Urban Agriculture in Europe
Agriculture in cities and their outskirts as "Urban Agriculture" is an important field of research worldwide. It assumes a key role in two global challenges: urban development and health and food safety. This situation in Europe - with a dense urban network, particular cultural landscapes and the meaning of collective agricultural politics in the EU - must be investigated. For this reason the RWTH Aachen Chair for Landscape Architecture under the direction of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Frank Lohrberg has requested funding for scientific exchange and collaboration from the research program "European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)".
Approximately 500,000 Euros were granted for the next four years. 18 partner countries - from Europe and beyond - are now collaborating in "COST Action Urban Agriculture Europe". About 60 researchers are meeting together in Aachen on July 10 and 11, 2012 for the first workshop.
New forms of agriculture in cities and their outskirts are currently at the focus of research. This particularly includes "Urban Gardening" - as it is practiced in Aachen Soers - and its positive effects on health, nutritiion, social skills, and parts of the city worth living in. The particular situation for agriculture in urban spaces, which result in valuable achievements through the care of the cultural landscape and positive effects on the city climate, also stands at the focus. Agriculturalists have, for example, developed business models, which feature close proximity to the urban population, such as farm shops or events for children. This research collaboration will pursue the question how citizens, urban planners, and landscape architects can promote and use agriculture in the icty together with agriculturalists.
All those interested are welcome to attend the public presentations, which will be held in English. They will take place July 10, 2012 from 9:30am to 12:30pm in the Ford Hall, SuperC, Templergraben 57 in Aachen. RWTH Aachen Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg will deliver a short welcome.