The Feeding City

Contact: Ulf Hackauf

In 2022, the city of Almere will host the FLORIADE, the worlds largest horticultural exposition. For this exposition, a new city quarter will be built. It will host exhibitions and serve as a showcase and laboratory for future green cities during the exposition and transform into a permanent housing area after 2022. The urban plan was developed by MVRDV and is illustrated on their website.  The ongoing area development is documented on the site of the municipality of Almere.

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The motto of the biennale is Growing Green Cities. In preparation of the exposition, the AMS-institute started a research collaboration with Almere develop and test new concepts for these Green Cities. The name and focus of this research collaboration is The Feeding City. Researchers from AMS, Wageningen UR and TU Delft will collaborate on projects, which explore new ways for food production, food distribution and waste processing in an urban context. It is interesting to remember, that Almere is a so-called New Town, which was planned and built after the ideas of Ebenezer Howards Garden City, which was arranged around agriculture and food production. The polycentric plan of Almere was originally including patches of productive green. These areas were rarely used by farmers, but today these ideas return.

Local food production today needs a clear aim and purpose. Western cities cannot produce enough food for their inhabitants inside of the city. But to place parts of the food production in or around the city can contribute to other topics than mere production. The Feeding City research program started working on four of these topics:

Four research topic

Healing Green – H
ow can local food production support the health and social cohesion of the cities inhabitants?

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Smart quality food production and logistics

What could be new business models to produce, process
and/or distribute food in the city? How can it stimulate local economies and create jobs?

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Circular neighborhood

How can food production help closing nutrient, energy and water cycles on neighborhood level?

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Sustainable bottom-up development “Oosterwold”

What are the implications of a bottom-up neighborhood, where freedom and responsibility are pushed to the extreme and how can (urban) agriculture play a role in this?