Edible City Solutions za boljši svet!

Oslo Living Lab: Linderud Community Garden Reopens to the Public!

On 30 April, EdiCitNet’s Living Lab in Oslo announced the start of a new season with a market, activities for young and old, food, music and great connections – across age, cultures and backgrounds.

As part of the EdiCitNet Project, in Oslo, a community space with a focus on urban agriculture and social inclusion has been developed on the grounds of the stately Linderud mansion in one of Oslo’s suburbs – thanks to the help of partners Bymiljøetaten (Urban Environment Agency), MiA – Museene i Akershus, NIBIO Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Nabolagshager and the support of many local organisations and institutions.

The project is now in its 3rd season and has seen a complete transformation of a formerly empty field. We are very much looking forward to the next season and lots more activities together with all the participants!

Mapping food opportunities for Carthage, Tunisia

March 16th saw the completion of an important stage in the food-focused masterplanning for the City of Carthage, Tunisia. In a virtual meeting organised by the Institute of Organic Farming at BOKU University Vienna, Katrin Bohn and Ian Bailey (University of Brighton) handed over to the Carthage City Team the results of an 8-months-long participatory design process.

The University of Brighton team has worked with representatives of Carthage Municipality, the city’s mayor Dr Hayet Bayoudh, local research organisation REACT, local food initiatives and members of the public to identify strategies for Carthage to become an ‘edible city’. Consulting within the framework of finding transition pathways for several cities in the EdiCitNet project, Ian and Katrin led the Carthage city team in a 3-stage participatory opportunity mapping process. This process used Bohn&Viljoen’s food and opportunity mapping method previously developed and tested as part of our CPUL City Actions.

The first two phases of collaborative work – comparator and food mapping – enabled the city team to record and visualise existing food system activities and actors in the city, capture and classify existing and potential food spaces as well as tighten its research into the most urgent societal challenges the city aims to address through improved urban food planning. Prior to entering the last phase of collaboration – the opportunity mapping – all findings and interim concepts were presented to local stakeholders as well as external experts for their scrutiny and critical advise. Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we worked entirely online using frequent Zoom meetings, collaborative visualisation platform Miro and emailing to push ideas forward.

Katrin and Ian were now able to hand back into the ongoing transition pathway framework a synthesis of local desires, challenges, capacities and necessities: a complex, multi-layered mapping of opportunities taking into account the local stakeholder situation, existing and potential food spaces as well as social, environmental and economic priorities. Three main urban development themes have been verbalised, as well as a number of sub-themes and potential projects to kick-start the transition towards an ‘edible city’.

Update from the EdiCitNet Living Lab in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is buzzing with activity.

More and more of the two hundred green (food) initiatives work together in a self-designed bottom-up democratic process, to further develop the network and to cooperatively develop organizational power.

Preceded by an action-oriented ‘self-research’ in 2021, the initiatives have now come together in several network meetings. In these meetings it has been democratically decided to form four workgroups. Each workgroup consists of only initiators of green (food) initiatives. One workgroup is mapping the many different values of green (food) initiatives and is finding ways to make these values visible. Another workgroup is organizing methods for sharing knowledge and expertise amongst initiatives. A third is meant to set up a structural lobby for green (food)initiatives. And a fourth is working towards an umbrella organization.

With all these different initiatives and this open bottom-up process, a lot of effort has been put into the design of the whole process and organization. This process itself can already be seen as one of the very important results of the Living Lab. And it pays off. The workgroups are now taking up speed. A great planning scheme has been worked out by the coördination team.

The expectation is that in one and half year still ahead, many practical results will be brought forth: a model of mapping values, a map of green (food)initiatives, an interactive website, an umbrella organization, field excursions between initiatives, regular stakeholdermeetings, financial stability, and perhaps even a national park status for the city Rotterdam. These are some of the ambitions of the different workgroups / stakeholders.

Rotterdam is ready for a green revolution next level.

Flashback to the interactive workshop “Growing Jobs in Urban Agriculture” in Oslo in 2020

 In 2020 the Norwegian social enterprise Nabolagshager hosted, in collaboration with the County Governor of Oslo and Viken and other EdiCitNet partners, an online interactive workshop called “Growing Jobs in Urban Agriculture”.

This workshop aimed to facilitate exchange among practitioners working on urban agriculture, researchers, policy-makers and aspiring entrepreneurs on a major challenge urban farmers are facing: the need to develop business models that are tailored to their community’s needs and the wants of their customers.

                 

An interactive space was provided for more than 40 participants to explore business models for urban agriculture, with 8 different sessions of 30 minutes each. The sessions were highly interactive with short sessions of knowledge transfer from experts in the field accompanied by space to work in groups through real-life cases. The goal was for participants to gain an in-depth understanding of how to develop their own business model for an urban agriculture enterprise.

This collaborative work paved the way for the creation of a new practical playbook called “Growing Jobs in Urban Agriculture”, a publication designed to allow existing ECS initiatives – and aspiring ones – to identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for economic and social success, and equip them with a tool to explore solutions and address the needs of their organisations. This playbook is available now for download at the EdiCitNet Marketplace: www.edicitnet.com/biz

EdiCitNet Partners Join Together for Annual Meeting in March 2022

The EdiCitNet Project held its latest Annual Meeting online at the end of March, bringing together many project partners from around the world for two days of exchange and discussion.

The 2-day meeting was very interactive, with partners using both zoom and Wonder to meet and move around from group to group to discuss different topics. After hearing updates from the EdiCitNet partner cities, insights from the Living Labs, the Masterplan process and discussing problems, solutions and future challenges, there were topic-based discussions in the afternoon. The main topics up for discussion on the first day were:

  • Sustainability of City Teams
  • Implementing the Transition Pathway Methodology
  • Circular systems within public green spaces (Natural Resources, water, biodiversity)
  • Education – educating across generations, within schools, and kindergartens
  • Access to land for urban food projects

To end the day there was also a discussion about the upcoming Visit the Lab events and the planned city exchanges, where project partners will travel and meet their colleagues from around the world, to learn from their experiences, best practices and challenges with edible nature-based solutions.

The big overarching theme of this meeting was the Edible Cities Network itself and the question of how can we build a network that continues after the project ends and makes the world a better place? The EdiCitNet partners reflected on this question many times during these two days and will continue the discussion after the meeting.

The highlight of the second day was a talk and workshop on gender. Dr Jess Halliday from RUAF gave the EdiCitNet partners an insight into the topic of food and gender, after which we discussed problems and goals with the gender and intersectionality lens in different groups, according to fields of work. The learnings and exchange in this session will also be followed up over the next few months to ensure that gender aspects are adequately reflected upon and integrated into future work within the project moving forward.

We thank all speakers and partners for the active participation and exchange and are already looking forward to the next meeting! The next EdiCitNet Annual Meeting is organised for September 2022, and will hopefully be held in presence, in Ljubljana, where it will be hosted by project partner the University of Ljubljana.

EdiCitNet