Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept


Reviews of the CPUL book

‘This book is a 21st century breakthrough in defining an urban design/planning conceptual approach to re-incorporating a productive landscape, including agriculture, into the human settlement (CPULs).’
Jac Smit, President of the Urban Agriculture Network and founding member of the global Resources Centre for Urban Agriculture (RUAF)

‘This is an important book that both challenges and contributes to current urban thinking. It is both inspiring and practical, reminding us that sophisticated high-density urban life can benefit from looking to examples from such places as the traditional Chinese city or current practice in Cuba to ways in which we can develop a more ecological and healthy way forward. If we are to be serious about sustainable urban development then these questions of greening the city and of local food production and distribution, are of immense importance. This is not a grand plan, but one that can be applied to both old and new areas in an incremental manner. It is now up to all of us to apply the lessons learnt with a sense of urgency wherever we may live.’
George Ferguson, President of the RIBA, Director of Acanthus Ferguson Mann, UK

‘Continuity and productivity are intrinsic qualities of landscapes, which urban regions must reinstate for psychological, environmental and economic reasons. As an alternative to sprawl or hyper-density, Viljoen and Bohn’s vision is important, fleshed out enough to be debated productively. Reinforced with diverse essays by thinkers from differing countries and backgrounds, this book provides tangible concepts for regional adaptation.’
Kim Sorvig, Sustainable Landscape Construction: A Guide to Green Building Outdoors (Island Press, 2000); Research Associate Professor, University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning; Contributing Editor, Landscape Architecture Magazine

CPULs is a compelling vision for urban planners and (landscape) architects. The book is loaded with truly useful facts and case studies yet somehow remains a riveting read for lay-folk… I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I hope that its concepts are embraced by those who are in a position to implement urban planning of this nature. The notion of CPULs deserves to feature prominently in design and architecture curricula, informing a new generation of people designing our cities and potentially our well-being through our access to healthy food.’
Debra Solomon, curator of The Edible City, the world’s first exhibition on food systems and the urban environment, 9 June 2006, on: culiblog

‘Bohn&Viljoen have put together a book of the most profound importance at this point in history. How will we feed our cities beyond the age of cheap oil? Does the old concept that the cities are for people to live in and the countryside is for growing food in still have any relevance when our cheap transport system is no longer able to function? Viljoen argues not. We should view our cities as much in terms of being productive spaces as we view our rural areas.’
Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, 26 April 2006, in: Transition Culture

‘As the rule of interdependent adjacencies in urban ecology has it: the more diversity, and the more collaboration between “unlikely partners”, the better the chances for biodiversity, sustainability, and resilience (Hester, 2006). Linked to this idea is the concept of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) which represent a powerful urban design instrument for achieving local sustainability while reducing cities’ ecological footprints.’
The United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies (2010) Cities, Biodiversity and Governance: Perspectives and Challenges of the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the City Level Policy Report, Yokohama: UNUIAS, see here

‘When we started developing our concept in 2010, there was no information around nationally (and very little internationally) on what a food-productive city could be like, why and whether the integration of urban agriculture would make sense and how to go about setting up such an initiative. The book Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPUL) was an eye-opener for our little team. We studied it and its associated publications and projects intensely and based many of our decisions on the insights, arguments and case studies, André Viljoen and Katrin Bohn had collected. The CPUL concept was an absolute inspiration for our work.’
Lutz Kosack, Head of the Environment and Sustainability Department, City Council of Andernach, Germany’s first “Edible City”


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