A city of gardeners: What happens when policy, planning, and populace co-create the food production of a novel peri-urban area?

Jan Eelco Jansma*, Sigrid C.O. Wertheim-Heck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban re-orientation on feeding the city in a city-region context has encouraged local policies to spur urban agriculture by stimulating bottom-up citizen participation in urban food production. However, in real life, tensions occur between policies and practices. The misalignment of policy goals with planning instruments and the needs of practitioners in urban agriculture hampers the development of substantial urban food production. This paper introduces Oosterwold, a new peri-urban area of the Dutch city of Almere that pivots urban agriculture. Oosterwold is a unique experiment in which a top-down policy goal – producing 10% of the future urban food needs – is handed over to the self-organisation of new residents, who are bound by the rule to allocate 51% of their plot to urban agriculture. This study deploys a social practice theory–informed analysis to appraise the performance in urban agriculture. Novel in our methodology – combining an online survey (n=111) with an analysis of aerial photos (n=199) – we unpack the unruly nature in which urban policy and planning are shaping up through bottom-up citizen participation. Our study demonstrates that (i) it takes time for residents to adopt urban agriculture as a substantial practice in their heterogeneous lifestyle and (ii) that a focus on bottom-up approaches, such as Oosterwold residents’ self-organisation, does not imply laissez faire from planning and policy. It is inferred that a balance in policy goals, planning instruments, and the needs of the practitioners requires a shared vision and builds on supportive conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-720
JournalEnvironment and planning. B, Urban analytics and city science
Volume51
Issue number3
Early online date14 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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