples of solidarity and care at the intersection of agroecology and feminism, coming together during the Covid-19 crisis around community kitchens and begging to build an alternative urbanism; part 3 (9th July) is an open space for community kitchen activists to come together and inspire each other, by sharing their experience around agroecology, feminism, decolonial and political work. Moderators: Chiara Tornaghi (Coventry University) Rob Logan (University of Sheffield) Belen Desmaison (she) (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) Lamis Jamil (Coventry University) Panelists & commentators: Deirdre (Dee) Woods (Granville Community Kitchen/ Land Workers Alliance/ London Food Board/ Land in our names/ Community Food Growers Network and more.) Elke Krasny, (Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and co-editor of “Critical Care: Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken planet”) Charisma S. Acey (Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, Berkeley Food Institute, University of California) Hari Byles (Compost Mentis, London) Jasber Singh (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University) Lucas Barberis (he) (Coordinator of programa de comedores, Secretaria de desarrollo social, Municipalidad de Rosario, Argentina) Abilia Ramos (she) (CENCA and community kitchen leader, Lima, Perù) Alain Santandreu (he) (Mesa de Seguridad Alimentaria, community kitchens network in Lima, Perù) Maite Rodriguez confirmed (she) (political activist and feminist based in Guatemala and director of Red Mujer y Hábitat de América Latina) Sanelisiwe “Mimi” Nyaba ( Uphakanini community kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa)