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 through and across towns or cities, connecting 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)




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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