2019

Article for news platform dos Ambientes

Raúl Terrile published an article on the Argentinian news platform dos Ambientes, starting from the problems of the current food systems and moving towards the possibilities of agroecological alternatives. 20 years of experience in Rosario illustrates that it is possible to develop and scale up agroecological practices, and to increase access to healthy food.

AGORA workshop JPI Urban Europe

Manten Devriendt joined the JPI Urban Europe AGORA workshop: Unfolding dilemmas in urban public space development and maintenance: Consequences for policy and research and innovation. We had inspiring discussions and exchanging with peers from all over Europe (plus Canada). The key messages identified in the event will be worked out in a policy document by the JPI team in collaboration with the participants of the workshop.

Paper 'The prefigurative power of urban political agroecology'

Chiara Tornaghi and Michiel Dehaene published a paper in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems on “The prefigurative power of urban political agroecology: rethinking the urbanisms of agroecological transitions for food system transformation”. 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.

AESOP conference agroecological transitions and food planning

The UIP research team was represented at the AESOP food planning conference ‘Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown: Food planning for the postcarbon city’ in Madrid. Hans, Chiara and Michiel gave a presentation about how to embed agroecology’s soil care principle in the urbanised society. We exchanged experiences on how a strong involvement in the agroecological community can help to accurately identify pathways for an agroecological urbanism.
  • November 7-9, ETSAM-Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Event page

Paper 'Urban manure systems and the historical articulation of the urban nutrient question'

Hans Vandermaelen published a paper in OASE#104 on the urban household of metabolism. The paper describes urban manure systems as an historical articulation of the urban nutrient question.

Debate on public land as crucial instrument for urban food policy

Catherine Fierens and Hans Vandermaelen participated in a debate in the city of Ghent about the importance of public land positions for the implementation of a distinctive urban food policy. The debate was organized by Apache, a Belgian news platform, in response to a growing opposition from local actors, including agroecological food producers, against the large-scale sale of public agricultural land.

Webinar of Urban Europe #7 "From Test to Success"

What if brave cities experimented and the infrastructure supported it? Michiel Dehaene participated in the seventh online Urban Lunch Talk organized by JPI Urban Europe. Michiel shared some of the experiences in the consortium on the experimentation in the Local Platforms and the politicizing dimension of the participative action research.

Interview for local news platform Rosario Noticias

The international attention for Rosario’s agroecological policy has not escaped the attention of the local press in Rosario. ‘Rosario Noticias’ interviewed Antonio Lattuca and Raúl Terrile about their participation in the intervisioning workshop in London in September 2019 (see below). They testify about the great international appreciation, both from a political and academic perspective, for over 20 years of pioneering work in Rosario.

Interview for Belgian news platform Apache.be

Apache interviewed Hans Vandermaelen about the urban food question for an article on the large-scale sale of publicly owned agricultural land in Belgium. The work of the local platforms both in Brussels and Rosario are discussed.

Stakeholder meeting City Hall London

As part of the London Intervisioning meeting the London Food Board hosted a policy discussion at London’s City Hall for project partners and local policymakers, to explore the potential for peri urban agroecological farming in the city and identify key stakeholders with an interest in engaging with the work of the project. As a result of the meeting initial discussions have been held with the Greater London Authority Green Infrastructure Lead about the potential for a review of the city’s greenbelt strategy. We are also working with the London Food Board to hold a joint event to further explore how London can support agroecological farming.

Soil care seminar with London practitioners and UIP team

This seminar on how and why we should protect and care for urban soils was part of the London Intervisioning meeting. It looked at the importance of soils, how they are currently under threat and local action to protect them against urban development, and explored different approaches to soil care, the links between soil, plant and human health and how urban organic waste can contribute positively to soil health.

International Intervisioning Meeting London

In September 2019 project partners met in London to share learning, develop our research plans and gain a greater understanding of the context and practice of agroecological farming in London. The meeting included site visits to peri urban farms and growing sites, presentations and discussion from local practitioners and food activists, a one day seminar on soil health and soil care, and a policy discussion with key local policymakers and stakeholders at London’s City Hall.
  • September 25-29, London
  • Link to the reporting page

Political engagement & activism seminar with London practitioners and UIP team

As part of the London Intervisioning meeting local food and land activists presented on their work and the work of their networks to promote agroecogical farming, food justice and access to land for food growing in London.

Workshop "Towards a Brussels Center for Agroecology"

The Brussels team organized 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 around 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.

Agroecological ambitions in the new Brussels Capital Region’s Government Agreement

The inspiration of the Centre for Agroecology in Rosario was one of the many incentives for a clear ambition in the actual 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.

Discussing possibilities of a Centre for Agroecology for Brussels

Based on the experiences at the International Intervisioning Meeting in Rosario, the Brussels team is discussing with local actors the possibilities of a Centre for Agroecology for Brussels. Some of the collective infrastructure that is being set-up by the Centre in Rosario is in Brussels taken-up by grassroot movements, in particular also within the project of BoerenBruxselPaysans. Together with the Brussels Environment Agency, Architecture Workroom Brussels will organise a workshop in September with a broad scope of actors from civil society, grassroot movements, government, academics on what a Centre for Agroecology could mean in Brussels.
  • March-June 2019, Brussels

Invitation by the municipality of Soldini

Local policy makers from the municipality of Soldini, part of the Greater Rosario metropolitan area, met the UIP research team during the intervisioning workshop in Rosario (see below). We were invited to visit various food practices in the peri-urban Soldini a few days later, were introduced to local food policy, and exchanged feedback and experience with local policy makers Ruben Lo Presti and Alejandro Luciani on how to develop urban food policies in peri-urban areas.

International Intervisioning Meeting Rosario

  • March 6-10, Rosario, Argentina
  • Link to the reporting page

2018

Short Food Chain Festival Brussel

Michiel Dehaene presented the project Urbanisingin Place at the Short Chain Festival in Brussels.

Roundtable Planning and Peri-Urban Land with London practitioners

Shared Assets and the Plunkett Foundation organized a roundtable to explore the planning challenges and opportunities presented by the productive management of peri-urban and Green Belt land for public benefit. The roundtable brought together planners, representatives of chartered institutions, other policy professionals and practitioners to share perspectives, understand the challenges and opportunities, and explore ways forward.