Metropolitan Agriculture uses the characteristics of metropolitan environments to create sustainable solutions that meet the diverse needs of their populations.
The purpose of the Metropolitan Agriculture project is to develop initiatives that explore how cities can use innovation in agriculture and food systems as a way to meet the varied and critical needs of their populations and then to increase their impact and scale through the development of a multi-stakeholder platform for supporting action-learning experiments in the field of agricultural systems.
Six metropoles—Amsterdam, Chennai, London, the Detroit-Flint region, Johannesburg and São Paulo—each facing different contexts and critical issues have convened cross-sectoral teams, which see the opportunity to use the agriculture and food system as levers to address those issues. The teams are developing and implementing various pilot projects in areas such as:
• sustainable food production
• innovative supply chain models
• new agricultural services
• effective water, energy and waste management
• logistics and integrated production
• food security and food safety
• retail sales and economic growth
• land use and blight reduction
• animal welfare and disease prevention
• the connection to nature, landscape and the environment
In September of 2010, we are holding the 1st global Summit on Metropolitan Agriculture to learn from the work currently underway (both by the teams listed above and by other cities and participants) in order to find ways to scale up efforts like these as effectively and efficiently as possible. For Summit information or to register, please visit www.metropolitanagriculture.com.
The Summit is the beginning of an ambitious and far-reaching effort to shift both agricultural systems and the sustainability of cities.
What is Metropolitan Agriculture?
Metropolitan Agriculture is an innovative response to the problems within the food system, which specifically takes advantage of the characteristics of metropolitan environments to provide a range of sustainable solutions. It is a pragmatic vision for a new, sustainable agricultural logic; a logic for co-creating new connections between metropolitan areas and agriculture. It can be applied at different scales, from the individual project level to the city-region level, incorporating agricultural processes beyond production such as logistics and trade, and promotes the use agriculture to meet a variety of needs for metropolitan populations.
Within this broad framework, there is considerable potential to integrate agricultural activities with diverse aspects of metropolitan development, from the most obvious function of food production to more innovative work with recreation, healthcare, energy production, and waste management systems.
What is the Metropolitan Agriculture Innoversity?
The MetroAg Innoversity is a multi-stakeholder platform for supporting action-learning experiments in the field of agricultural systems. Its objective is to provide a forum for knowledge-sharing and co-creating the metropolitan agriculture vision and practice around the world. It will deliver three sets of results at both the global and metropolitan levels—initiatives, relationships, and capacity building.
The Innoversity is…
• a continually growing and developing multi-city network
• a new type of global ecosystem that supports both people and projects
• a safe space for dialogue, experimentation and implementation
• an action-learning programme and innovation process
• a space for multi-stakeholder collaboration
• a space for divergent views and healthy conflict
• a response to the social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time
• a city-based response to how cities feed themselves
• an opportunity to create responses that are multi-stakeholder and systemic
• an incubator
• an opportunity for global publicity and awareness raising
• a space to produce state-of-the-art knowledge on Metropolitan Agriculture, food systems, and food sustainability
The Innovations in Metropolitan Agriculture Project is being convened by TransForum, a Dutch innovation program that aims to provide a more sustainable perspective for the Dutch agro-sector and green spaces by searching for and experimenting with new value propositions, and Reos Partners.