THE EPILOGUE OF A PROCESS OF FOOD SYSTEM LOCALIZATION

In the last three years, FARMING THE CITY developed into an independent incubator for local food system innovation, here we present an overview of our work, waiting to re-style the website

In this post, we will explain the work we are currently doing with FARMING THE CITY and the path that brought CITIES to create the book FARMING THE CITY: FOOD AS A TOOL FOR TODAY’S URBANISATION, officially launched the 10th of April at Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam.

In 2011, we started with a global research on urban agriculture and we realized the importance of boosting “connectivity” in this field. We developed the global platform www.farmingthecity.net  and we dug deep into the local context of Amsterdam. By framing the research about the state of urban agriculture in Amsterdam, we used a new framework: THE FOOD SYSTEM. We positioned 22 innovative projects on the map an in a specific phase of the food system. In this second part of FARMING THE CITY we realized that in the urban agriculture field, much attention is paid to the localization of food production and consumption, while less importance is given to transport, packaging and waste.

In the second stage of our work, we therefore focused on the FOOD SYSTEM as our inspirational trampoline from where to spring local innovative and socially aware ideas. 2102 was the year of connectivity with other creative entrepreneurs and work within the local community.  We experimented in some areas, and deepener the research in other, for example food waste and transport. (www.voedsellogica.com and the upcoming “Pop-Up Factory”)

In doing so, we realized that food, not approached as a product, but as a process, can become a powerful tool to think about many problems of today’s urbanization. We also know that several other professionals share our opinion, therefore we decided to collect the most innovative points of view about this subject, together with the most updated examples from the global north.

In 2013, we opened up our mature and independent phase: some of the pilots we initiated last year, are now replicable formats, which we organize on a regular basis in Amsterdam. We are also working internationally with several partners; moreover, we are developing into a sustainable business incubator for innovative projects.

The OLD AMSTERDAM FOOD TOUR is organized twice a month and is gaining international attention, the urban farming course for ultimate beginners is being hold at the NoorderparkBar and other local park are showing interested in replication. CITIES’ team is advising Urban Sjøfront, from the city of Stavanger, in Norway, in order to use food as a tool for a project of waterfront redevelopment. Moreover, we recently signed a collaboration agreement with the local urban planning company EDS International, Inc. from Taipei to act as a foreign strategic planning consultant in urban redevelopment plans, which involve food related initiatives in their strategy. We also got invited from the Directory of Coordination and implementation of Regional Strategies of the Regional Council of Elbassan (Near Tirana, the capital of Albania) to set up a tailor-made training programme on food regional planning

With this future ahead and so much knowledge in our pockets, we launched the book, which is published by TrancityˣValiz and the aim of the book is to show how food can play a pivotal role in the organization and development of our urban societies and how it can be used as a tool to approach the many challenges inherent in contemporary urban life from a human, locally-oriented perspective. 
The book aims to trace a path towards a socially, culturally and economically resilient society; a place where inclusive, locally-oriented modes of production are not only possible, but preferable.  In order to clarify this, we have invited leading and inspiring thinkers and activists to write about the ways in which innovative food initiatives can contribute to our cities. Thirteen essays by artists, urbanists, policy thinkers, architects, activists and sociologists (a.o. Carolyn Steel, Kevin Morgan, Jennifer Sumner, Derek Denkla, Chris Berthelsen, Jared Braiterman, Jess Mantell and Jan-Willem van der Schans) are complemented by 100 pages of selected international projects, which we are convinced to be the most innovative and interesting ones.

CITIES is also working as a sustainable circular business incubator with two projects on the start up phase. Voedsellogica – or foodlogica – aims to develop a zero-emission logistic systems for local food, which also collects clean food waste such as coffee grounds, old fruits and veggies and misfits, closing as much as much as possible small food cycles. The other start-up is “Pop-Up Factory”: a neighborhood plastic up-cycling site and shop, where the local plastic is collected, shredded and re-designed according to the neighborhood needs and ambitions.

FARMING THE CITY is composed by projects, products and start-ups. As a consequence, we decided to changed the website www.farmingtheicty.net and make it more comprehensive and accessible to a wider public. This month the website will not be onlie due to internal restructuring, but soon our work and activities will be easily explored.

 

 

 

Created on 06 May 2013

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