Feeding the city: A social practice perspective on planning for agriculture in peri-urban Oosterwold, Almere, the Netherlands

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns about sustainable food supply in a city-region context increasingly spark cities’ authorities to consider their peri-urban area as a source of food. However, such an orientation seldom leads to critically assess planning for peri-urban agriculture. Peri-urban planning is generally based on segregating agriculture and housing, hence risking to overlook agriculture's potential. This paper unpacks a case of peri-urban planning that intends to integrate farming at a considerable scale in peri-urban development, i.e. the case of Oosterwold in Almere, the Netherlands. Key to Oosterwold is residents’ self-organisation and the 51% allocation of the area to agriculture. The case study departs with a literature review to comprehend peri-urban agriculture in the urban regions of Northwest Europe and comparable regions elsewhere, which can be funnelled into three generic typologies of farming: (1) garden, (2) multi-functional and (3) conventional. Subsequently, the Oosterwold planning practices are analysed which uncovers the influential arrival of newcomers in the planning process. These newcomers are the fresh residents of Oosterwold who start practising urban agriculture in the area. They have contributed to an open-ended, iteratively evolving process of spatial planning, in which the interpretation of peri-urban agriculture appeared malleable. As a consequence, peri-urban agriculture in Oosterwold has predominately developed towards (hobby) garden farming. It is concluded that there is a range of options for integrating agriculture in peri-urban planning, but this implies the inclusion of new practitioners in the planning process which will further stretch existing practices and face new challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106104
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Peri-urban agriculture
  • Peri-urban planning
  • Social practice theory


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