urban agriculture global reflections for a liveableliverpool by paul osborn mdiateurs doingchange n.
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Gaining ground

Gaining ground

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Gaining ground

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  1. Urban agriculture: Global reflections for a LiveableLiverpoolby Paul OsbornMdiateurs/ DoingChange

  2. Gaining ground The transition of urban agriculture from a survivalist response, or a pillar and cornerstone of Utopia, or just a decent recreational occupation to a robust, resilient economic model of the 21st century city

  3. The starter question If every person of Liverpool were to meet their minimum requirement of 205 grams of vegetables per day, every day of the year; If they did so 100% with vegetables grown and marketed by themselves and sustainable local enterprises within the city, at today’s standard yields and with sound inputs; What proportion of the city’s land surface (or roofs, or balconies) would be required?

  4. Around the world of UA in < 80 slides • Disclaimers – Acknowledgements – Intros • Historical perspective 1: context of UA • Definitions • What experiences could Liverpool emulate? • What prevailing frameworks? • Historical perspective 2: of UA ‘itself’ (s/he/it)

  5. Disclaimers, Credits, Intros Disclaimers: • All the usual ones, others in development • Aim is inform + confirm + converge + exchange Credits: • Big thank you to two historically important framework consolidators: and, and the networks they ‘hub’ • International Development Research Centre, Ottawa • Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security • Grateful nods to many others, including - ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, World Conservation Union IUCN, Liverpool One, Liverpool Hilton

  6. Je suis un simple garçon du village

  7. In the beginning 2010 2080

  8. In the beginning, before the name • Babylon • Delhi, Beijing, MacchuPichu, Zimbabwe • Medieval village-city • Paris Commune • 1930s allotments -- 1940s: Dig for Victory • 1970s: Whole Earth, WWOOF . . . . • It has always been there. Many places do not need to revive it, just modernise and expand.

  9. 2010 • Half the world is a townie • Are townies inevitably alienated from their food? (not in much of Europe – Netherlands, Switzerland) • Are they living at high risk of shortages when some families live in severe dietary deserts? • In 2007, London was 3 days from shortages • Today (7 July) world grain reserves are at ~52 days (safety = 62), and wheat rust is spreading fear • Other urban challenges: New practices of enterprise, employment, health and inclusion are essential

  10. 2080 – Food production (cf. 2010)

  11. Only certainty is uncertainties Future prospects are lean and mean: • Upward price pressure • True scarcity (not today’s alarming micro-hiccups) • Untold migration (pressure) of peoples • Transfer of food production from cultivation (and livestock) to manufacture (incl. pharming) but food security equally (more?) at risk

  12. Back to 2010: The world of Urban Agriculture today From: Local Action for Biodiversity, IUCN-ICLEI

  13. Key milestones NOW • Rome: May 2010 – the country city • Brazil: March 2010 – World Urban Forum • ICLEI: May /June 2010 • 2010: UN International Year of Biodiversity • 2010: Seattle City Year of Urban Agriculture • 2011: UN International Year of the Urban Forest • And the world’s gravest financial and strategic turning point, crying out for new models …

  14. Urban Agriculture: key terms • Synonyms: • Urban + Peri-Urban Agriculture (UPA) • Related terms: • Urban + Peri-Urban Horticulture (UPH) • Urban livestock management • City Farms • See also: • Micro-gardening, Allotments

  15. UA: The Big Three Reasons Why Social Ecological Economic

  16. The UA world, as seen by RUAF

  17. Know thy Enemy: The Big 3 Why NOTs • “Health and hygiene”: risks of solid wastes, contaminated soils, air pollution, noise pollution, visual pollution. Radiation. So: Mitigate, avoid. • “No land available”. Depends on zoning, which is a political decision, requiring a policy framework). So: political energy (will) • No proven ecological viability. So: prove otherwise (along with other benefits)

  18. The tale of 8 cities, of thousands • Accra • Almere • Beijing • Brasilia • Bulawayo • Dar es Salaam • Havana • Rosario • Vancouver • Seattle • New York • Madison • Suva • Bangkok • Brazzaville • Hanoi • Antananarivo

  19. Almere Beijing Havana Accra Dar es Salaam Brasilia, DF Bulawayo Rosario

  20. Accra, Ghana • UA provides 80% of all legumes consumed • Municipal Agriculture Department (as Nairobi) • Demarcates permanent UA zones (as Dakar, Kathmandu, Maputo) • In Tema, City supported milk collection • City revised bye-laws on waste water • Campaign on minimising health risks

  21. Almere, Netherlands • On new land (reclaimed Zuiderzee) • New Agromere area (5,000 inhabitants, 2,300 households) includes farms • Total of 250 hectares (620 acres), 72% to farming and social collective uses, 28% to housing • 20% basic foodstuffs from within Agromere • Minimal energy import, strong recyling

  22. Beijing, China • (and Xiaotangshan) Government invested in large modern periurban agriculture demonstration park • Government “assists” formation of coops • Support to urban family-farms to provide agro-tourism (farm shops, accomodation, food outlets…)

  23. Brasilia, Brasil • PROVE, the SME development agency, assists start-up associations with truck fittings for mobile stores • These serve as collateral for credit • PROVE assists formation of producer groups, trains staff to replace statal extensionists • Encourage integration of producer points-of-sale in supermarkets

  24. Producer kiosks in Carrefour supermarket, Brasilia

  25. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe • Inter-departmental Committee for UA • City Support to temporary land lease • City provides treated waste water to growers

  26. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania • Demarcates permanent UA areas in land-use planning • Mapping of available vacant land through participatory GIS, and its potential for UA • Allocates existing open spaces for UA, including parts of university campus • Reserves space in new housing projects and slum upgrade schemes

  27. Havana, Cuba • Launched UA programme between 1994 and 1999. Prices of tomato, onion, pork and fruits fell threefold in this period • City support to temporary leasing • City supports seed supply systems • City extensionists feedback to national research agenda on crop varieties

  28. Rosario, Argentina • Social Promotion office hosts UA programme • Short-term land lease • Tax breaks for medium-term land lease • Allocates space in new housing projects • Has agreements with community UA groups for co-management of public open spaces • Business counselling and business development services to producer groups

  29. My, my, how you’ve grown!:From action spurts to coherent agenda • The common agenda of RUAF/ IDRC/ FAO/ World Bank/ Brasil Ministry for Social Development • Policy environment and institutional home • Land access and security of use • Secure the market. Achieve sustainable productivity: enhance producer skills, organising and access to credit/inputs. Encourage legacy sales outlets to adopt UA produce. • Risk mitigation. Reduce/remove health and other risks

  30. Some observations - 1 • UA is in process of transformation, at a cusp • Social and ecological arguments predominate over economic arguments. These need to be emphasised, sharpened, practised and proven • Return on investment – models + data lacking • Market growth potential (volumes, volumes, volumes) • Growing emphasis on tool of Procurement

  31. Some observations - 2 • UA growth page similar to renewable energy (RE) • RE: always been practised (wind, water,) • RE: 1960s and 1970s pioneers (“new heretics”) • 1980s: prototyping • 1990s: start to move to mainstream (viability) • 2000s: create, disseminate, replicate • 2010s: institutionalise, commercialise • And the legacy agencies need to reform

  32. Some issues to consider • Land • Quality assurance • Choice of crops (and livestock); high value • Targets, or not (e.g. 10% of institutional meals, 20% of vegetables, 30% of herbs …) • Financial models (inward Eastern investment?) • Need to calculate the direct and indirect economic benefits • Health, social, avoided costs, carbon finance • Need for reliable baseline data

  33. Some immediate can-do’s – in networking mode • Demonstrable projects • Study visits • Staff exchanges • Twinning or partnerships • Work on models for mapping and calculating actual benefits and potentials • Develop data sets • Start planning strategic growth of UA in economy: engage retail chains, stimulate procurement

  34. Answer to the Starter • 7% - 11% • 9% of Liverpool’s land is, formally classified as open space (not including idle, zoned land) • Depends on soil fertility, local microclimates, accessibility…

  35. As ever: a tale of the carrot and the stick. The carrots are ok. Now grow the sticks. From 16 October 2010: