Conversations towards an Agroecological Urbanism

Join us for a series of webinars in which we will explore the contours of a transformative agenda for urban agroecology. In the course of these webinars we will explore concrete ways in which cities need to change if they were to become supportive environments for an agroecology based urban food systems transition.

The webinars seek to bring sustainable food planning and political agroecology into conversation. The webinars are part of the Urbanising in Place project which looks at agroecological food growers as stewards of the food water energy nexus. Urbanising In Place seeks to break with logics of urbanisation that destroy soils and soil life, marginalise farmers, and make urban dwellers dependent on linear and highly commodified food supply chains. Working with communities of practice in London, Brussels, Riga and Rosario, the project defined a programmatic agenda for an agroecological urbanism in the form of 8 building blocks which identify points of articulation between the separate worlds of agroecology and urbanism.

Webinars will start from synthetic presentations of some of the strategies explored within the project. These will be followed by a debate with invited guests pioneering work of inspiration for building an agroecological urbanism.

WEBINAR 1: Agroecology as public policy: Resourcing Agroecological Urban Food Policies

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.

Henk Renting (Aeres University)

– 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)

This event has ended. Recording will be available on this website soon.

WEBINAR 2: Seeing with the farmers: interrogating food policy from the perspective of the growers

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?

Michiel Dehaene (Ghent University)

– 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)

This event has ended. Recording will be available on this website soon.

WEBINAR 3: 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.

PART 1 ( DAY 1)

– Chiara Tornaghi (Coventry University)
– Rob Logan (University of Sheffield)

Panelists confirmed so far:
– 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)

This event has ended. Recording will be available on this website soon.

PART 2 (DAY 2)


– Belen Desmaison (she) (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)
– Chiara Tornaghi (she) (Coventry University)

Panelists confirmed so far:

– 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 )

PART 3 (DAY 2)

– Lamis Jamil (Coventry University)
– Chiara Tornaghi (Coventry University) 

Community kitchens working in the framework of feminism, and/or agroecology, and/or decolonial politics, willing to be part of this event are invited to get in touch with the organisers.

This section will be rather informal. There will be time for briefly presenting themselves and then a facilitated section for exploring the scope and agenda for knowledge sharing within a global network of community kitchens at the interaction of feminism, agroecology, decoloniality and food commoning.

Confirmed so far:
– Sanelisiwe “Mimi” Nyaba ( Uphakanini community kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa)