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Linderud community garden awarded at the Oslo Municipality’s Garden Awards 2022

The 4 winners of the Oslo Municipality’s Garden Awards for 2022 have been chosen, and Linderud community garden – the site of EdiCitNet’s Living Lab – won the award for this year’s garden with a focus on environmental, social and economic sustainability!
In total there are 4 different categories:

1. Community garden of the year.
2. Private garden of the year.
3. Garden of the year with a focus on biological diversity.
4. Garden of the year with a focus on environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Linderud community garden awarded at the Oslo Municipality's Garden Awards 2022

Oslo Municipality’s Garden Awards honour gardens that contribute to making Oslo a green, beautiful, healthy and people-friendly city. The garden prize is a competition with long traditions and was first held in 1921. Congratulations Linderud community garden!

First Visit to the Historic City of Carthage to Collaborate on the Edible Cities Masterplan

We are more than happy to announce the successful completion of two workshops held in Carthage to develop the city’s Edible City strategy. 10 participants from the Administration (different ministries and judicial bodies) and 24 participants representing the different actors of Carthage (civil society, associations, NGOs, education, landowners) met in two workshops to discuss with members of the local City Team the edible future of Carthage.

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The municipality of Carthage, the REACT association, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna (BOKU), the University of Brighton and Transition Oststeiermark organized and facilitated exchanges and discussions with the participants around 3 themes integrating the common vision to collect their feedback, suggestions and to co-develop, together, the foundations of the transition pathways.

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Two full and productive days during which the City Team of Carthage was able to note, on the one hand, the magnitude of the institutional and regulatory challenges to be met and, on the other hand, the adherence of the participants to the process of transition to an edible city. Some landowners expressed their commitment to make their archaeological land edible. School principals expressed their interest in implementing plans on how to transition to edible schools. Civil society reiterated the need for safe, recreational sites for leisure activities. Ministries described the limits of what was possible and negotiated pathways. Farmers, including the Edible Cities Network Award winner from 2021 Isaam Ben Chaaben, presented pilot projects. EdiCitNet and all the participants share the vision of an edible Carthage that is one step further to reality.

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Visiting Rotterdam’s Network of Green Initiatives during EdiCitNet’s 3rd City Exchange

Our third and last for this season City Exchange took place September 21-23 in Rotterdam.

On the first day, we had the pleasure to cycle round the Groene Connectie, an 8km-long circular route which connects green initiatives throughout west Rotterdam. Our starting point was Spoortuin, a community garden along the train tracks. There we were welcomed by the local City Team and told the story behind this garden in particular and the whole Green Connection project in general. From there, we cycled to Voedseltuin Rotterdam, a community garden which, with the help of volunteers, produces healthy food for the local food bank. After having lunch there, we cycled south to Groene Oase op Zuid, where we learned about how the community is dealing with having to move their garden to a new place because of real estate development on the current site. Our next stop was the impressive Rotterdamse Munt, a real urban herb farm and events space. The place also has a shop where visitors can buy all sorts of teas, seeds and other products produced on site or by other green initiatives in the city. We finished our day with dinner at Wijkpaleis, a place which is a real success story of how neighbors joined forces to buy a former school building from the city in order to establish a community center. The building, whose top floor is still used as a school, now hosts also all kind of workshops, community dinners and other events.

On the next day we all gathered at the former Berberis school garden complex, where Natuurtalent now offers job opportunities to people who face challenges accessing the job market. The organization shares the space with Stadsboerin Rotterdam, a highly yielding CSA. After a chat with the farmer behind the CSA, we had a “speed dating” workshop, where participants had to team up with someone, they don’t know that well, and discuss what we considered to be the main values in our work. The talks were followed by a lunch in the garden and then we all headed towards the Rotterdam City administration towers, where the second part of the day took part on the 40th floor and with amazing views over the whole city! Here we met Rotterdam’s green broker and representatives of the Rotterdam Health program and the Rotterdam Climate program and discussed Rotterdam’s greening policy. The day program ended with a workshop on the use of the Diamond Model, led by project partner Alice Bischof.

The last day started at Stadskwekerij De Kas, a beautiful reclaimed inner yard which is now a knowledge center for urban ecology and biodiversity; as well as a plant nursery. There we saw the presentations of three different green initiatives—a neighborhood greening project, a rain garden and a community garden—and each participant chose where to go and help with some field, hands-on work for the next hour and a half. After the fun work at the different sites, participants gathered for lunch at Tuin op Hofbogen, a community garden and public park on the roof of an abandoned train station. The last activity of the exchange was a trip to the edible forest part of the Rotterdam Botanical Garden.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible!

This series of City Exchanges was extremely inspiring and we can’t wait to visit Andernach next year!

From Community Gardening to Rooftop Farming: Oslo Hosts the Network’s 2nd International City Exchange

After the first EdiCitNet City Exchange happened in Berlin at the end of August, the second in the series of events took place September 13-15 in Oslo and was organised collaboratively by all project partners in the city, led by the Agency of Urban Environment. Participants from a total of seven cities took part in the event.

The entire first day took place on the grounds of the beautiful Linderud Manor, a historical estate in Oslo’s Bjerke district, whose garden, the Linderud community garden (in Norwegian Linderud nærmiljohage), hosts EdiCitNet’s Living Lab. After a short introduction round, participants could meet the Oslo City Team and other initiatives working on site. The numerous projects happening on Linderud’s grounds range from job training offers for people struggling with drug addiction, organized by the Salvation Army; through outdoors teaching programs for the children from the local school; summer job opportunities for teenagers organized by EdiCitNet partner Nabolagshager; to green urban food entrepreneurs growing herbs and mushrooms in the garden. The busy day ended with a dinner in the garden, prepared by the lawyer-turned-chef Inka Chef, who used onsite-grown ingredients to prepare one of the most delicious veggie burgers we have recently tried!

The second day of the exchange took off at the recently built Økern Portal center, where, thanks to the presentations of municipal workers, participants could learn more about Oslo’s Strategy for Urban Agriculture 2019-2030, its funding scheme for urban agriculture-related projects, its Sustainable and Healthy Food Program, or the role of the Oslo center for urban ecology. Furthermore, the Økern portal is home to one of Europe’s biggest rooftop gardens, managed by U·Reist, who were kind enough to give us a tour of the CSA, the public park and the comercial garden that top the center. What a sight!

On the last day of our visit, we got to know a series of urban gardens, as diverse as Oslo itself! Our first stop was Ulvenhagen, a newly established community garden, which is a real green oasis between two major roads in an area of the city that is being quickly developed. We continued towards one of Oslo’s most famous urban gardens, Losæter, where we met the director of the Environmental Agency, learned about the experiments the gardeners are doing with companion planting and had lunch. Our City Exchange finished at the school garden Geitmyra, where every interested school in the city is offered a plot, which they can manage according to their own criteria. Additionally, the garden offers crash courses in gardening for the teachers who will later be in charge of the school plot.

Three days full of inspirational talks, networking and, above all, Oslo’s edible side! A heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this experience possible!

Measure and Manage the Impact of your Edible City Initiative

Measure and Manage the Impact of your Edible City Initiative

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Online-Workshop: 19 October 2022, 14:00 – 15:50 pm, Zoom

Measuring and managing impact is a fundamental part of running a sustainable urban food initiative,no matter what type of service or product you are offering . But how to get started with the seemingly daunting task of impact measurement and management? Join the Edible Cities Network in this expert workshop to learn more. 

Is our urban food initiative creating measurable value for our target groups? What impact are we creating for society, economy and the environment? And how can we substantially improve positive effects over time? With a sound impact management system in place, your initiative will ultimately be able to gain insights into these and other questions. In the long term, it will provide you with a multitude of benefits – from resource savings to more key stakeholders involved in your initiative and better management of your social, environmental and economic value, just to name a few. 

In this workshop, we will provide you with an introduction to the fundamentals of impact measurement and management in the context of urban agriculture. You will get the opportunity to understand how to define key impacts, how to design a theory of change for your initiative and how to determine feasible indicators. 

At the end of the workshop, you will have:

  • developed an understanding of impact orientation, impact management frameworks, their importance as well as practical implementation
  • designed a theory of change and suitable first indicators for your urban agriculture initiative
  • determined necessary next steps to continue your impact management efforts to drive organisational change and create more impact

Who should join?

The workshop is designed for anyone involved in an urban agriculture initiative, project or business and looking to learn more about the principles of impact measurement and management to develop practices suitable to their initiative.

About the Edible Cities Network

The Edible Cities Network (EdiCitNet) is an EU-funded project designing and implementing urban food innovations and sustainable urban planning for greener, more edible and, above all, more liveable cities. The workshop is offered as part of the EdiCitNet marketplace, a global platform which provides collaborative networking and expert and consultancy services for Edible City initiatives and entrepreneurs across the world.

Registration

Registration to the event is free of charge. Please sign up here.

First Edible City Exchange Event Takes Place in Berlin

At the end of August, the EdiCitNet team in Berlin hosted the first of a series of “City Exchange” events – a chance for project partners to meet in one of the project’s Front Runner Cities, learn from each other’s experiences of urban greening, edible cities + sustainable food and visit the two Living Labs located in the city.

At the event were project partners from Oslo, Andernach, Vienna, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sempter pri Gorici, Rotterdam and of course Berlin, including representatives of city administrations, urban farmers, green city activists and academic researchers.

The 4-day exchange kicked off with a visit to the Living Lab in the eastern district of Hellersdorf, a presentation by Prinzessinnengarten Kollektiv about their work in the garden and the Edible City Solutions they’re developing there, as well as a presentation from the local “Neighbourhood Management” team about their work to support and develop urban greenery and public green spaces for the neighbourhood. The end of the day featured a cooking workshop using saved food with local social enterprise – and EdiCitNet Award winner – Restlos Glücklich. It was also the time for members of the public to come by and meet the network, learn about the project and enjoy the sun in the garden!

The second day was based in Berlin’s other EdiCitNet Living Lab in Neukölln. Located in a still-active cemetery, this Living Lab is exploring the use of unused green space in cemeteries for urban gardening, and community events – side by side with visitors to the graves. After enjoying a tour of the Living Lab, from the raised beds to the field of edible crops and the herb garden, the visitors took part in a workshop exploring innovative ways to have more edible, green spaces in cities.

The weekend – also the final two days of the event – was spent networking and sharing knowledge with each other and also with the visitors to the Urban Gardening Summer Camp that was also taking place in the same location. There was a chance to enjoy talks, workshops and presentations all around the topic of urban agriculture and community gardens. Here too, the public were invited to come by and meet the project members and learn more at a public Visit the Living Lab event.

It was a truly inspiring, insightful and exciting three days in Berlin, and felt particularly special after nearly 2.5 years of online meetings and virtual work together. Thank you to Prinzessinnengarten Kollektiv, the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin for organising the event!

We are looking forward to the next City Exchange event, coming up in the city of Oslo, Norway.

EdiCitNet