Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept


The CPUL concept

A Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL) is an urban (green) infrastructure linking food-producing sites of varying scales and operating types with other (green) open spaces right across a town or city thereby connecting all those parcels of land to the citizens as well as to other food system activities and ultimately to the rural landscape. Bohn & Viljoen (2005)

The CPUL City concept describes an urban future based on the planned and designed introduction of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes – interconnected food-productive landscapes defined by urban agriculture – into existing and emerging cities. CPUL City is an environmental design strategy and has fundamental physical and social implications. It follows a systemic approach and proposes that urban agriculture can contribute to more sustainable and resilient food systems while also adding beneficially to the spatial and socioeconomical quality of the urban realm. A CPUL facilitates activities across all parts of the urban food system. It will not meet all of a city’s food needs, but it could meet about a third in fruit and vegetable requirements. Viljoen & Bohn (2000)

October 2020: Food-productive urban landscapes and planning legislation
April 2020: Coronavirus, food and urban design




How to make a CPUL City: 1 Bring your own city. 2 Map all your existing open spaces and connect them through green infrastructure. 3 Insert agriculturally productive land. (note: you may wish to alternate between 2 and 3.) 4 Feed your city! (image: Bohn&Viljoen 2004)


References: Viljoen, A., Bohn, K. and Howe, J. (eds and co-authors) (2005) CPULs Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for sustainable cities, Oxford: Architectural Press. / Viljoen, A. and Bohn, K. (2000) Urban intensification and the integration of productive landscape, in: Sayigh, A. (ed) (2000) Renewable Energy: The energy for the 21st century, vol. 1, pp. 483–488, Oxford: Pergamon Press.

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