New approaches in securing more sustainable urban food futures: case from Cologne-Bonn region
Urban food systems undergo a huge transformation. Many cities worldwide are involved; they start to reconsider their current food supply system. This study will describe some developments in the Cologne-Bonn area, Germany, which have the potential to introduce new pathways for more sustainable food futures. Recent developments in urban food systems in the Cologne-Bonn region are very much bottom-up, driven by lively and committed actors (gardeners, farmers, civil society). In this paper potential synergies and conflicts in the emerging urban agriculture activities, focusing on producer-consumer relations and evolving co-productive approaches are discussed. We further try to understand motivations, aims and visions of the diverse participants of such models. By using qualitative methods of empirical social research such as narratives and semi-structured interviews primary data were collected in the case region. Until now there is no consensus in the literature about the optimal institutional set-ups for the permanent adoption of the various forms of urban agriculture. Preliminary governance analysis showed that especially institutionalized forms seem to be robust and sustainable. The further exploration of the cases will also contribute to understand the dynamics coming from the involvement of citizens in the agricultural production. Co-productive or participatory agriculture, which includes the consumer into the production process, has the potential to change the way of urban food supply. It is hypothesized that shared motivations and visions between producers and consumers in favor of a sustainable food system will help to stabilize alternative food systems whereas conflicts need to be anticipated to deepen the understanding of problems in the producer-consumer co-productive process. Our first results demonstrate that co-productive models of today are primarily based on idealism from both sides and also bear the potential of conflicts. It will be up to further research and innovation to address these issues and also check the new approaches on economic viability.
Heuschkel, Z., Hirsch, D., Terlau, W. and Lorleberg, W. (2018). New approaches in securing more sustainable urban food futures: case from Cologne-Bonn region. Acta Hortic. 1215, 421-426
citizens' involvement, co-production, alternative urban food networks, participation