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Boosting urban farming with FOODCITYBOOST

21 December 2023
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) will be leading Horizon Europe project FOODCITYBOOST on assessing urban agricultural impacts in Europe. Environmental scientists Nynke Schulp, Peter Verburg and Pierre Chopin are coordinating the project and will work together with nineteen partners. FOODCITYBOOST receives 5 million euros and starts the 1st of January 2024.

The FOODCITYBOOST project proposes an integrated assessment of urban farming impacts and policies for boosting sustainable urban agricultural development. Policy-makers and practitioners urgently need knowledge on the benefits, impacts and risks of urban farming, to help them shape policy and legal frameworks that can foster benefits and mitigate risks of urban farming. Therefore FOODCITYBOOST will develop a knowledge based decision-support tool to identify relevant policies for desirable urban agriculture development. The project is led by the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Department of Environmental Geography.

Negative impacts
Europe’s rural and urban areas are facing increasing negative impacts from climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable resource use, and an increasing disconnect between citizens from urban and rural areas. These megatrends threaten the sustainability of urban development and associated food systems. Throughout Europe’s cities, different types of urban farming, such as gardens, rooftop or vertical farming, have emerged which could provide impactful responses to these megatrends.

Unravelling urban farming potential
The future potential of urban farming will be assessed in foresight analysis and scenario analysis, as well as development and prototyping of novel forms of urban farming. The tool developed in FOODCITYBOOST will provide knowledge based on indicators of environmental, social and economic performance at city, regional and EU scale.

Learning from experiences and different regions
FOODCITYBOOST will closely collaborate with 100 stakeholders from six case studies, using an approach based on living labs. This approach will allow to learn from regions and cities throughout Europe where urban farming thrives and is supported by regional policies. FOODCITYBOOST brings together expertise on social science and humanities, land systems, urban farming, and life cycle assessment, to expand the knowledge base on urban farming from an integrated perspective.

New European Bauhaus
The project connects the New European Bauhaus too many creative, beautiful and sustainable local examples of urban agriculture systems. This is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living environment. And too many creative, beautiful and sustainable local examples of urban agriculture systems. This ensure that researchers, urban farmers and policy-makers can collectively learn and gain knowledge from successful local projects.  This will eventually foster the development of novel sustainable urban environments more desirable for European citizens.