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Metropolitan Food Systems and Planning Opportunities and Challenges Prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk Wageningen University The Netherlands

The Part Planners Play Food systems Planning in Metropolitan & Urban Areas:

Alleged Benefits and Challenges

Content • Key concepts • Impressions from New York City • Urban and regional food Systems and Spatial Planning: Theory and Practice • Best Practices from all over the globe • Lessons

Metropolitan Food Systems Planning a novel perspective on urban, peri-urban and regional development

Food systems planning concerns food production, distribution, retail, consumption, waste disposal, jobs

Urban and metropolitan food systems (UMFS) 1. UMFS is a multi-faceted phenomenon 2. UMFS is research tool which helps in understanding and assessing patterns in urban and regional development 3. UMFS is a planning concept which sheds new light on urban rural and regional land use planning.

Spatial Planning Revisited Spatial planning is the accomplishment of meaningful links - between ongoing and future actions projects and strategies impacting on the spatial organisation of a territory. Making sense of complex reality. Plans and policies are conceived as frames for the use, management and design of the physical environment and landscape – as perceived by the people. Planning is effectuated primarily through dialogue, design and decision making.

New York City: Eye-opener

Educational and aesthetic value of gardens.

Roof Top Farm in Queens: Crop Mob

Compost Free for Everyone

Survival without a green card in the Bronx.

Urban agriculture in Bronx.

Urban Ag for Sustenance of the Poor

Proliferation of farmers markets.

Whole Foods Market. Healthy, local, commercially viable –

For the wealthy few?

The revival of agriculture in the Hudson Valley.

The Part Planners Play in US • Planners take stock of complex process of food chain (collect data) and land use implications • Produce zoning ordinances and environmental impact reports inducing opportunities for urban agriculture • Mapping access to healthy food.

Urban and Regional Food Systems and Planning: Theory and Practice

The Part Planners Play

Source: Wiskerke 2009

Directions in U&M FSP  Need to (re)define rural, (peri-)urban, agricultural, parks and plantations, waste, storm water systems, energy systems, earning capacity of buildings a.o.  Need for re-invention of rules of thumb ratios and design concepts in (mono-functional) land use planning, urban planning and landscape architecture – both in academia and in practice.  Sustainable Food Systems Planning is Embedded in Emerging Collaborative Planning Paradigm (Government to Governance) – institutional change don’t come easy!

Urban Growth strategiesPlay Green and Low Density

NYC and Detroit • NYC scars of 70s: community gardens, allotments •

guerilla gardening

roof top gardens

vertical farming

• Commercial horticulture: Hantz Farm Project


Compact City

Auckland NZ • Reduce energy consumption costs and other costs of suburbia • Intensify along public transport routes and nodes • Build within Urban Growth Boundaries • Prefer Medium and High Density Building

Production: Ring in Food Chain

Urban Agriculture

Best practices from all over the globe

Australia zoning

The story of peri urban agriculture in Australia is one of short term intensive farming which regularly relocates in the face of urban demand

urban growth boundaries state policies urban footprints

Hanoi: stated preferences by urban residents Choose

1 out of 4 pictures representing future use of the urban area near your house

The Nairobi case: periurban areas


German Health Improvement and Prevention Research Programme (BMBF): the Casablanca Case

Casablanca Case Studies: exploring daily life in the peri-urban area – Ouled Ahmed

Land use and residence

Work place residence and commuting

The Urban

The Rural

Scenario Process: Seven Sectoral Scenarios Urban Development Casablanca Food Basket Migration and Socio-Cultural Practices Water Urban Economy Energy Regional Climate

urban agriculture

urban development

Integrated Objects

governance technical support

climate change

Sub-Concept 1 Urban Agriculture as space for regional food production

The food items of Casablanca Source: University of Hohenheim

Urban and Rural – New Linkages and Synergies

+++ +++ +++ +++

food provision +++ regional products and markets +++ recreational space +++ beautiful landscape +++ natural heritage joint water use +++ water treatment systems +++ risk management +++ income generating activities ++ open space production +++ healthy habitat development +++ resource and energy efficient cycles +++ peri-urban tourism adapted technologies +++ city as an innovation multiplier +++ reduction of CO2 emissions +++ network +

Pilot Project 1: Urban Agriculture + Industry Establishing a water-reuse management between an industry estate and adjoining agriculture combining advanced technology and simple systems

Pilot Project 4: Urban Agriculture + Healthy Food Production Building up a healthy urban foodstuff production in the peri-urban area and securing better income potential for the small farmers by teaching organic farming

Proposal Summerschool MĂŠdiouna 2010 - Hyperproductive Rural Zone

Project-Study Precise Urban Agriculture

Planning and Research • Step 1: Establish Values and Goals of Participants pertaining to Food Safety, Sustainability, Health, Economy, Landscape • Step 2: Assess Rings in Regional Food Chain – Land Use, Land Tenure, Farming, Waste, Logistics, Energy, Water Management, Ecology • Step 3: Dialogue and Co-design, New Spatial Design Concepts, Joint Learning, Projects. • Step 4: Monitoring, Re-assessment, Iteration in Process.

The Flemish Garden City


Productivity of vegetable gardens (2007) (Internet survey)

Rough extrapolation for garden area in Flanders (not validated)

Flemish professional agriculture & horticulture (LARA, 2007)

Reference %


215 kg/ha

9,700 tons

1,400,000 tons



250 kg/ha

16,000 tons

630,000 tons



506 kg/ha

13,000 tons

2,000,000 tons


1,500 pieces/ha

52 million pieces

2,750 million pieces



Source: V. Dewaelheyns 2012

* Internetsurvey in Flanders (2007) // N=1.138

current food production

Lessons • Metropolitan Food Systems – a promising new perspective in spatial planning. Relocalisation of food. • Food system is chain – urban agriculture is a ring in the chain. • Urban environment is potential resource for sustainable agriculture: nutrients, energy, labour, knowledge, investment capital and growing market for whole foods.

Conference_AGRICULTURE THROUGH THE CITY_Arnold Van Der Valk_Metropolitan Food Systems and Planning  

Opportunities and Challenges Prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk Wageningen University The Netherlands The Part Planners Play Food systems Plannin...

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