Beyond urban farm and community garden, a new typology of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Europe

Jan Eelco Jansma*, Esther J. Veen, Daniela Müller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Today, many cites in Europe have rediscovered urban and peri-urban agriculture (UA) as a contributor to a more healthy and sustainable urban environment. However, UA has not yet unfolded its potential due to gaps in knowledge, expertise, and advocacy. A clear typology is instrumental in identifying, understanding, and acknowledging the potential of UA at different levels of policy making. Although a number of typologies are used in practice and in literature, an overarching typology that steps beyond the local and national perspective, and that includes promising innovations like vertical farming, is lacking. The aim of this paper is to offer such a typology of urban agriculture in Europe. Based on interviews with experts in the field representing 11 European countries (n = 16) and an online survey on characteristics and dimensions of UA initiatives (n = 112; representing 18 countries), our typology exists of six different UA types: (1) urban farm, (2) community park, (3) do-it-yourself garden/farm, (4) zero acreage farm, (5) social farm, and (6) community garden. Although this paper presents these types as distinctive entities, we stress that a typology is inevitably a simplification of reality, as in real-life there is an overlap in the proposed types. Moreover, seeing that the field of modern UA is highly dynamic, the typology is only a snapshot of current-day UA. That said, the suggested typology—along with the dimensions that characterize it—structures the apparent diversity of UA and is therefore instrumental as conversation starter of UA's potential in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20056
JournalUrban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2024


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