Productive urban landscape, foodscape, urban horticulture and the edible city
June and October 2020 saw the publication of two academic papers on urban food that reference the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL) concept when contextualising their own work within the various definitions of food-related urban design concepts. This is of interest to us as we have followed the emergence of the urban agriculture and urban food systems discourse over the last 20 years. We are well aware that practitioners, activists and researchers working within this field often use different terms for the same subject whilst, at the same time, each term may hold a slightly different focus. In the following two papers, all concepts described meet in the reference to an edible landscape or edible city.
In their article Foodscape: A scoping review and a research agenda for food security-related studies, Simon Vonthron, Coline Perrin and Christophe-Toussaint Soulard present a review of the literature examining how the term ‘foodscape’ is employed and framed: ‘Analyzing 140 publications, we highlight four approaches to the foodscape: (i) Spatial approaches use statistics and spatial analysis to characterize the diversity of urban foodscapes and their impacts on diet and health, at city or neighborhood scales. (ii) Social and cultural approaches at the same scales show that foodscapes are socially shaped and highlight structural inequalities by combining qualitative case studies and quantitative surveys of food procurement practices. (iii) Behavioral approaches generally focus on indoor micro-scales, showing how consumer perceptions of foodscapes explain and determine food behaviors and food education. (iv) Systemic approaches contest the global corporate food regime and promote local, ethical, and sustainable food networks’. The authors point out that looking only for the term ‘foodscape’ does ‘not encompass all food environment or food system studies’ and that ‘closely related terms include for instance the ‘edible landscape’, another term designating the spaces producing food within the city, in landscape and architectural design’ quoting the CPUL concept.
Falko Feldmann and Ute Vogler, in their article Towards sustainable performance of urban horticulture: Ten challenging fields of action for modern integrated pest management in cities, identified ‘ten current key challenges for plant protection in cities each of them belonging to a specific field of action of integrated pest management (IPM) in urban horticulture’. The authors distinguish the term ‘urban horticulture’ from ‘urban agriculture’ as focussing ‘on plant production and use only’ taking place in ‘open fields, greenhouses, on roof tops, sky farms, at house walls, fallow gaps between buildings, and inside of houses, including private and public buildings. Public parks and public open spaces are even thought as places for food production, e.g. in “edible city concepts” (Bohn and Viljoen 2010)’. The ten challenges include: 1: Appropriate plant selection for urban horticulture; 3: Nutrient recycling; 5: Diversification of urban vegetation; 6: Avoidance of side effects on beneficials and 10: Holistic approaches. The authors stress the importance of holistic approaches, including integrated pest management, as one of the bases for the sustainability of urban horticulture, as well as urban agriculture.
The research article Foodscape: A scoping review and a research agenda for food security-related studies by Simon Vonthron, Coline Perrin and Christophe-Toussaint Soulard was published in PLoS ONE in May 2020, see here.
Falko Feldmann’s and Ute Vogler’s article Towards sustainable performance of urban horticulture: Ten challenging fields of action for modern integrated pest management in cities was published in Sptember 2020 in the Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection, see here.
Image: Number of publications using the term ‘foodscape’ in the publications included in the review (2019 from January to June) (source: Vonthron S., Perrin C. and Soulard C.T., PLoS ONE 15(5): e0233218, 2020)