Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Aerial of entire site with envisioned expansion by William McDonough & Partners (source: William McDonough & Partners 2022)

Agro Food Park, Denmark

On the outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, Agro Food Park connects the urban to the agricultural bringing together agricultural organisations for collaboration and networking. Making up Agro Food Park are over 80 agricultural or food production companies and, as it stands, over 1200 employees. The park accommodates large, established companies as well as…

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Collage image with people and pathway through wheat fields with buildings in the background. (Source: Agropolis Munchen 2022)

Agropolis Munich, Germany

Agropolis is an urban agriculture project which proposes to transform Munich’s food systems. The project won a competition launched by Department of Urban Planning and Building Regulation of the City of Munich in 2009. The proposal includes an urban haven of agriculture, recreation and education by utilising temporarily available space in Freiham. Freiham is a…

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Almere Oosterwold’s masterplan (source: MVRDV 2022)

Almere Oosterwold, The Netherlands

Almere Oosterwold is an experimental town development situated 30km east of Amsterdam. It became a municipality in the 1980’s and has since grown into a 1000 house community. The principle is ‘You can do (almost) anything you want, but you have to organise it yourself.’ The design of Almere Oosterwold includes 59% of the land…

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Beacon Food Forest aerial view (source: Ensia 2022)

Beacon Food Forest, USA

This grassroots project working in Seattle transforms publicly owned open land within a central urban park into a self-sustaining productive ecosystem. Starting up in 2009, the project took over a 7 acre plot in Jefferson Park, reinventing it from a patch of grass to a productive community-serving landscape. It is currently the world’s largest food…

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A field can be viewed from a platform. (Source: Biennal Internacional de Paisatge Barcelona, 2022)

Belvedere Agricultural Park, Germany

The Belvedere Agricultural Park sits on the Western edge of Cologne. It completes the outer green belt of Cologne, which was initially conceived in 1917.  The Belvedere Agricultural Park received public fund in 2010 in order to be realised, after being a part of the Regionale 2010. The Belvedere Agricultural Park approached the design of…

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An illustrated map of Brighton central area highlighting potential food productive spaces. (Source: Dr Mikey Tomkins, 2022)

Brighton CPUL, UK

Andre Viljoen is leading up the seed project for the conceptualisation (and hopefully eventual implementation) of a Brighton CPUL, titled Seeing Urban Food Futures. Working with partners Lewes District Food Partnership, The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, The Education Health and Wellbeing Community Interest Company, Dr Mikey Tomkins as well as members of the Brighton…

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On the Brighton Greenway – vegetable beds and apartments to the left, wild flower patch and old locomotive track pillars to the right. (source: Jasmine Cook 2022)

Brighton Greenway, Great Britain

Brighton Greenway is a narrow strip of brown-turned-green spaces with a walking path through the centre. It leads from New England Road all the way to Brighton Station, though there are plans to extend it to the Preston Park area. The greenway runs mostly between 5-10 story apartment buildings. The central location and the heavy…

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Architect’s drawing of what inside a Buzz Building would look like. (Source: Belatchew Arkitekter, 2022)

Buzz Buildings insect farms, Sweden

Belatchew Architects of Sweden are pioneering the design of alternative food solution urban farms, what they call ‘Buzz Buildings’. Buzz Buildings, at the moment still a design proposal, would be insect farms for the purpose of consumption that are positioned on Stockholm’s major roundabouts. If nine of these urban farms were in operation, it could…

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Devil’s Dyke in the South Downs shows the hilly grasslands which so much of Changing Chalk will be focused around. (Source: Countryside Jobs Service, 2022)

Changing Chalk Partnership, UK

The South Downs National Park is situated on the Northern urban fringes Eastbourne and runs all the way across Brighton and Hove up to Winchester, spanning 140km. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and led by the National Trust, Changing Chalk is a partnership soon to be undertaken across the downs with 18 interlinked…

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The map of Land Use of the Down. (source: Brighton and Hove City Council 2020)

City Downland Estate Plan, UK

As rural estate covers much of the urban fringe of the city Brighton and Hove, the City Council has developed a green infrastructure project for it – the City Downland Estate Plan. The communally-owned farmland to the North consists of approximately 12,800 acres within the South Downs National Park. Acquired by the Council in the…

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Stone walls of a castle are surrounded by rows of vegetables and a public pathway. (Source: Urban Green Blue Grids, 2022)

Edible city of Andernach, Germany

Andernach city has developed it’s public green spaces as vegetable and fruit patches for all to freely pick, contribute to and enjoy. The city’s intentions are multifunctional – they hope that by transforming public spaces into food producing public areas that they enhance the biodiversity, ecology, economy and attraction to the city as well as…

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Edible Mapping, UK

Dr Mikey Tomkins, honorary research fellow at University of Brighton, works within the field of urban agriculture through academic research and artistic practises. Dr Tomkins has worked in Iraq and the US mapping and creating community gardens for refugees. He has also spent time training beekeepers and building over 50 apiaries across London. Dr Mikey…

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(source: International Bauausstellungen www 2022)

Emscher Park, Germany

Beginning in 1989, the declining industrial Ruhr region of Germany underwent a transformation as part of the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) Emscher Park. After the closure of most industrial plants and mines, there were many open spaces left and much wasteland. The IBA Emscher Park project was initiated by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with the aim to repair…

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Drawing highlighting the permaculture system. (Source: The Food Forest Project, 2022)

The Food Forest Project, UK

This project in Somerset uses permaculture techniques to create productive plots of land. Aiming to benefit communities, they offer the opportunity to harvest free and organic fruits and vegetables, to engage themselves through a volunteering program which aims to improve mental health and to increase biodiversity and enhance the ecology of the areas they work…

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View of some of the crop rows at Fresh City Farm with an urban background of Toronto buildings. (Source: Carrot City, 2022)

Fresh City Farms, Downsview Park, Canada

Downsview Park is an urban park situated in northern Toronto. With the desire to investigate the viability of urban farming and understand community interest, the park launched a pilot project in 2011 which showed there was a keen interest for food sustainable programs to be integrated into the urban environment. In 2019 Fresh City Farms…

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Illistration of a perspective of someone's view outward at agriculture and the Thames as they eat. (Source: Future Architecture, 2021)

Greater London Agriculture, UK

During first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) launched the architectural competition Rethink: 2025. Considering the role of architectural industry in shaping a better post-pandemic world, architects and students were asked to think of life in 2025 and submit positive and tangible responses to issues arising from the pandemic, specifically…

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Map of the Green C. (Source: Freude Joy Joie Bonn 2022)

Green C Project, Germany

The Grünes” C or Green C project, covers almost 4 hectares of area with the aim to protect, connect and enhance open spaces across the municipalities of Alfter, Bonn, Bornheim, Niederkassel, Sankt Augustin and Troisdorf. Beginning as a pilot project in 2005 the Green C project focuses on nature conservation, preservation & development of agriculture and…

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Map of New York indicating each community garden. (Source: Greenthumb, 2022)

Greenthumb, USA

Greenthumb is operated by the New York City Parks Department. It is the country’s largest urban gardening program, providing support to over 600 community gardens around New York City. There are over 20 000 volunteers who manage the gardens. Greenthumb provides programming, workshops and material support to these volunteers. The majority of Greenthumb gardens are…

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A wooden footpath leads through a grassy field with cable cars seen above. (Source: GrunBerlin, 2022)

GrunBerlin, Germany

GruneBerlin is a state-owned company delivering green infrastructure throughout Berlin. They operate over 700 hectares of urban open spaces such as ‘squares and parks, tourist guidance systems, sustainable mobility offers, [and] memorials’. With every project they undertake holding a shared goal of ‘to change Berlin in a sustainable way’. Their projects within Berlin have led…

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Aerial image of the vision of the Patrick Henry Village. (Source: IBA Heidelberg 2022)

Heidelberg’s PHVision, Germany

For its urban real-life laboratory ‘PHVision’ in Heidelberg, Germany’s most influential urban regeneration tool International Building Exhibition (IBA) creates a productive city landscape. A large international team set up a Dynamic Master Plan that was agreed on by the municipal council in 2020. The development process was also accompanied by citizen participation. The former US…

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