Debra Solomon
Urbaniahoeve-Social Design Lab for Urban Agriculture.

The project has been initiated by a private organization
In brief, Urbaniahoeve evolved from the Food Schilderswijk project which identified opportunities for urban agriculture in Schilderswijk, a neighborhood in Den Haag commissioned by Stroom Den Haag, centre for art and architecture. Urbaniahoeve aims to create an experimental phase of urban agriculture across northern European cities. The project aims to go beyond traditional views of urban agriculture as city vegetable gardens or large ‘lettuce flats’, developing new models for urban food production and creating a visual language that integrates ‘foodscapes’ into public space. Working with local participants, the project will create new green spaces and re-animate neglected places. .
The project “Urbaniahoeve-Social Design Lab for Urban Agriculture” is developed by Debra Solomon with less than 10 people, of which less than 50% being volunteers.

The project takes shape in multiple locations of the city such as public spaces

The project focuses on the development of innovative approaches to urban food/farming related issues.
In particular, attention is paid to re-adaptation of the urban environment to grow food and new learning environments

In the development of the project, we encountered implementation problems, such as lack of support/cooperation from local authorities and complex bureaucratic procedures.
In order to cope with the problem, we tried to describe the solution
We managed to establish a good relationship with the institutions, securing political support.
While setting up and developing the project, with regard to regulatory barriers, we found that the public policy did not support the activities.
From the economic point of view, the project is mostly sustainable. In particular, we benefit from public funds from the district level, regional level, national level and private funds.

In order to develop, we will need funding, people/resources, policy support, improved visibility and strong actors.

In conclusion, Debra, when interviewed added: “Just one thing, one very important thing you need for urban agriculture to succeed, and what we as Urbaniahoeve really desperately need, is considerably easier access to local governments, and increased transparency. It costs us so much time to find out who you must have in order to get permission to do something, these are real organizations you have to deal with. Especially if you – say you’re a residents’ group, we are not a residents’ group, but we’re really working on this, but if you would be residents’group it is quite difficult. And it should be much easier to quickly do these things, and gain access to the right person. Not at the counter, but a real person who can give consent “.

Posted on 20 March 2011 and filed under content

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