New journal announcement: SITOPOLIS – Journal of Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems

SITOPOLIS – The Journal of Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed and open access journal focussing on urban and peri-urban agriculture and systems of urban and regional food provisioning in developing, transition and advanced economies.

The journal intends to be a platform for cutting edge research on urban and peri-urban agricultural production for food and non-food (e.g. flowers, medicine, cosmetics) uses and for social, environmental and health services (e.g. tourism, water storage, care, education, waste recycling, urban greening). It aims to explore, analyse and critically reflect upon urban and regional food production, processing, transport, trade, marketing and consumption and the social, economic, environmental, health and spatial contexts, relations and impacts of these food provisioning activities.

The journal addresses one of the contemporary grand societal challenges: how to secure the availability, affordability and access to culturally appropriate, nutritious and safe food for a growing and rapidly urbanizing world population in times of increasing resource scarcity, diet-related ill-health and climate change. This contemporary grand societal challenge requires a multi-disciplinary approach and hence SITOPOLIS welcomes contributions from a wide variety of disciplines, such as sociology, economics, marketing and consumer studies, gender studies, human and economic geography, urban and regional planning, architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, political science, agronomy, soil science, water management, and public health studies. The journal publishes original research as well as critical reviews.

The journal is published by Baltzer Science Publishers in collaboration with ACSESS, the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies in the USA and with the RUAF Foundation. Editor-in-Chief is Prof.dr. Han Wiskerke, supported by an international and multi-disciplinary editorial board.

Student-assistenten gezocht voor de Dag van de Stadslandbouw

Op donderdag 15 mei vind in De Fabrique in Utrecht de Dag van de Stadslandbouw plaats, dit jaar in samenwerking georganiseerd met het PUREFOOD netwerk dat op 14 en 15 mei haar eindcongres houdt. Voor de Dag van de Stadslandbouw zijn de organisatoren nog op zoek naar een paar studenten die hand- en spandiensten kunnen verrichten op 15 mei (o.a. bij de ontvangst van de deelnemers en bij de start van de workshop sessies). Heb je belangstelling om te helpen, meld je dan aan bij Marco Lipsius van B2B Productions (marco.lipsius (at) b2bproductions.nl).

PUREFOOD conference teaser – The many benefits of local food

On May 14 and 15 2014 the PUREFOOD conference entitled “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems” will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands). The morning of the first day (Wednesday May 14) will take place in the Central Museum of Utrecht and consists of three inspirational presentations followed by a reflection by keynote listener Professor Tim Lang and discussions in workshops. In the afternoon there will be three excursions to urban and peri-urban agriculture and food initiatives in and around Utrecht.

The second day of the conference (Thursday May 15) will take place in DeFabrique in Utrecht. This second day is a joint event of PUREFOOD and the Day of Urban Farming, with a keynote speech by Claus Meyer (founder of the New Nordic Cuisine movement and co-owner of restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, which is considered to be the world’s best restaurant) and a wide variety of parallel workshops. For more information see the conference program.

As a teaser for the PUREFOOD conference Creative Beards has made a short animation movie addressing the main issues that have been studied in PUREFOOD.

Two food and urban farming conferences in The Netherlands in May 2014

Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems

PUREFOOD Conference, May 14th, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

On Wednesday May 14th 2014, the international PUREFOOD conference will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands): “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems.” This day marks the finalization of the EU-funded PUREFOOD program. The conference is connected to the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’), which takes place on May 15th in Utrecht.

The PUREFOOD conference starts with an informal drink and local bite on Tuesday evening the 13th of May. Wednesday morning the 14th will stimulate the dialogue between you and business, government and civil society representatives, with reflections by keynote listener Tim Lang (Professor of Food Policy at City University London). Taking 3 short, inspirational talks as the starting point, we will try to find answers to the rather challenging tasks we face for the (near) future with regard to making our food system more sustainable. With the experience of 12 PUREFOOD researchers, plus the presence of experienced and well-known scholars and practitioners, we can draw from a rich ‘database’ of knowledge. The challenge will be to connect all this knowledge present and translate it into advice for and action by various actors within our food system.

Wednesday afternoon 3 different excursions are offered, all visiting Utrecht and its peri-urban fringes. During the excursion you will experience the rich history of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Utrecht. The results of the workshop sessions and discussions on Wednesday morning, will feed into 9 English spoken sessions during the Day of Urban Farming on Thursday May 15th.

For more information: www.purefoodconference.com.

Third Edition Day of Urban Farming, The Netherlands

May 14th-17th Utrecht (The Netherlands)

After two previous editions in Almere (2012) and Rotterdam (2013), the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’) has become the authoritative professional event in the field of urban and urban oriented farming in The Netherlands. During this National Platform on May 15th 2014, its 400 participants and about 80 speakers will deal with the central topic how urban and peri-urban  farming and regional food systems can fulfill the needs of Dutch cities, its inhabitants and local farmers. Participants at the conference are farmers and urban farming entrepreneurs, food & agriculture executives and executives from city and regional governments, health organizations, social institutions, real estate developers, housing corporations, universities and colleges.

The conference consist of a plenary session with keynote speaker Claus Meyer (founder New Nordic Cuisine Movement; co-owner restaurant Noma (Copenhagen) and Sharon Dijksma (Minister of Agriculture of The Netherlands). The plenary session is followed by three rounds of breakout sessions, where one will be able to discuss a broad variety of urban farming subjects in further detail. Main items in 2014 will be:

  • health and social aspects
  • business models, value creation and economics
  • cultivation in and on buildings
  • urban area development and placemaking
  • sustainability and local cycles
  • local and regional food networks
  • urban and regional food policies and planning

For English speaking participants, 9 of the 27 breakout sessions will be held in English (in co-operation with the PUREFOOD conference). During three excursions on Wednesday May 14th, one will be able to meet farmers and urban gardeners in and around the city of Utrecht and hear about their experiences. On Saturday April 17th, the general public is invited to visit urban farms and urban gardens all over The Netherlands. In this way, local residents get the chance to become acquainted with urban farming projects in their own neighborhood.

For more information: www.dagvandestadslandbouw.nl.

FOODLINKS final conference – Sustainable food communities of practice

On 16 October 2013 the FOODLINKS team organised the  conference Sustainable food communities of practice – meet and eat to present the results of its  three-year project. The conference focused on “Good cooperation between science, society and policy promotes sustainable food consumption and production” looking more particularly into:

  • How short food supply chains can effectively work as policy tools;
  • How to maximise the benefits of sustainable public procurement of food;
  • How to implement sustainable food strategies in European cities.

The conference made a special effort to actively engage the participants’ experience and knowledge in the field, and to verify the findings from the project. The conference experiences are summarised in the video below:

More about Foodlinks and the three action plans published:

Foodlinks is a collaborative project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission with the purpose of evaluating knowledge brokerage activities to promote sustainable food consumption and production: linking scientists, policymakers and civil society organizations. See the www.foodlinkscommunity.net for more information.

Continue reading

Local food hip and happening

Lots of anecdotical stories buzz around for who is looking for the local trend in food. A local ‘snackbar’ (de Patat Koning) in Rotterdam contacted local farmers for local potatoes. My colleague Jan Willem van der Schans rightly observed; ‘why can you get ten different sauces on your fries but no choice in which fries you eat’. It makes a difference from which potato the french fries are made said the connoisseur. Equally, the burger is localising. Instead of imported beef, old Dutch breeds are being rediscovered for their meat, such as the ‘blaarkop’ cow. Some foreign breeds of cows used for grazing in conservation areas have difficulty adapting to the richness of the fodder compared to their own more harsh environments. The ‘blaarkop’ is adapted to local climate, and aparantly makes excellent hamburgers……. Continue reading

Foodlinks News Issue 2

The latest issue of Foodlinks News is out!

You can read about our visit to the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain where we had a meeting with the City Council about new initiatives on organic peri-urban agriculture. We also share with you some stories from members of the urban food strategies community of practice (CoP). What kind of value did they get from participating in this CoP?

Furthermore you can see a list of upcoming and past events, new library resources as well as a list of some of our new members.

Would you also like to become a member? Sign up for the Short Food Supply Chain, Revaluing Public Sector Food Procurement or Urban Food Strategies CoP!

A key characteristic of the Foodlinks project is that it brings together different types of knowledge and experience from research, policy and civil society representatives. Foodlinks organises a collective process of sharing and integrating this knowledge around particular problems of food systems. You can read more about Foodlinks on our website and if you would like to receive the next edition of Foodlinks News you can subscribe here.  

Foodlinks News

Here you can find the first edition of Foodlinks News! In this newsletter we would like to update you on the activities of the Foodlinks project and its communities.

A key characteristic of the Foodlinks project is that it brings together different types of knowledge and experience, not only from research but also more practical and tacit knowledge from policy and civil society representatives. Foodlinks organises a collective process of sharing and integrating this knowledge around particular problems of food systems. You can read more about Foodlinks on our website and if you would like to receive the next edition of Foodlinks News you can subscribe here.

Would you like to become a member of one of our communities? Sign up for the Short Food Supply Chain, Revaluing Public Procurement or Urban Food Strategies Community of Practice!

New book – Sustainable Food Planning: Evolving Theory and Practice

Half the world’s population is now urbanised and cities are assuming a larger role in debates about the security and sustainability of the global food system. Hence, planning for sustainable food production and consumption is becoming an increasingly important issue for planners, policymakers, designers, farmers, suppliers, activists, business and scientists alike. The rapid growth of the food planning movement owes much to the unique multi-functional character of food systems. In the wider contexts of global climate change, resource depletion, a burgeoning world population, competing food production systems and diet-related public health concerns, new paradigms for urban and regional planning capable of supporting sustainable and equitable food systems are urgently needed. This book addresses this urgent need. By working at a range of scales and with a variety of practical and theoretical models, this book reviews and elaborates definitions of sustainable food systems, and begins to define ways of achieving them. Four different themes have been defined as entry-points into the discussion of ‘sustainable food planning’. These are (1) urban food governance, (2) integrating health, environment and society, (3) urban agriculture (4) planning and design. Continue reading

Conference Call – Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society

A major demographic milestone occurred in May 2007. For the first time in the history of mankind the earth’s population became more urban than rural. This process of urbanization will continue in an accelerated pace in the forthcoming decades: the growth of the world population from 6 billion people in 2000 to 9 billion people in 2050 will mainly occur in urban areas. By 2050 the urban population will approximately be twice the size of the rural population.

However, this does not mean that urban areas are or will become of greater importance than rural areas. On the contrary, the urban and the rural have always heavily relied on each other and will do so even more in an era characterized by rapid urban population growth. Cities will continue to need resources such as food, fibre, clean water, nature, biodiversity, and recreational space, as well as the people and communities that produce and provide these urban necessities and desires. Hence, key questions for the next decades are how, where and by whom these urban necessities and desires will be produced and provided and if and how this can be done in manner that is considered to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable and ethically sound.

In recent years the concept of multifunctional agriculture has emerged as an important reference in debates on the future of agriculture and the countryside and its relations with the wider and predominantly urban society. This is an expression of the fact that agriculture is not only valued for its contribution to food and fibre production and the economic development of the agro-industry, but needs to be assessed according to a much wider range of social, environmental, economic and ethical concerns. At farm level multifunctional agriculture is characterized by a variety of entrepreneurial strategies and activities, such as processing and direct marketing of food products, energy production, care for elderly and disabled people, and tourism. But multifunctional agriculture is also expressed at higher scales, such as the regional level (e.g. collective nature and landscape management schemes and regional branding) and the national level (e.g. policymaking and implementation).

Due to the multiplicity of activities, the multi-scalar character of multifunctionality and the geographical contextuality of expressions of multifunctional agriculture, research on multifunctional agriculture and changing urban-rural relations is highly fragmented, disciplinarily as well as geographically. Hence, this conference aims to advance the scientific state of the art in research on multifunctional agriculture and urban-rural relations by bringing together scholars of different disciplines (sociology, economics, spatial planning, land use planning, regional planning, urban planning, crop sciences, animal sciences, soil sciences, architecture, etc…) from all parts of the world.

Working group themes
The conference facilities allow for a maximum of 21 parallel working group sessions. The scientific committee has proposed 21 working group themes (see http://www.agricultureinanurbanizingsociety.com/UK/Working+group+themes/)   and is inviting prospective working group convenors to submit a short (max 500 words) call text for the theme they would like to convene. Proposals for a working group call text can be send to the chair of the scientific committee by email (han.wiskerke@wur.nl) before the 1st of September 2011. The deadline for submission of abstracts will be 1st of December 2011. Abstracts will have to be submitted to the convenors.

More information

Please check the conference website for more information.