Contributions to the Discussion

Contributions AUGUST 25 - September 01,000

From: Jerome L. Kaufman" <>
Subject: a new urban agriculture report
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 13:48:26
Subject: a new urban agriculture report

Urban-Planning-L / Session 1 / Message from Jerome L. Kaufman

Dear participants,

I've been following the e-conference discussion on urban agriculture and planning with interest. Martin Bailkey and I have just completed a study which may be of interest to some of you.

Titled, Farming Inside Cities: Entrepreneurial Urban Agriculture in the United States, it's a research study that was funded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The report, which runs 125 pages, will be published in September 2000 by the Lincoln Institute, 113 Brattle St., Cambridge MA 02138-3400 for an estimated cost of $14.
The report will also be able to be downloaded from Lincoln's website:

The study investigates the nature and characteristics of for-market city farming in the U.S., obstacles to such activities, and ways of overcoming these obstacles. It also offers proponents of entrepreneurial urban agriculture (a slice of the broader field of urban agriculture), suggestions to advance the cause of city farming in environments where many are uninformed of its multiple benefits, disinterested, or skeptical about its durability and longer lasting significance.

The framework for the study imagines a wobbly three-legged stool.
One leg of the stool represents vacant land in U.S. cities (of which there is a considerable amount due to abandonment, especially in certain areas of older large and medium sized-cities in the midwestern and eastern regions).
The second leg represents entrepreneurial urban agriculture, a growing movement composed of individuals and organizations having the desire and knowledge to produce food in the city for market sale.
The third leg represents the institutional climate within a particular city, the environment in which entrepreneurial urban agriculture would take place, be it accomodationg, neutral, or restrictive.

The interest behind the study was to find out whether the three legs of the stool could be made sturdier--that is, whether an increased number of community-based entrepreneurial urban agriculture projects would be developed on vacant city land within the context of a more supportive institutional climate--or whether the legs of the stool would continue to wobble.

More than 120 people served as informants for this study, which began in 1998. Some 70 entrepreneurial urban agriculture projects in United States cities were found. Since the study was not designed to conduct an exhaustive search, we are sure that the number of such projects is even higher. The initiators of these projects are a very diverse group. Most are non-profit organizations, but some are private sector groups.

The initiating organizations include:
community garden groups, community development corporations, neighborhood organizations, inner-city high schools, social service organizations, church-affiliated groups, youth service agencies, farmers with a special interest in in-city food production, university extension services, animal husbandry organizations, homeless agencies, public housing tenants, as well as private sector businesses.

Just as the sponsors of for-market urban agriculture ventures varied, there were differences found among the projects across several important dimensions, such as the form of urban agriculture practice, sources of funding, resource capacities of the responsible organizations, staffing arrangements, whether they are solely entrepreneurial operations or hybrids (part for-market and part for non-market use), scale of operations, types of production techniques used, market outlets, and locations. Detailed case studies of Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia probed the institutional climate for urban agriculture and investigated fifteen for-market urban agriculture projects in these cities.

In an appendix to the report, all 70 for -market projects that were uncovered are briefly described. The study found both supporters and skeptics of entrepreneurial urban agriculture. Obstacles to such activities were discussed under four broad categories--site-related, government-related, procedure-related, and perception-related. Among the more prominent obstacles mentioned were site contamination, site vandalism, government and non-profit community development group skepticism, inadequate financing, and staffing problems. Ways of overcoming these obstacles are discussed, premised on the possibility that governments at all levels, local and national philanthropic foundations, and community development corporations can offer stronger support for for-market urban agriculture. Actions that specific groups could undertake to be more proactive toward the growing movement of entrepreneurial urban agriculture are also presented.

On another issue, Leo van der Berg, in his excellent paper, "Urban agriculture as the combination of two impossible though sustainable trends', referred to and drew from a recent article that Kami Pothukuchi, of Wayne State University in Detroit, and I had published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, "The Food System: A Stranger to the Planning Field" (Spring 2000). He is correct in saying that our study of 22 city planning agencies in the USA found that urban planners were minimally involved in food system issues.

Our article was the first ever to appear in a U.S. based planning journal on the topic of food system planning. We discuss the reasons for this inattention, both in the practitioner and academic planning community, but also suggest ways that planners could help to improve the food system--e.g. compiling data on the community food system; analyzing connections between food and other planning concerns such as environment, transportation, housing, health, land use, etc.; assessing the impact of current planning on the local food system; integrating food security into community goals; and educating future planners about food system issues.

Recognizing that urban agriculture can be an important component of any community food system, we believe that if planners are to become more understanding and proactive towards urban agriculture, then the context for their greater support should be broadened to showing them how they can contribute to helping improve the larger community food system. Once planners are more understanding and sensitive of that larger framework, urban agriculture activities will benefit accordingly.

Jerry Kaufman
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Wisconsin-Madison
925 Bascom Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53705

From: "Eugénio Manuel Bilstein de Menezes de Sequeira"
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2000 5:05
Subject: UPA- land use planning. Comments

UPA-Planning / session 1 / Contribution from Eugénio Menezes de Sequeira

Urban and Periurban Agriculture on the Policy Agenda / Urban Planning

Soil Scientist.
Consultant (Soil Advisor) of "Land Use Planing of Lisbon Metropolitan Area", Portugal.
Vice-president of the NGO - Iberian Council for Nature Protection
(Consejo Iberico para la Defesa de la Naturaleza - CIDN).
Member of Nature Protection League (LPN- Portugal).

In the beginning of my contribution I want to present some data about Portugal (Madeira and Açores are not considered) and Lisbon Metropolitan Area - LMA.

Portugal - 275, LMA - 18; Surface (km2): Portugal - 88,825, LMA - 3,128;

Inhabitants (103):
Portugal- 9,853, LMA- 2,565;

Demographic density (inhabitants/km2):
Portugal - 111, LMA - 809.

The demographic density is highly variable in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. In Lisbon town is 6,596. At North Tagus River the demographic density varies from more than 7,800 in Amadora, one of the Satellite (dormitory) Cities, to 153 at rural municipalities (as Mafra). At Southern Tagus River this density varies from more than 2,600 in Barreiro, one of the Industrial (dormitory) and satellite Cities to about 100 at rural municipalities.

The paved area growth is extremely large, and can be measured by the number of homes. The best way is compare demographic growth and number of house's growth. At LMA exists 1,219,203 homes, that means about 2.1 person by home, and the demographic growth among 1991 and 1997 has been 1%, but the building growth has been 13%. The economical relevancy of agricultural activities is great- At LMA agricultural activity represents 2,4% of total gross internal product, that means that at LMA the agricultural production means about 23% of Portugal Agricultural product. Agricultural jobs in the area represent 6.6% of total employment, and 16% of total agricultural jobs in Portugal. Certainly the conventional agricultural production is concentrated at rural municipalities (75% of LMA total agricultural production) but at satellite cities, industrial zones, etc., have 25% of agricultural total LMA conventional production. These data do not take in consideration informal marketing and self consumption of urban and periurban farming. This happens because the best soil resources are close, or in cities' areas. The land resources of Portugal are very scarce (CORINE EU Program). Only 8% of Portugal total area have high quality land resources, against 14% in Southern EU Countries (SEU). Continental Portugal have 25% of moderate quality against 27% of SEU, and 66% of bad quality land against 52 of SEU countries.

Good Soils are very scarce: Fluvisols - 3.31%, Vertisols - 1.02% , Castanhozems, Rendzinas, etc. < 1%.
Moderate quality soils such as Humic Cambisols, deep Luvisols, etc. are less than 25%. These soils are located close to the cities such us Lisbon, Porto, Setúbal, Braga, Beja, Chaves, Coimbra, Faro, etc. The cities have been established in places with access to good soils, water supply, ports or rivers. The growth of the urban areas of the cities, especially after industrial revolution happen as oil spot, covering the pest soil resources.

As an example, Lisbon have good cereal growing soils, the bests of Portugal, Red Vertisols formed in basalt and volcanic ashes. The last square meter of these soils must be paved before 2015, if we extrapolate the destruction by building among 1944 and 2000 (Azevedo, 1998).

However, Lisbon Metropolitan Area, have easy access to important biological diversity resources. In less than 2 hours driving from the centre of Lisbon the following Protected Natural Areas: Sado Estuary Area, Arrábida Mountain Park (in the LMA), Tagus Estuarine Protected Area (in the LMA); Natural Park of Sintra Cascais (in the LMA), Natural Park of Aires Candieiro Mountain, Protected Area of Montejunto Mountain. These Parks have wetlands, Mountain soils, rocky soils, but also agricultural land, with restrictions to urban use, but also to agricultural use.

As the soils in Natural Parks are protected the urban pressure is concentrated in good quality soils out of Protected Areas. Taking in account this conditions to the question "Does farming have a place in urban land-use planning and sustainable city development?" the answer is yes.

Taking in consideration that:

"Land Use Planning is the physical organisation of the space, adjusting land uses to their biophysical capacity"

"Planning, at least in theory, aims the equitable distribution of goods and costs, that means equitable distribution of the externallities"

"Land use is any kind of permanent or cyclic human intervention to satisfy human needs, either material or spiritual, short or long term".

"Land is the complex of natural and artificial resources: soil, vegetation, other biota and ecological and hydrological process in the ecosystem".

The open land, green belts etc., must guarantee the safety against floods, the aquifer recharge with water in quantity and quality, especially in Mediterranean climates, and must be planed to maintain the landscape. The Mediterranean climate is characterised by seasonal droughts, very high rainfall annual and seasonal variability and sudden and high-intensive rainfalls. With these ecological characteristics the continuous and large paved areas increases torrential, some times catastrophic, floods (as happen in Lisbon in 1947, 1967, 1983). The continuous and large paved areas decreases water recharge, so increases ground water pollution (only 2 aquifers at LMA are not polluted).

The good quality land resources must be preserved in accordance to their biophysical capacity, and to satisfy human needs, including food security and nutrition, now and long term, in land use planning. More than for good landscape amenity, spiritual needs, high quality land (specially good soils) must be preserved for plants, as green belts, forming an ecological net system, connecting natural parks, preserving the people from floods and maintaining the groundwater as a security against natural hazards.

The analyse of 187 Municipal Land Use Plan (Direcção Geral do Ordenamento do Território e Desenvolvimento Urbano, 1998) show a prevision of an increase of 47% of the urban area for the next years. For the increase of Industrial areas they show, for 126 Plans, an increase of 100%. These data show an increase of urban area enough to a demographic growth of 54%, in a country where from 1981 to 1991 the population have increased less than 1%. The reasons for this singular Municipal Land Use Planning (PDM) are: f The Portuguese Municipal Financial Law. According to this Law more than 50% of the Municipal financial support depends on recent buildings:

So, the financial sustainability of the Municipalities depends directly on the continuous urban growth. f Politic short term view. The short term excessive urbanisation increases land value with urban index (square meters of construction per square meter of land), moreover more collected taxes, so the private and public interest in building, building....

The Portuguese economic growth and employment depend on building (33% of the total jobs of Portugal depend directly and indirectly from building industry). Lower estimated price attributed to infrastructures, such as municipal gardens, schools, sport fields, etc. The paved areas, urban, tourist and industrial are anticipated to increase more than 50% (Direcção Geral do Ordenamento do Território e Desenvolvimento Urbano, 1998), which means an increase of the risk of disastrous floods, by the increasing discharge volume and lag time reduction, increasing the energy of the flood, and affected area downstream, near coastal areas where the percentage of paved area is greater (> 20%), as happen in Lisbon. However to maintain the green belts, the municipalities do not have the money to promote public gardens. Only the richest quarters have gardening enough to maintain not paved areas sufficient to avoid the pointed effects. In Mediterranean climate, forest close to buildings increases the risk of disastrous forest fires. So the solution to sustainable urban growth is planning an equilibrium, maintaining green belts, and these green spots can be keep properly by the urban and periurbam farming.

To the question "Where do UPA activities concentrate and why?" The answer is the best soils, the valleys and flooded zones, the infiltration zones to increase recharge of aquifers. The urban planning must keep these zones free from buildings, and paved areas, and if is not possible to have public gardens and parks, these best soils must be attributed to urban farming.To keep the support of neighbours is necessary to have strict rules of use, to avoid landscape degradation and pollution. Thus, in my opinion the urban agriculture needs more training and technical support, than traditional farming.


? Ferreira, A. F. et al., 2000 - Plano Regional de Ordenamento do Território da Área Metropolitana de Lisboa. Comissão de Coordenação da Região de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo (CCRLVT), 5 vol.

? CCD, 1997. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries experiencing Serious Drought and / or Desertification, parrticularly in Africa. Text with Annexes. Interin Secretariat for the Convention to Combat Desertification.

? Direcção Geral do Ordenamento do Território e Desenvolvimento Urbano, 1998. Planos Directores Municipais. Georeferenciação de Áreas Urbanas, Turísticas e Industriais. DGOTDU, Direcção Geral do ordenemento do Território e desenvolvimento Urbano.

? Sequeira, E. M. 1999 - Causes and consequences of Land Use and Cover Changes in Portugal. Land Use and Cover Change. Study Group on Land Use / Cover Change.

From: Oleg Moldakov
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 10:49 AM
Subject: PUA Planning

Urban-Planning / Session 1 / Contribution from Oleg Moldakov

My name is Oleg Moldakov. I'm a Researcher on Urban Agriculture (soil science and agro chemistry are my background)

I'd like to add my contribution related to research I've been developing in Russia in a frame of "Soil and Water management in agricultural Production in Urban Areas in CEE and NIS countries" project Does farming have a place in urban land-use planning and sustainable city development? How does it contribute? Please offer examples from real experiences.

Now most suitable land for agricultural use locate on the outskirts of cities.Owners of their lands are large agricultural state and private farms. Formally these lands are included into urban boundaries. Substantial investments (drainage were enclosed in these lands, the sprinkling systems)were made earlier and now urban administration do not enter attempts to replace the owners and to utilize such area under construction or other purposes, except agricultural ones. But such plans and attempts were in 1992-1994 years. They were rejected agrarian lobby in legislative bodies of cities and State Duma.

The open space / bad soil lands on the urban outskirts temporarily are authorized for agricultural purposes utilizing to some categories of the population (veterans, pensioners). The part of bad lands around of cities will be utilized informally, without the sanction, and it still runs about 15 years. The urban authorities do not plan organization of new gardening communities or private agricultural farms , try to organize such settlements in suburban territories close to urban borders. "Office on management on development of a gardening".was organized for coordination of actions with administrations in St. Petersburg (city) and Leningrad Region (the rural area). It submits to two governor at the same time- urban and rural. Where do UPA activities concentrate and why [e.g. which kinds of soils are in use for agriculture; what is water availability and quality; what is the distance to markets]?

Such activity is concentrated in radius 10 up to 100 kilometers from city center. It depends on the size of city . The most part of the townspeople has received the plot areas on bad soils, on bogs and even in bad wet forest places. They were compelled to drain bogs, to saw trees (part of trees was utilized on construction of a summer house). Only about 5-10 % have received plot, which was in use of state farms or collective farms earlier. The townspeople digs wells by hands or a chink by special equipment for the own money. But these chinks are not deep enough (8-15 meters), and wells are simply shallow (3-5 meters) to ensure aqueous bed protection against pollution connected with waste, fertilizers, manure.

What impact does UPA have on its neighbors?
Which activities are most compatible with UPA? Knock of hammers on plots, sowing of wood by electrical saws, shouts of agricultural animals negatively works on the neighbors. The smell (odor) from an animal as reason of the complaints seldom happens, because we have no commercial quantity of animal in sphere of urban agriculture.

Best regards

Oleg Moldakov

From: "jac smit" <>
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2000 7:39 PM
Subject: two from Jac: Training and Responses// Your doing very well!!! J.

UPA-PLanning / session1 Comments from Jac Smit / Moderator

tuan \ econfpln.800: Fw: two from Jac: Training and Responses// Your doing very well!!!
Jac Smit 8/26/2000

Adding Agriculture to the City Planning Curriculum:
The city is a constituent of ecology.City planning can not ignore nature. Since 1970 some city planning schools have added 'environment' to their requirement for a degree. Doing so added one more element to an already demanding course of study. Urban Sociology, economics, geography and law had been added in previous decade to the original curriculum dominated by engineering and architecture.One must have some sympathy for the faculty and the student being asked to add agriculture [one more layer of knowledge].

When I took my MCP degree at Harvard in the 60s we had to bring in specialists in geography and sociology from Boston University and take some advanced courses at MIT. Harvard University did not contain all that we needed.

Why UA? Why not UA? There is a generally accepted theory that cities occurred when and where rural societies produced a surplus of food. There is considerable evidence to support a theory that cities occurred when and where villages invented new more efficient food production technology, and the settlement grew and increased in complexity as more and more time became available for non food production activities. Its possible that the past generation's boom in UA portends a similar historic revolution.

The Inca's Machu Pichu, Peru, which the Spanish rulers did not find for 100 years, did not import food from rural areas.My maps of Mayan Tikal, Guatemala indicate ample land and irrigation capacity within the urban boundary to feed the city. How can city planners ethically ignore an urban activity and land use that engages two of three Russian urban families, produces two-thirds of America's fruit and vegetables and constitutes three-fifths of Madrid's land use?

In Africa about half of all urban family income is in the informal [non-money] sector. Urban agricultural production and distribution is the single largest component of the informal sector. Considering a city council's vision / plan of a healthy city with half the city economy dependent on self-production and barter; UA is likely to appear as a pretty good option. Success stories of such a vision / policy / plan abound: Havana, Kampala, Calcutta, Vancouver and one hundred others.City planners are slowly, eventually joining the trend. And we need to persuade the degree-givers.

In the USA TUAN has recently suggested this process to planners:
1. Map food insecurity,
2. Map idle land [particularly public and institutional]
3. Designate these lands as strategic civic agriculture zones.
4. Focus government and civic agriculture programs on the food insecure and adjacent idle land areas, and
5. Institute urban "right to farm" projects with NGOs managing the sites.

Response to Nadine Dulac:

Ougadougou and Bamako are well known in West Africa to be the leaders in UA. OGDG urban products are exported as far away and Abidjan [by rail] and Bamako exports to surrounding villages at harvest peaks. I am impressed with your organic waste program. And I do want to call attention to the value of inorganic waste to UA. And I do want to call attention to the value of inorganic waste to UA.

Construction / deconstruction debris has many useful elements for soil improvement. Some are better applied to light soils and some better to lighten heavy soils. In the USA we are using bacteria to breakdown some inorganic wastes into soil enhancers.

On another point I would like to hear some discussion of the value, in the 21st century, of studying 19th century urban waste to food technology, prior to so-called 'modern' sanitation and sanitary land-fills.

Response to Marielle Dubbeling:

I guess the place to begin is to sit down with a low-income urban family at dinner and explore their strategy to achieve comfort and security. They might start with food, next shelter and move on to health, education, wardrobe. We know that in the area of shelter that they will consider rent of build. The latter might be extralegal. Food decisions similarly may consider produce, purchase or barter.

I do not see a duality in food security or income generation as UA motivators. It's the same thing in achieving family comfort. And very often a family decides to use UA for both, but food first.

1. UA is seldom a family response to crisis. It is too slow. But a mother may well sell a fatted calf, raised for a religious holiday celebration, to pay for a child's health emergency. At a city scale UA as a response to crises is quite common; Sarajevo, Baghdad, Harare ++.

2. Surveys indicate the urban farmers do not give up their farming when income improves. Some of the continuance may be psychological, and primarily farmers in the city find that they get good return to labor.

3. Certainly in Western Europe and North America Leisure Gardeners and Community Gardeners are motivated by social and environmental goals.

Response to Pay Drechsel:

As with other land uses UA / PUA requires some sub-categories. TUAN is considering the following
A- Home garden, school garden, institutional garden
B- Agroforestry
C- Market gardens, truck gardens
D- Small-scale small livestock / poultry
E- Greenhouse, aquaculture, mushrooms
F- Tourist / recreation farming

A and B may be permissible everywhere with minor restrictions, [rooftops, walls, street-sides, etc] C and D may have significant restrictions in regards to chemicals, noise, and scale. E and F may require rather stringent controls, including concerns for the health of staff, and considering traffic generation, side yards, and / or buffers.

From: "UVPP"
To: <>
Date: 29 August 2000 19:23

Dear colleagues,

my name is Petra Jacobi, I am working as a GTZ-adviser in a bilateral development project supporting urban vegetable production in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Our main partners are urban gardeners (men and women, mainly low-income groups) and about 70 government extension workers and their superiors in more than 40 wards in the city.

I have been following the e-conference with great interest. Malongo Mlozi (28.8.) has already shared some of the data available about Dar es Salaam and other cities from Tanzania. Therefore I would like to raise an additional aspect of the question posed for the first session of this conference. It appears rather theoretical, but has a lot of very practical implications for implementation and might be become more important if we proceed. In many discussions we introduce UPA as an intervention - How does UPA contribute to sustainable city development? - and can backing our point with a variety of arguments.

There are very lively discussions, where people share their inside experiences, often with the result that UPA presents a multitude of facettes and becomes very complex. Let's focus on planning for the time being. Do we not have to step back and change our perspective when we look at UPA & planning? The question to answer in terms of planning might be different: How do we initiate development in the various fields related to sustainable city development?

One option in some fields can definitely be to promote UPA! I more and more have the feeling, this is a slight, but somehow important difference in the argumentation. It could also be one reason why we still struggle to fully catch the interest of planners.

a.. We promote UPA as a potential intervention (solution?) for different groups in a city and / or as a valid contribution to certain urban aspects / problems (e.g. waste recycling as mentioned by Nadine Dulac (23.8.), recreation / social aspects as for example mentioned by Oliver Ginsberg (24.8.). In order to make use of the full potential of UPA, some look for possibilities to see it included in planning. Acknowledgement of the topic is our intention, we have plenty of arguments and practical examples for it.

b.. Another approach would be to start with an actual problem in the city:
Let me make an example: We have vulnerable groups in a city -e.g. urban poor, often women- it is likely that urban poverty remains a problem in developing countries for quite some time. It is a fact that they get involved in UPA and it has positive effects. How to change the frame conditions for these groups -e.g. formalize the access to land for this specific group but also agree on supplementary support measures- that they can make better use of it. Here UPA becomes a means, one among many. It depends on the development priorities and the potential of UPA in a city, if one or another form of UPA will be considered as potential option.

However personally I tend to agree with Diana Lee Smith (24.8.) that it is worthwhile at least in most of the developing countries to "take a definite stand on alleviation of urban poverty" not to forget gender differences. This slight change in perspective might also help us in our dilema to decide if the farmers who mainly get involved in UPA are urban poor or more medium and high -income earners and which group is more important. It depends on what you want to see on the ground, (preferably this should be agreed with the urban residents on a local level!!!). I can imagine that in almost every city you have more than one type of farmer.

Marielle Dubbeling expressed earlier (23.8.) that she is still missing the answer to the question : what is the "real objective" why people engage in urban agriculture?. We must have come across a number of "real objectives". It seems that their is no "overall objective to get involved in UPA", but many combinations. It does vary from North to South and differs very much also between urban farmers themselves (e.g. male - female / urban - peri-urban / rich - poor / subsistence - market-oriented - leisure). This does not even take into account the dynamic which was mentioned by Marielle Dubbeling and Jac Smit nor a historical view as brought in by Frieder Thomas as a comment to Marielle.

But let me be provocative and come back to my earlier point: What is the relevance of this information for planners if we can not clearly link one group or a specific form of UPA with one of their tasks or precisely link it with one aspect of the development vision for their city. They might not be interested in the answer. I am not at all saying that we do not need to know, why people engage in urban agriculture, and what the different production systems of UPA contribute to various goals (e.g. food security on household or city level, employment generation, social aspects). We have to come back to the differentiation, the dynamic and the historical aspects, because we need to assess and be fully aware about the contribution of the "different forms of UPA" when we get the chance to advise and support planners and decision-makers (this includes also facilitation of discussions on local level with the people concerned). We probably have to be even more precise and knowledgeable to be able to answer their questions. The difference again is the entry point.

Allow me to close with some additional questions, I am still struggling with. I would be very interested to get some more views from other participants.:
Which impact on what level and for whom do we expect, if we give UPA a place in land-use planning? Can we answer this question at all if we talk about UPA as a general intervention?

Hoping very much for comments and contributions

Petra Jacobi
Adviser Urban Vegetable Promotion Project
Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives / GTZ
P.O.Box 31311 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: ++255-22-2700947

From: "Lena Jarlov" To: <> Date: 30 August 2000 09:57

Dear colleagues,

thanks for the interesting and stimulating discussion. My name is Lena Jarlöv. I am a Swedish architect, planner and researcher.

In 1998 I got the opportunity to participate in comprehensive urban planning for two South African towns, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley, within a cooperation between Sweden and South Africa. My task was to handle urban agriculture in the plans. It was supposed to be very simple, as I had only five weeks in each town to my disposition! The over all planning work lasted for about two years with lots of people involved. 1999 I spent another two month in Port Elizabeth, voluntarily, trying to get a step further by organizing a network of politicians and inhabitants, interested in urban agriculture. Now there is a group of people, going on.

I will point at some questions based on my experiences:
When handling urban agriculture within the planning, it is essential to distinguish between different types, which require different preconditions. Here I will specially discuss keeping of big livestock and home gardening (back yard).

1 Keeping of cows and goats.

One main reason for this type of farming, at least in South Africa, is the tradition of religious ceremonies, where meat (and blood) from cows and goats are important parts. The animals have to be slaughtered in special ways. You cannot just go into a butcher's shop and by a piece of meat. This tradition is deep rooted and very widespread in big groups, for example the Xhosas, and very much alive among citizens. There is a serious wish among black urban Africans to keep and develop their own cultural traditions. The habit causes lots of conflicts. Animals are kept in very dense townships and bring flies and smell. They are grazing in the gardens and along the roads, causing traffic accidents. This habit will never be broken by forbidding laws. Urban farmers told me that the traditional religious laws are much more important for them and for the people, who buy meat from them, than the municipal laws!

So the phenomenon has to be handled within the land-use planning. It is in fact not possible to have many animals grazing in the urban area as the natural conditions of soil and climate only permits one cow on 13 hectares in Port Elizabeth and on 20-25 hectares in Kimberley (semi-desert). I soon realized that this problem was the main reason from the planners for explicitly including urban agriculture in the planning work. I think the only way for sustainable animal husbandry here should be "zero-grazing". That means keeping the animals in kraals and bringing the food to them.

This food can be residues from the vegetable market and from the households and garden waste from the rich areas and the parks. It could also (according to Dr Gus Nilsson in Gaborone) very well be for example Nigerian Elephantgrass, grown for cleaning the waste water. (Secure methods, minimizing health risks, have to be developed). Places for such kraals have to be pointed out in the land-use plan. They should be situated far enough from the housing areas not to cause smell and flies, but near enough to make it convenient for the farmer to take care of his animals. (Not many people own cars.) Kraals for zero-grazing are constructed and tried in some rural areas of South Africa.

In addition, places for slaughter have to be planned. But this is not only a question of planning. As this would be a new way of farming, and of thinking, demonstration and education would be necessary. If such zero-grazing places could not be found within the urban or peri-urban area, small-holdings outside the urban area maybe could be an alternative, but this is not easy either in South Africa, as most of the land outside the towns are owned by white farmers, who are not interested in this sort of enterprises. This question is very complicated and brings up lots of cultural conflicts. Most of the planners are more interested just to get rid of the urban farmers than to give them alternatives. The farmers are seen as rural reminiscent who should go back to the countryside and not disturb the "image of the city". The planners of Port Elizabeth (and Sweden) wanted a modern mega city, attractive to foreign investors. My suggestions were not taken seriously by them. Other employees within different sectors of the municipality showed greater interest. The problem has not yet been solved, as far as I know.

2. The home garden.

It is obvious, that for subsistence gardening, the home garden next to the dwelling is superior to gardens at a distance, specially for those many families that consist of only women and children. It is very difficult to walk a distance to a garden with small children and heavy loads (tools, vegetables, household waste etc). In the home back yard you can easily fetch the fresh vegetables for the cooking, you can use your own household waste and waste water from washing etc. You can easily look after the plants now and then, give them water and combat vermins etc. You are more secure from theft and straying animals.

A home garden needs some space. The prevalent strive for high density of the townships counteract the possibilities for subsistence gardening near the house. In the comprehensive planning, specially for Port Elizabeth, high density in the low income areas was a superior goal. "Urban sprawl" was seen as the greatest horror. Much effort from the planners was devoted to finding solutions for as small plots as possible.

This is partly due to the implementation of water borne sewage systems, where every inch of pipe legth gives extra costs. This is another important reason to hurry up developing ecological sanitation, where water and waste from the household can be used in the gardens. The prevalent planning philosophy with the fear for urban sprawl has its origin in western industrial cities, where the majority of the inhabitants are employed and have a wage. It is irrelevant for cities where the majority are unemployed. In the first case, the housing areas are planned for consumption only. In the second case, where people have little or no money for consumption, the housing areas should planned for production of necessities, such as food.

Then space is necessary. There urban sprawl may be favorable. The figures of the unemployment of Port Elizabeth are very uncertain. In many townships and informal areas a vast majority of the people have no jobs. And this will not change in the foreseeable future, even with the highest GNP. For Port Elizabeth an estimation was made 1998 of a population growth from approximately one million to 2.3 - 2.9 millions by the year 2020. At the same time the increase of the employment in the formal sector was estimated to 95 000 - 285 000 persons, depending on the economic growth rate (3% or 6%). The higher economic growth rate the larger population. So the absolute number of unemployed people will continue to grow. And they will need food.

For further discussion I send my paper Urban agriculture as a concept in urban planning in South Africa. Example from Port Elizabeth (from the International Symposium Urban Agriculture and Horticulture. The Linkage with Urban Planning, Berlin 7 - 9 July 2000) to the info-market.

Lena Jarlöv
Dalarna Research Institute
PO Box 743, 79129 Falun, Sweden

To: <>
Subject: Some South African perspectives
Date: 30 August 2000 20:36

Hello Urban Planning moderators

I am Pieter de Necker, an economic / urban geographer in the Dept of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

I have been trying to keep up with all the information that has been streaming in on all three of the conference topics. I am amazed at how much work is being done all over the world. I have been interested and involved in UPA since 1990, more so in making my students aware of it in my teaching than in actively researching it myself. I always take my students and overseas visitors (student groups, conference delegates) to UPA sites and projects.

The dearth of contributions to the conference about UPA in South Africa or by South Africans has surprised me. Maybe the potential contributors are not aware of the conference. Much useful work has been done in this country on disparate aspects of UPA by, among others, Chris Rogerson (Wits), Nigel Webb (Vista, PE), Julian May (Data Research Africa), Mohammad Karaan (US), Najma Mohamed (US / UCT) and Fermont, Van Asten,Keet & Van Boom (UWC).

I have some input regarding urban managers' views about UPA in Greater Cape Town and informal residents' response to urban planners' development proposal to allow for small-scale farming in the urban open space around their township.

A survey done in 1994 by Jacques Uys for an honours research project (subsequently reported as a paper at an IGU Commission conference in Cape Town in 1995) among public and private urban and regional planners, local government administrators, civics leaders and NGO project leaders, elicited divergent views and perceptions.

On the "negative" side we found that many respondents were unaware of research results and other information about UPA. This was worrying in that the substantial body of literature extant even at that time was not getting onto the desks of an important target audience. Then, of course, there were the sentiments about UPA's economic unimportance, its being only a temporary phenomenon, an unawareness of official active discouragements or pronouncements of illegality of urban cultivation (and a lack of strong feelings for or against it), and widespread opposition to livestock keeping and raising. Some expressed the intriguing stance that migrants from rural areas must adapt to the rules and ways of town where agriculture is by definition not practised. The deep-seated influence on urban managerial thinking by received concepts and theories was clear.

The "positive" perceptions concerned cultivation rather than livestock farming. The economic benefits (particularly urban commercial farming) and socio-economic-cultural benefits (survival strategy for the poor; contribution to urban sustainability by virtue of UPA's infilling contribution to urban densification; therapeutic value for patients, prisoners, the aged and jobless; a tool for conflict resolution and community development; aesthetic, educational and tourism function and potential). An insightful observation was that agriculture is rejected many black South Africans due to its apartheid education stigma caused by agriculture being an objectionable school subject aimed at maintaining blacks as farm labourers for life and punishment being meted out at black schools to work in school gardens. Community gardens were seen as a way to destigmatize agriculture.

A number of conclusions were drawn among which being that the findings were biased in that UPA participants as managers were not included in the survey. We concluded that inclusion of urban farmers in a participatory research effort would probably produce some unexpected indigenous results.

A study done in 1998 in the new democratic South Africa did produce an unexpected finding. Research by Andre Jacobs (for a masters degree) and subsequently reported in poster form by us at a Geography conference in Windhoek, Namibia in 1999, investigated the City of Tygerberg Planning and Economic Directorate's development scenario of diverse ecodevelopment ( a mix of small-scale farming, refuge for traditional initiation rites, indigenous fynbos reserve, nursery for indigenous medicinal plants, etc) in the Driftsands Nature Reserve in which the informal settlement of Greenpark had arisen. Workshops were held with 40 community inhabitants (total was about 800) who identified a total of 22 development needs, existing and possible open space uses . The list included UA(crops), UA(livestock), wood collection, aquaculture and medicinal plant nursery.

Four workshop groups independently ranked the 22 items into wish-lists. Items were then weighted according to the ranks and a top ten priority list emerged in which all of the planner- and literature-suggested green / soft urban open space uses, notably UA (crops), UA (livestock), wood collection, aquaculture, medicinal plant nursery, greening, initiation site, environmental education and picnic facilities were absent. Hard infrastructural and service development needs (housing, school, clinic, creche, police station, post office, church, community center, services --water, electricity, sewerage, refuse removal -- and a sportsfield far outweighed the soft issues. The requirement for urban managers to include and consult local communities in decisions about and planning of the latter's environments was made abundantly clear. UA is not necessarily a desired activity of the urban poor.

Too much said. Thank you for the attention.

Dr Pieter de Necker
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
University of Stellenbosch
Private Bag X1 Matieland 7062
Tel 021 8083107 Fax 021 8082405

From: "IAGU"
To: <>
Cc: <>
Subject: PUA Forum
Date: 31 August 2000 17:44

Moderators comment:
Dear participants of the Planning group. This is a real report from the ground send by our colleague Dr Djibril Doucouré from Dakar. We would be pleased to get more information like this to create awareness on the real situation. This is necessary to better understand where and how planning policy needs to intervene in UPA.

Your Moderators,

Before 1960 we were near Djikoroni Para in Commune 5 ( actually in downtown), after we left this place to occupy Niare marshy site from 1960 to 1968 ; the Government gave us temporary occupation certificate. But they judge that that place is not for us and again we were moved out. Now we are here in Sotiba quater but for how many time ? At the beginning 100 ha were assigned to agriculture activities and finally it is only 40 ha that we can work. Few mounths ago, local authority told us that a 20ha site is available overthere for our activities. This signify that in the near future we will again change place and far from the town>> ; <<In 1983 a special area of 10 ha were reserved by the government for cattle-pen to host stock-breeders cleared out from Sabalibougou. Now that inhabitants live here and that several plot of land were disoriented of it's first vocation to serve as habitation ( only 33 cattle-pen on 130 forecasted) we are officially informed that the place is now for dwelling and another site is in preparation ( 20 ha at Gouana) for us>>.

These complains are first from an old man member of farmer co-operative and the second from a stockbreeder.These alarm cry testify that the major constraint of UPA in Bamako is access to and the crucial situation of UPA which contribution is still known and recognised very important. They are registered last week in a meeting with farmer co-operative and with a representative of stock-breeder organised by national coordination of Mali of UPA network in West and Central Africa coordonated by IAGU (African Institute for Urban Management).

So constant remark is that UPA is not integrated in urban texture planning. Activities are always transfered outskirts of town with removal of market, increase of products cost but particularly impossibility of long term investment for farmer. Thus expresses that UPA is not yet included in land-use planning process of the town or is considered as less important without analysing all economic, environmental and so on interrelation with other sectors. As matter of fact, in Bamako, 300 ha are occupied by UPA which product 7831 tons of fruits and vegetable (Zalle 1998).

Privileged sites of UPA in Bamako, as in several cities, are as follow : along raiways, land available along sewage and rainwater system, along roads and specifically in space available in road-connexion site. Most of sites are used because of availability of water even though quality is very poor and proximity of market. This situation is also encountered in several other big cities in West Africa where the availability of land is real but access and ownership by PUA is very difficult, temporary because of it's no-integration in the sustainable town planning process.

Dr Djibril Doucouré
IAGU Institut Africain de Gestion Urbaine
BP 7263 Sicap Dieuppeul I
N° 2243 Dakar
Tel: +221 824 44 24
Fax: +221 825 08 26
e-mail :,

From: Rajul Pandya-Lorch
To: <>
Subject: UPA-Planning / session 1 / Message from IFPRI
Date: 31 August 2000 17:16

UPA-Planning / session 1 / Message from IFPRI

This message we received to be forwarded to the planning group. It could be of interest for some of you. We have also established some links to IFPRI in our information market at

Best regards

Your Moderators

Dear Sir or Madam:

> The developing world's urban population is expected to almost double during the next two decades to reach 3.4 billion in 2020. Without concerted action, urbanization of such magnitude poses grave threats to economic, social, environmental, and political well-being. >

> In a recently released set of policy briefs from the International Food Policy Research Institute's (IFPRI) 2020 Vision Initiative, distinguished experts examine the key factors influencing and shaping future urban poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, and suggest policies and programs to achieve urban food and nutrition security. Issues addressed in this set of briefs, the third in the 2020 Vision Focus series, include:
> * Interdependence between urban and rural areas;
> * Future of urban livelihoods and labor markets;
> * Hidden significance of urban agriculture;
> * Nutrition transition during urbanization;
> * Assisting urban women to balance work and childcare; and
> * Programs to achieve urban food and nutrition security. >

> IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting food needs of developing countries on a sustainable basis, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on poorer groups in those countries.>

> The briefs may be downloaded from the IFPRI website <>.

> If you would like to receive a hardcopy of the collection of briefs, please contact Jenna Kryszczun at>

> Sincerely,>

> Rajul Pandya-Lorch
> Head, 2020
> Vision Initiative

From: Anoaneta Yoveva <>
To: <>
Subject: UPA-Planning/session1 Contribution from Anoaneta Yoveva
Date: 01 September 2000 09:39

UPA-Planning / session 1 / Contribution from Anoaneta Yoveva

Hallo, I am Anoaneta Yoveva, architect and urban planner from Bulgaria. I am happy to have the chance to participate in the SWAPUA project led by Henk de Zeeuw, ETC, the Netherlands, which surveys the UA current development in several transitional countries in CEE. Attached is a summary of my paper, which I presented in the UA Symposium in Berlin.

For our discussion now I have added some specific conclusions and recommendations regarding the improvement of planning of UA.

Warmest regards,

Antoaneta Yoveva
Sofia: Urban agriculture in an economy in transition – land use issues
Antoaneta Yoveva, architect, urban planner

Urban agriculture has been an essential element of Bulgarian life for centuries. It is typical for all cities, including the capital. In all the villages of the Sofia municipality, in the city outskirts, and in the central parts of the city, private gardens and backyards produce food, which is processed at home. For households in Sofia the percentage of people achieving self-sufficiency in different foods, (either self-produced or processed by friends and relatives up country) is about 14 %.

For Sofia the urban agriculture takes place in:

From 1970 to 1985 State owned farmland was issued to people under different State decrees for temporary use. This land was for recreation and for self-supply of fruits and vegetables. The private small farms in Sofia are responsible for 92% of the cattle breeding, 98% of the goat breeding, 100% of the sheep breeding, 93% of the poultry and 92% of the pig breeding (National Statistical Institute 1997).

Most households process almost all their crop and animal production at home to prepare food supplies for the winter. Part of the agricultural production is canned or pickled. The fruits are made into stewed fruits or jams. Fruits and grapes are also used to make homemade brandy. Some of the excess production is sold. In 1997 in Sofia roughly 28% of households acquired some income from private farm production. Urban agriculture is a steady and quite high source of in-kind income of households, while cash income from urban farming is often irregular (Early Warning reports, Jan.–Oct. 1998).

In the period 1992 - 1995 the products of urban agriculture only represented 1% to 2.6% of the total income of individuals and households in Sofia. (National Statistical Institute, 1997, 1998). However, as a rule, most agricultural activities are not registered and people do not declare the income from sales of agricultural production.
The actors on the (informal) urban agricultural labour market are:

The unclear land tenure situation and slow adoption of the law result in a non-existent market for agricultural land. Therefore it is difficult to obtain credit for agriculture. Land is not accepted as collateral. The few possibilities that do exist to obtain loans have requirements, which are difficult to meet by farmers in the informal sector. A prime factor, encouraging the farm production around Sofia is the proximity of markets for the agricultural produce. The distance from the central markets to the most out lying parts of Sofia is 1–1.5 hours, which keeps transport time and expenses limited. The urban and peri-urban farmers can offer their products directly at the markets, without middlemen. They can also open their own retail stores to sell their products directly. Land use planning can enhance the use of neglected areas for urban farming. Mini-farming and school gardening can serve for on-the-job training for young people and permanently unemployed. Municipal strategies are needed to further promote private initiative in urban farming. Measures like extension of cheap credits for agriculture, creation of a municipal agricultural investment fund, promotion of foreign investment in the processing of local agricultural production and reduction of the production risks, can support the process of stabilizing the private urban farming. Strong linkages still exist between urban families with the rural areas along with a tradition of agricultural production on limited scale. This is an enormous asset in further developing urban agriculture.

Land use: Fact finding and situation analysis
- The farming activity currently does not have a place in urban land-use planning. As a function, it is not planned separately from the other functions – residential, industrial or transport, for example. In the past, in the 80ies here had been a lot of attention towards it, as it was known that a significant part of the agricultural production came from the gardens and the land for self supply. Nowadays, during the transition, the trace was lost, though the contribution of UA to the households’ income for survival is significant.
- UA takes place in the compact city, in the peri-urban zone, in the villages adjacent to the capital and belonging administratively to it.
- There are examples of spontaneously seized vacant land among the prefabricated blocks of flats in the peripheral residential zones. There are many people living there who came from the province and have a strong feeling to cultivate their own small gardens for self-supply.
- The transitional changes and the restitution (giving back to the former owners) of the privately owned land caused numerous negative effects on urban agriculture and the green open spaces. This process brought to decrease of the arable land in the city periphery and the change of the land use or areas, which were planned for public open space and parks. So, instead of being preserved and valued – the urban farming land was densely constructed with new development, which bring high revenues to its owners. The farming activities in general are at a loss and not efficient economically.
- Another trend in the land use is that the villages around the capital, where traditionally the parcels were used for recreation, now are gradually turned into suburban residential areas with permanent residents. The new development is with higher density, the general appearance – highly urbanized instead of ‘green’. Most sad is that the yards are no longer used for growing vegetables and fruits, but are landscaped in fashionable ways. The residents buy food from the local market, instead of producing it.

Recommendations for improvement in land use planning and policy making:
1. The open space areas – parks and public greenery should be protected and preserved.
2. The density of building in the peripheral city zones, where UA activities exist should be limited to a certain extend in order keep the yards reasonably big for food growing.
3. The restituted land, which is not used by its owners, should be surveyed and offered at lease to those who have not their own land and wish to do farming.
4. The vacant land within the city borders should be surveyed and given to those who wish to make farming on it. It should be given a special new statute - for lease, or for temporary use.

Specific urban indicators should be developed regarding the UA land use in order to enhance it and to be preserved the suitable land for UA.

From: "GREIF, Franz" <>
To: <>
Subject: UPA-Planning / session 1 / Contribution from Franz Greif
Date: 01 September 2000 11:29

Hofrat Dr. Franz Greif
Bundesanstalt für Agrarwirtschaft
Abteilung Agrarpolitik, Regionalforschung und Landsoziologie
Schweizertalstraße 36
A-1133 WIEN
T: (00431) 8773651-66
F: (00431) 8773651-59

Dear colleagues,

I hope to do it the right way mailing my contribution to this address.

The initiative to promote knowledge about and action for peri-urban agriculture is extremely valuable. Everybody who had the chance to deal with this topic imagines its huge complexity consisting of

I think that the topic is of high importance for planners, local and regional politicians as well. Let me suggest to take into consideration the following points:

1. The "peri-urban issue" as a whole is wellknown for some decades. Some 20 years ago a working group of OECD elaborated the publication "AGRICULTURE IN THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF PERI-URBAN AREAS" (two volumes, Paris 1979). The result of the scientific negotiations of this working group was the so-called "Recommendation of the OECD-Council Concerning the Role of Agriculture in the Planning and Management of Peri-urban Agriculture", adopted on March 14, 1979. This publication should be available in good libraries. If not, as a member of this working party I can provide conclusions, summaries and the recommendation to interested colleagues (after having scanned the text).

2. Peri-urban agriculture should be systematically defined for different urban types, because of a great variety in the composition of the above mentioned elements. I could imagine to distinguish at least between
* UPA (around cities, centres, or in agglomerations) of highly industrialised or OECD-countries
* UPA in Central and East European reform countries
* UPA in emerging countries

3. Zones or areas of UPA should (and must) become an element of land use planning as soon as possible; there are several important reasons for that:
* urban growth and the expansion of built up areas all the time and in many cases is going on on best agricultural land, thus limiting the primary production basis
* planning of small scale subsistence units in suitable sites should contribute to solve huge problems of migration and occupation of land by homeless, unemployed and landless people
* planning and "disentangling" of land use mixtures to patterns corresponding with the physical suitability of peri-urban sites could also lead to better (and cheaper) infrastructural equipment (or to infrastructure at all).

With best compliments to all participants and cordial regards,

Franz Greif

From: "CEK - Kala Saba" <>
To: "Urban Planning" <>;
"Urban Food" <>
Subject: e-conference
Date: 01 September 2000 12:37

Dear All,

We, at CEK are working in Mali for a project that is looking into the potentials of development of Urban & Peri Urban Agriculture in Relation to Urban Waste Management in West Africa. This project started last year and we are now setting up protocoles and pilots which aim to involve gardeners and cereal farmers in producing, testing and using compost, made out of household waste, agricultural residues, manure and waste from slaughterhouse. This is done with a participative approach, according to farmers knowledge, ideas and wills. Before this, we looked into the UPA situation in our capitale, Bamako. We are very glad to present our first findings. We will be also glad to up-date you in the future with all the final conclusions.

We would like to make a contribution about "What are the constraints on producers and how best to mitigate them regarding land"?
In Bamako, land is a very important aspect and this sows dissesion. We believe that in this case, the land problem should be tackle in two ways: At the urban agriculture level, urban planning is not yet including space for agriculture activities within the boundary of the commune. Nevertheless, small green areas such as parks or vegetable gardens are build, specially in the center of the town. Vegetable gardeners are using land that is not yet being developed, small areas along the railway path and along the banks of the Niger river. To some extend, they are recognised as "owner" of their activities by the public authority. Some time, they pay a rent to a so-called owner and sometime they are squatting.

At the peri urban agriculture level, from 1960 to 1991, agricultural spaces were allocated in the periphery of the capital. The objective was to promote the production of vegetables, milk, eggs and meat, to decrease the cost of transportation and the time. Since 1991, these areas have been swallowing up by warehouses, garage stations etc..and in some cases they became living areas.

"What are the advantages of the UPA"?
UPA is not only providing income and jobs, it contributes to provide food and also to re-use solid waste through compost production for example.

"Where UPA activities located?" At the rural plot, along the river or the railway.

Water is collected directly from the river or through wells. Water is considered as good except when located closed to sewage discharges. There is a limitation with the water ressource, usually available only for a couple of months.

Vendors are selling at central markets and at external markets. Vendors sell also on site. Field investigations showed that vegatable gardens are located at 6 to 8 km from the market areas in the case of UA and at 15 to 30 km in case of PUA.

The other people involved in PUA & UA such as vendors of seeds, pesticides, materials etc. are working at the market. For some farmers, it it their main activity.

Mandiou Gassama
Traduction de Nadine Dulac (WASTE)
CEK Kala Saba
BP 9014 Bamako (Rép. Mali)
Tél : 223/ 23 84 12
Fax : 223/23 84 13
émail :

From: "CEK - Kala Saba" <>
To: "Urban Planning" <>;
"Urban Food" <>
Subject: Tr: e-conférence
Date: 01 September 2000 12:43

Urban-Food-L / Session 1 / Contribution from Madiou Gassama, Bamako, Mali

AUP et la planification :

1°) Activités agricoles et la planification

Je suis membre d'une équipe de Recherche qui travaille depuis plus d'un an sur l'AUP à Bamako en relation avec la gestion des déchets urbains. Au cours des enquêtes préliminaires que nous avons effectuées, il est apparu que le problème de terre est le principal point de discorde entre l'AUP, le problème de terre doit être envisagé à deux niveaux différents:
* L'Agriculture urbaine : dans la répartition des terres dans nos villes en pleine expansion, il n'apparaît nul part que des zones intra-urbains ont été réservées par le planificateur pour la production agricole. Cependant on observe actuellement la création de quelques jardins publics au centre-ville (ornement) et des îlots de jardins potagers.

Les agriculteurs installés en zone intra-urbaine selon notre enquête occupent :
* Des espaces encore non mis en valeur
* Des emprises des voies ferrées
* Les bordures des cours d'eau
* Des zones de recasement provisoires

Ils sont dits "propriétaires" quand l'administration reconnaît de fait leur installation sans pour autant leur reconnaître la propriété de la terre. Certains sont en location. Ils payent la redevance chez le soit disant propriétaire. D'autres occupent leurs terres sans autorisation. Dans ce cas on parle d'occupation anarchique. Ici l'élevage se fait dans les concessions.

* L'Agriculture périurbaine:
Toutes les formes d'occupation de terre citées dans le cas de l'AU existent ici. En plus, il faut retenir le fait suivant sous les deux premières Républiques du Mali (1960- 1968 et 1968 - 1991), des concessions rurales ont été distribué dans la périphérie de la capitale. L'objectif visé était de favoriser la production agricole (légumes - lait -œufs frais et viande) en minimisant le temps et les frais d'approche. Cette politique n'a malheureusement pas connu un grand succès. Les zones concernées ayant rapidement été englouti par l'extension de la ville, les concessions rurales furent transformées par la plupart en magasin, garages, etc. dans certains cas elles ont été morcelées et vendues pour servir comme terrain à usage d'habitation.

Les avantages de l'AUP sont immenses.
* L'AUP est une source d'emploi
* Elle permet la production des denrées alimentaires (légumes -œufs - viande)
* Elle contribue à la valorisation des déchets urbains par l'utilisation des déchets urbains directement, des terreaux ou du compost.

2°) Localisation des activités de l'AUP

* les concessions rurales
* les espaces non mis en valeur (voir 1°)
* bordures des cours d'eau

Source d'eau :

Essentiellement : les puits et le fleuve. La qualité de l'eau est jugé connue bonne par les utilisateurs en dehors des points voisins des débouches d'égouts vers le centre ville. La disponibilité en eau n'est pas dans l'ensemble bonne. Les petits exploitants qui occupent des zones où les puits sont tarissables, changent de zone en cas d'insuffisance d'eau (2 à 3 mois).

Les Marchés :

Dans l'agriculture urbaine les exploitants vendent leurs produits surtout dans les marchés centraux. Dans l'agriculture périurbaine les ventes se font dans les marchés des quartiers périphériques. Dans tous les cas, on observe aussi de plus en plus des ventes sur place (lieux de production). Nos enquêtes ont montré que les exploitations sont généralement situées entre 6 et 8 km des lieux de commercialisation en agriculture urbaine et entre 15 et 30 km en agriculture périurbaine.

3°) Impacts et compatibilités :

Les agriculteurs enquêtés pensent que leur activité n'a pas d'implication sur les activités voisines. Leurs partenaires (vendeurs de semence, engrais, pesticides, matériel) sont alors au marché. L'agriculture urbaine est pour certains exploitants l'activité principale (majorité) ou secondaire et parfois l'unique activité. Dans les deux premiers cas, les maraîchers peuvent être des commerçants, enseignants, mécaniciens, tailleurs, etc.

Madiou Gassama
Cabinet d'Etudes Kéïta - Kala Saba "CEK - Kala Saba"
B.P. : 9014 BAMAKO (République du Mali)
Tél. : +223-238412
Fax : +223-238413
E-mail :
E-mail :
Site web :

From: "Berg, dr. L.M. van den" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 2:29 PM
Subject: session 1: some reactions

UPA-Planning / session 1 / Contribution from Leo van den Berg

Dear fellow participants,

Looking at this week's discussion I'd like to make the following observations:

1. this conference makes available lots of new, empirical data on important initiatives or constraints in very different parts of the world. Interestingly, quite lot of this information is on perceptions and attitudes rather than practices and technicalities. Examples are: Pieter de Necker, Lena Jarlöv, Bacon Mbiba. How high do planners, politicians and the (low-income and other) farmers themselves rank UPA on their lists of needs and priorities? We tend to agree that this is lower than it deserves to be, but that could very well be because the real opponents to UPA don't participate in our debate. My impression is, however, that WORLDWIDE these perceptions and attitudes are slowly getting less negative, mainly because of the Sustainable City concept and because of dwindling public finance to manage green open space.

2. Sustainable urban development is Socially Just, Environmentally Sound, and Economically Viable. This forces urban administrators to review their anti-UPA planning principles. I don't think our ancestors around 1900 were wrong when they banned animal husbandry and commercial crop production from the urban scene. As the discussion in the health-environment group shows, there certainly are risks in Urban Agriculture. But nowadays we know more about how to avoid these risks, so the banning policy can be replaced by a "yes, provided that.." approach: the "proper management guidelines" of Tanja (31/8). In detail, these conditions vary from place to place, but the principles are the same whether you deal with cities in the USA (Jerome Kaufman), Africa, or anywhere else: show convincingly how this urban agriculture contribute to ALL three dimensions of sustainable development. One example of how different things can be from place to place is the "zero grazing" option presented by Lena Jarlov as something new in South Africa, while it is such a common practice in many cities in Southeast Asia (which, incidentally, have not yet featured at all in this discussion).

3. All urban planners have been taught about the need to include and maintain green (public) open space in the urban fabric. Very often, however, the cost of maintaining such space is considered beyond the means of local authorities. What we now observe in many cities as a welcome development is:

(a) a more 'agricultural' approach to the management of public green space, for instance by replacing lawn mowers by 'big grazers' (in Holland we call this 'ecological management' whereby the word 'cows' is carefully avoided, but where the calves of these 'big grazers' are now sold for meat)
(b) handing over the management of parts of this open space to clubs and associations for hobbies such as bee-keeping, developing butterfly habitats, and (allotment) gardening: these are forms of 'community-supported agriculture'. Interestingly, in both of these developments a direct association with 'agriculture' is avoided. If we want to involve urban planners and administrators (anywhere in the world!) we have to emphasize the link between 'green belts' (or wedges, corridors, etc.) and urban agriculture. This is where I disagree with Tanja Bowyer-Bower (31/8) and how Oliver Ginsberg (25/8) should read my statement on moving from 'recreational' to a more 'farm oriented' approach. May-be I should have said 'more businesslike' or 'entrepreneurial'. I agree very much with Oliver that it is the multifunctional nature of urban farms that makes them tick.

4. By the way, while opposing urban agriculture Urban Planners, at least in industrial societies, have never banned 'off-plot' gardening in (public or private) open space as such. It had to be somewhat organized (e.g. allotment gardening associations) and it was treated as 'recreation' rather than agriculture. As long as they can call it 'recreational land use', urban planners don't care whether the produce is essential for supporting the families involved, or not! Judging from my own research experience in both Jos (Nigeria) and the Netherlands it is my conviction that if the urban gardeners in Harare would form associations and negotiate as such with the urban administration, they are likely to achieve a lot.

5. We should consider Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture as two quite distinct phenomena. Whereas the former can be quite stable and is very specific, the latter has to accept instability. What Djibril Doucouré describes for Bamako (frequent displacements), Eugenio de Sequeira for Lisbon and Franz Greif for Vienna (urban growth all the time on best agricultural land) is hard to avoid and 'part of the game' for Peri-urban agriculture. There are 2 ways, however, in which this threat can be turned into a blessing for the farmers involved:
(a) in capitalist societies, in cases where the farmers have proper title to the land, they are often able to fetch high prices for their land from either local governments or private developers;
(b) in some societies farmers and local governments come to a mutual understanding that it is in their common interest to find and develop suitable sites for displaced farmers to continue their (specialized) operations under better conditions than before. This requires first of all a strong association of peri-urban farmers, but also sensible urban administrators. A nice thing about the 'report from the ground' presented by Djibril is that it includes this resettlement component, although it wasn't perfect. In my own country, the city of Amsterdam has a long tradition (several centuries) of organizing the resettlement of horticultural producers whenever their land was needed for urban growth. At one time, when the growers claimed they had improved the top soil by decades of manuring, the city council even made lorries available to have the topsoil transported to the new farming block.

6. I think Frieder Thomas is too pessimistic when he says: "In Germany the struggle for agricultural areas is a defensive struggle.There won't be any new areas". As Jerome shows for cities in the States it is very well possible to reclaim blighted urban land for agricultural production, as long as this serves other purposes as well.


Leo van den Berg
ALTERRA, Wageningen-UR