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CITIES is a European urban research institute who, in late 2010, began work on a pilot project which aimed to ’empower and support the creation of a local food system’. With the pilot deemed a success, CITIES have unveiled farmingthecity.net – an online tool which showcases urban agriculture projects in Amsterdam.
Projects are displayed on an interactive map alongside case study information. This includes type of project (commercial, community, innovation), status (start-up, on-going, completed) and position within the local food system (sourcing, preparation, distribution, consumption). Farming the City aims to encourage the development of local food systems:
Local food systems build place-based, self-reliant food economies in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption come together to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. They provide employment, generate income and support social equity.
The broader issue of urban land use is also integral to the project, with detailed information on trends and local issues available on the site. By addressing common challenges and providing a venue for urban agriculture information, Farming the City aims to encourage knowledge sharing among urban farmers.
Food prices in Europe hit a record high in 2011, yet urban agriculture opportunities are still not being maximised. By reimagining green space and neglected areas, we can create more sustainable cities. Farming the City is currently Amsterdam-specific, but the concept clearly has potential for global application. If you’re based in Amsterdam and have an urban agriculture project to contribute, click the image below to join in. The wealth of information and inspiring case studies are enough of a reason for non-Amsterdam residents to visit too, so check it out – it might just encourage your own urban agriculture revolution.