About Farming the City

Farming the City is a project developed by CITIES Foundation. It has been running since November 2010, investigating the impact of local food initiatives and urban agriculture in our built environments, economic systems and community cohesion. Since then, Farming the City creates replicable food-related process, products and services adaptable to different urban contexts.

CITIES Foundation is an independent research organisation focusing on urban development issues. It is committed to unlocking the local potential by connecting, and sharing experience between, the professional, trade, policy, academic and community sectors.

In the framework of Farming the City, CITIES’ research team defined itself as a working think tank focused on food innovation patterns. In the framework of the study of current urbanization, we define new approaches  by supporting the existing potential for innovation, and by approaching the development of effective local food systems as a tool for urban development.

Local food systems build place-based, self-reliant food economies in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption come together to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. They provide employment, generate income and support social equity.

Farming the City’s phase 1 and 2 have mainly be supported by Stichting DOEN. In the first phase, the project  saw the creation of a resource hub for urban agriculture in the city of Amsterdam, yet with worldwide reach.

Initially, our research focused on two main areas: first, we researched and mapped the Amsterdam urban agriculture scene, depicting its characteristics and connecting its players; and second, we approached the food system as the main framework within which to position our case studies.

Phase one of Farming the City was completed in spring 2011 with the launch of a free online resource featuring and mapping a diverse range of city farming projects across Amsterdam. This was the first step towards the creation of a major new city asset for Amsterdam: a local food system.FarmingtheCity.net was launched at the Amsterdam Architecture Center with an exhibition in March 2011, through a 6 weeks show.

In the second phase of Farming the City, we worked on a wide range of food-related issues, tackling each phase of the the food system, experimenting and innovating together with the collaboration with creative professionals, who showed enthusiasm and intellectual commitment to the project.

After the second Phase, and since August 2013, Farming the City’ s team became an independent business and policy advisory group for the development of innovative food-related initiatives.