European Urban Agriculture
Henk de Zeeuw & Marielle Dubbeling
Urban Agriculture Programme
Consultants In Development Programmes
Kastanjelaan 5, P.O. Box 64
3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands
Tel: +31.(0)33.4943086 Fax: +31.(0)33.4940791
ETC, in collaboration with TUAN, is working on a programme "Urban farming and productive re-use of organic wastes as a strategy for sustainable cities; an inventory and analysis of European experiences on Urban Agriculture".
In Europe urban agriculture is increasingly recognized as a realistic and desirable land use option in urban areas and an integral part of the urban productive system. In Western Europe the main interest in urban agriculture may be from the point of view of environmental management (last year the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries published a discussion paper on the role of urban agriculture in enhancing the urban environment); in Central and Eastern Europe the potential of urban agriculture for enhanced food security, employment creation and small enterprise development is increasingly acknowledged as well.
Until today no major inventory of European experiences with Urban Agriculture has been done. To fill this gap, a research proposal has been developed that aims at:
- bringing together available information and expertise on urban farming systems, actors and trends in Europe;
- facilitating regional and European networking among stakeholders in urban agriculture; and
- providing assistance to a number of local organizations in the development of urban farming systems and integration of urban agriculture in urban policies and planning.
In addition ETC took the initiative to establish a European Support Group on Urban Agriculture with the participation of organizations like the European coordination of Gardeners Associations, International Coalition for Local Environmental Action, European League of Local Authorities and other organizations interested in the promotion of urban agriculture.The European Support Group aims at:
- Stimulating the 'dialogue' on urban agriculture between city councils, citizens, farmers and other stakeholders on both local, regional and European level.
- Discussing present and future research and policy development with regard to sustainable urban agriculture and development.
- Facilitating regional and European networking among stakeholders in urban agriculture and providing information and support to individual persons or organizations in the development of urban farming systems and integration of urban agriculture in urban policies and planning.
However, as ETC has been mainly working in the "Third World" we are not very familiar with Central and Eastern European countries. We would like to know of any European contacts or organizations interested in urban agriculture or case studies of potential relevance to the above described research programme.
We would be very pleased to receive any information you have on urban agriculture in European context.