Growing vegetables in your rooftop garden, soil+crop-leasing contracts with local farmers, vertical gardens, school gardens, … urban farming takes many forms. Amsterdam, Chennai, Detroit/Flint, Johannesburg, London, São Paolo … six cities exchanging ideas and experiences in the area of metropolitan agriculture. From 28-30 September 2010 the first Global Summit on Metropolitan Agriculture was held in Rotterdam (NL).
The event, and the MetropolitanAgriculture.com learning network as such, are an initiative of TransForum (& Reos Partners), a project-cluster partially funded by BSIK money which concluded its 5 year long series of activities at the end of 2010. TransForum focussed on the sustainable development of dutch agriculture in relationship to its urbanizing context.
The MetroAg Innoversity set out with joint scenarioplanning workshops “explore the opportunities for Metropolitan Agriculture based on contextual characteristics, assets and challenges in each city”, inspired by input from stakeholder interviews within participating cities. Later on, groups were formed to incubate ideas and draft prototypes. The summit gathered experiences and insights gained and looked ahead as how to scale and create enduring projects and processes.
At the occasion of the Summit, Jan Kees Vis, programme director of Unilever’s division of Sustainable Agriculture, used three words to sketch the pillars of his image of the future: “The right to food, ethics, metropolitan agriculture”. In the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the company commits “to source 100% of [their] agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020.”