Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

One of the projects presented was the first of Gotham Green's hydroponic farm in New York, USA. (source: André Viljoen 2011)

Katrin lectured in Germany on Productive Urban Landscapes

This Wednesday, Katrin gave an (online) lecture to Masters’ students of the Urban Management programme at Technische Universität (TU) of Berlin and of the Urban Planning programme at Technische Universität Cottbus. She spoke about urban agriculture linking it to the Productive Urban Landscape discourse on the one (mainly spatial) side and to the Circular City…

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Elevated light-weight bridges allow for flowing agricultural landscape and unhindered production as well for unexpected views. (source: Alkisti Volonasis and Romila Faye Strub 2020)

Productive urban landscapes as a response to intense urbanisation in Peru

We are pleased to share the Masters’ thesis project Lima 4.0: Territorial fragility as an agent of agricultural innovation by Alkisti Volonasis and Romila Faye Strub who recently graduated from Politecnico di Milano’s MSc in Architecture. Alkisti contacted us about a month ago, and since then we have exchanged several emails about their design research…

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Still from the project’s explanatory video (source: COST Action Circular City 2020)

Cost Action tackles the complexities of circular city planning

On Friday, 23rd October, the 4th day-long meeting of the COST network project Circular City happened online. More than 60 participants from nearly all European countries continued their discussions on the circularity opportunities and challenges that individual nature-based solutions may have to make cities more sustainable and resilient. To visualise to its wide audience what…

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The RIBA Journal’s contents page included the statement: 'Sustainability defined; air-con bad, urban farms good'. (source: Andre Viljoen 2020)

Sustainability defined; air-con bad, urban farms good

In September 2020, the editor of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Journal asked readers to respond to the question ‘How best do you define ‘sustainability’, that very elastic word?’ We were pleased to see that ours was one of three letters to be published in the October edition of the RIBAJ as response…

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Roxana Triboi, one of our winners, shared details of her project on Urban Pastoralism. (source: Petrut Calinescu From the Series 'Living on the edge: Bucharest' 2017)
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Productive Urban Landscapes blog celebration: The winners are…

Last month, we celebrated the publication of THE 100TH POST on this blog which happened somewhen in August 2020. We had invited our readers to send us their answers to the question “What is a productive urban landscape?” Thanks to everybody who responded with their thoughts or congratulations! It has been (is) a pleasure to…

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18 Berlin community gardens were part of the winning project. (source: Monika Egerer 2020)

Spiel/Feld Marzahn is part of project to win UN Biodiversity Award

Last week, the Wild Pollinators Project received an Award for Biological Diversity in the UN Decade contest by the German Offices of the United Nations’ Decade on Biodiversity. Spiel/Feld Marzahn has been one of the partners in the project led by the National History Museum Berlin [Museum für Naturkunde Berlin] and the Technical University of…

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There is a need to integrate the ‘urban’ and the ‘spatial’ sides of the food system into future urban and regional planning. (source: Katrin Bohn and Dong Chu 2019)

Katrin Bohn co-edits Special Issue on urban food planning for Wiley journal

The course is now set for a Special Issue in the journal Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems published by Wiley and edited by Sarah Lovell on behalf of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. The Special Issue will feature selected papers presented at last year’s international 9th AESOP…

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Tim Rodber and Dominic Walker Greater London Agriculture (source: RIBA www 2020)

Rethink 2025 for our post-pandemic world (and London in 2045)

Yesterday, the RIBA Journal has announced three joint winners for the architectural competition Rethink 2025 set up as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition proposed that ‘Now more than ever, we need to design spaces and buildings that contribute to the health and wellbeing of everyone. Architects have a vital role to play…

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The deceptively simple four-box decision-making framework developed by the RSA and discussed in relation to food (source: Sustain webinar 2020)

Making sense of it: Tools for developing food strategies

Last week, Andre Viljoen participated in the webinar Making sense of it: What’s happened and what next? about tools for developing food strategies following on from the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar was hosted by two UK organisations, SUSTAIN The alliance for better food and farming and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures…

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Cultivative Design: First phase of use: Sowing the Seed (source: Casey Parsons www 2020)

Cultivating Architecture at Uni Brighton’s end-of-year show

After a turbulent (online) pre-view night (with live music!) on Friday 3rd July, the School of Architecture and Design’s end-of-year show is now open. We were both not teaching this year but would like to share the Master’s of Architecture project of Casey Parsons who, this year, has been taught by our colleague Charles Holland….

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A “Covid-19 lockdown” micro rooftop farm in Southwark, South London (source: Bohn&Viljoen 2020)

Bottom-up & top-down CPUL City Actions in Southwark, London

During London’s Covid-19 lockdown, it has been very evident how spaces immediately adjacent to homes started to be reclaimed and reused. As well as noticing people using the traditional deep window sills as places to sit, food growing has become evident. Taking a five-minute walk from our base in the London borough of Southwark, one…

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Building work at the future Parc Agro-Urbain in Bernex in June 2020 (source: Verzone Woods Architectes 2020)

Works started on urban agriculture park near Geneva, Switzerland.

In June, the grading and path works started on one of Europe’s first designated urban agriculture parks in Bernex-Confignon, near the Swiss city of Geneva. Swiss practice Verzone Woods Architectes are leading the project who won its public competition in 2013. The Parc Agro-Urbain Bernex et Confignon in Geneva’s metropolitan region reveals the image of…

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The schoolgarden, a distinct part of Spiel/Feld, in April, with its new sun shading in place (source: Spiel/Feld www 2020)

Wild Pollinators Project starts at Spiel/Feld Marzahn.

Planned since several months, the Wild Pollinator Project (full title Bienen, Bestäubung und Bürgerwissenschaft in Berlins Gärten'[Bees, pollination and crowd science in the gardens of Berlin]) has just started in the neighbourhood garden Spiel/Feld to the Northeast of Berlin that Katrin had co-initiated in 2011. The project is a collaboration of Spiel/Feld with the National…

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The indoor farm in Högdalen, with lettuce in different stages of development (source and caption: Rebecka Milestad www 2019)

Swedish researchers’ complex study of the pros and cons of urban indoor farming

‘… many assumptions are made, and expectations held, about urban indoor farming from a sustainability, food production and food provisioning point of view. These assumptions and expectations need to be tested and assessed…’ With these words, a recent paper by Swedish researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, and Stockholm University starts. Rebecka…

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Discussing Akito Murayama’s research on spatial planning and design for Tokyo’s Agri-Residential Mixed Neighborhoods (source: Andre Viljoen 2020)

International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) symposium

As part of the North American IALE Association’s annual conference, Andre Viljoen joined Prof Makoto Yokohari from the University of Tokyo and colleagues from Canada, USA and Japan to convene a special symposium on Borderless Landscapes: Envisioning resilient urban/rural mixed landscapes with agri-activities/lands. The conference was scheduled to run from the 11th to 14th May…

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Food production, logistics and marketing near Castrop-Rauxel in the Ruhrgebiet (source: Ulrich Häpke 2020)

Urban agriculture as green infrastructure element in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany

Spatial planner Ulrich Häpke made us aware of an article he recently published in sub\urban, the German journal for critical urban research. His article, Urbane Landwirtschaft im Ruhrgebiet: Verdrängung und kreative Resistenz [Urban agriculture in the Ruhr region: Displacement and creative resistance], explores the changes to agricultural practices and spaces within the Ruhrgebiet due to…

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The 'Trames Vertes', a mosaic connecting green spaces in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, based on the CPUL concept (source: Hamidou Baguian Municipality of Bobo-Dioulasso 2013)

Food for Cities group: Conversations about Covid 19

It is impossible not to think about the influence the coronavirus pandemic has and could have on food systems and the relationships between urban and rural areas. A great deal of proactive, critical and inspiring discussion is underway between academics, practitioners, policymakers and activists worldwide. It reflects the urgency to fight against food insecurity and…

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Extract of the flyer advertising the seed exchange at Allmende-Kontor (source: Allmende-Kontor 2020)

INVITE: Resistance with distance! Seed exchange and joint film this Friday

Urban gardeners in Germany embrace new opportunities to allow the gardening seasion to start during the current corona pandemic. Please feel free to join them this Friday 17th April 2020 for two events: At 7pm, the “joint film watching” of O´pflanzt is – 6 Jahre Gemeinschaftsgarten happens on Zoom using these entry details: Meeting-ID: 734…

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E-book cover of Innovative Practices in Portugal: From production to sustainable consumption (source: Delgado, C. (ed) 2020)

Innovative food practices in Portugal

Urban planner and architect Cecília Delgado from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal, made us aware of her latest publication, the e-book Innovative Practices in Portugal: From production to sustainable consumption [Alimentar boas práticas: da produção ao consumo sustentável]. This is what Cecília says: ‘The e-book, published in Portuguese March 2020, compiles 46 current initiatives that…

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Drawing showing part of New York City (Steady) State (source: terreform www 2020)

The passing of Michael Sorkin

On the 26th of March 2020, Michael Sorkin, the New York based architect, academic and critic passed away as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Sorkin was a prominent and prolific advocate for rethinking cities in such a way that they could operate within the limits of the Earth’s carrying capacity while being more…

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