CITIES at the Food & Architecture Fair

For much of the CITIES and Farming the City staff, the Food and Architecture Fair on Sunday, June 24th, began on the previous Tuesday. We watched the Fair slowly take shape as we proceeded to use the entire city’s supply of duct tape to make a map of Amsterdam–with a diameter of ten meters–on the floor of Food Center Amsterdam’s Central Market Hall, an icon of historical times when food was supplied to Amsterdam via boat.

Drawing of how Central Market Hall was once used

Cities staff assessing the progress of the map.

At Farming the City, we were particularly excited to pay homage to the venue because we are launching our Food Logica campaign; an initiative to limit food transport within the city limits by supplying Amsterdam restaurants and food vendors with their local produce via no-emissions vehicles.

At our Food Logica table, Anke discusses the initiative with passersby.

As the map’s canals, roads, and buildings took shape so, too, did Mediamatic’s three-story Aquaponic Farm, Next Farm’s Vertical Farm, ARCAM’s huge dome, and the plethora of Appetizing Architecture exhibits. On the day of the event, staff gave tours of the Central Market Hall, to about 1,500 guests; guiding and educating visitors about its history and influence. After working up an appetite from walking the 400-meter perimeter, local food producers, vendors, and advocates were ready with tasty samples and information!

Promoting healthy eating for kids and doling out unexpectedly tasty apple and pepper smoothies!

After about forty hours of taping, we were ready to give the Old Amsterdam Food Tour! The day of the Fair, Cities’ Program Coordinator, Daan, presented the Food Tour to the public.

Daan presenting on the Old Amsterdam Food Tour

If you missed the tour at the fair, these were the highlighted locations should you like to take the tour on your own time:

1. Warmoesstraat 102 Wijs en Zonen: Koffie en Theebranderij

2. Sint Pietershalsteeg/ Brakke Grond 1611 tot

3. Haringpakkerssteeg, Haringpakkerstoren 1606 – 1829

4. Vijzelsgracht 28: Fabriek Maatschappij van Meel – en Broodfabrieken 1856

5. Lijnbaansgracht De Granaatappel: SuikerraffinaderijVerbouwd, gesloopt. Nu clubs/politiebureau

6. Silodam / Stenen Silo: Monument–nu wooncomplex

7. Weesperzijde 194 / De Omval: Blooker Cacao Fabriek

8. Leidsegracht 102 Azijnmakerij: De Kroon woonhuizen

9. Hazenstraat / hoek Elandsgracht: Simon Lindeman, Aardappelhandel 1869

10. Passeerdersdwarsstraat: Gebroeders Roding, Ezelinnenmelk


Farming the City and CITIES were also involved in hosting the workshop ‘EDIBLES’. Thanks to the great support from garden-center Intratuin, we had all the materials we needed to guide visitors of the fair in making their portable edible landscapes and seed-bombs.

The kids, who were the majority of our workshop participants, happily made their hands dirty by mixing compost with garden soil. Enthusiastically, participants planted their favorite crops like strawberries or mint in small wooden boxes, attached a nice piece of rope, and carried their freshly made mini-garden home.

We have already received some great pictures of the edible landscape that people created with us.  We worked with Lisa, explained how ‘seed bombs,’ formed from clay, water, compost and seeds, can make cities look greener. She then explored the ways in which plants like borage or lupine not only have beautiful flowers that attract bees but also add nutrients to the surrounding urban soil.

Our preparation and excitement for this event was well-directed. The Fair taught producers, consumers, and urban designers about the ways in which individuals and communities can better the city through agriculture and creative planning. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute to the Food and Architecture Fair by supporting and educating about green urban spaces as well as creating awareness around the historical significance of Amsterdam’s food sites.


Posted on 31 July 2012 and filed under Uncategorized