Contributions to the Discussion

Contributions September 02 - 08, 2000


From: Mirtha PazCastro
Sent: 02 September 2000 10:23
To: Cc:
Subject: RV: from Mirtha PazCastro

Urban-Planning/Session 2/ Message from Mirtha PazCastro

Estimados participantes:

Quisiera compartir principalmente estas lineas con cientificos, funcionarios, profesionales y estudiantes de latinoamerica quienes compartimos condiciones semejantes:

La presente conferencia virtual es importante por la posibilidad de intercambiar experiencias, analizar las diversas situaciones, proponer alternativas y planificar. Como lo indique en una comunicacion anterior la AUP no soluciona los diversos niveles de pobreza critica, pero si es una herramienta muy valiosa.

En la medida que se utilice contribuye a ir mejorando el nivel nutricional como el medio ambiente en nuestros comunidades. Fue satisfactorio ir observando como se mejoraba una dieta alimenticia que se encontraba basada en tuberculos donde se canjeaban los huevos por harina o la oca* por fideos o utilizar plantas medicinales para prevencion;sin embargo esto no es suficiente como lo subraya la Arq. Giobellina. En muchas de nuestras principales ciudades cada dia se pierden grandes areas agricolas como es el area circundante al aeropuerto de Lima, siendo necesario recuperarlas o defenderlas, por ello encuentro importante este intercambio para no repetir problemas.

En mi criterio, son importantes la continuidad y viabilidad de estas experiencias en la AUP como la legislacion en el uso de semillas y agroquimicos. Sin embargo, tengo un alto grado de confiabilidad en la agricultura ecologica en condiciones urbanas y periurbanas.

Agradeciendo su atencion,
Ing. M.Sc. Mirtha Paz Castro
Telf: 51-1-449-3269 51-1-449-0227 Movil: 883-0325
E-mail: mailto:pazba
P.D. I would excuse for not translate, Thanks.
*tuberculo andino

From: Joe Nasr
Sent: 04 September 2000 15:33
To: ''
Subject: UPA-Planning/session1 Contribution from Joe Nasr (delayed)

Dear Participants of the UPA-Planning group. Welcome to the second session of the conference. Here a delayed message from Joe Nasr (TUAN). The paper he refers to will be soon available at the information market. As soon as we receive further details we shall announce this to you. We are looking forward to your contributions. The title of the paper is: AGRICULTURE AS A SUSTAINABLE USE OF URBAN LAND

Your Moderators

As an initial contribution to the e-conf., I felt the best thing I have to offer would probably be a short paper I wrote 4 years. I presented it at the annual conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 1996. The title is above. I did not develop it further for publication since then, although I may have the opportunity to do so imminently. You're welcome to post it on the marketplace and announce it to the group.

I also want to send in a very brief response to Diana Lee-Smith. In her message, she indicates the downside of "legalizing" urban ag. by urban authorities in Dar es-Salaam, wherein the added security fosters the development of (male-dominated) commercially oriented production at the expense of (female-dominated) household-consumption- oriented production. I think this is a crucial point worth examining beyond its specific gender dimension. I would raise the following questions here: 1- Can other cases be cited of what happened when urban ag. became a legally recognized activity? 2- Where this positive development had some negative side effects, has this this been recognized, and have any measures been taken to mitigate these effects? 3- Ultimately, I must still ask the tough question: so what? The ag. of metropolitan areas is by its very nature very dynamic and fluid, constantly changing. If so, can't the impact of the legalization of the activity be acknowledged as a "normal" change - especially if the newer forms of agriculture she mentions still contribute to the food security and/or the economy of the urban population?

I hope this provokes some responses.
Regards, Joe Nasr
The Urban Agriculture Network

From: Gender Unit UNCHS(Habitat) []
Sent: 04 September 2000 16:16

UPA-Planning/session2/ Response from Diana Lee-Smith to Joe Nasr

Well, Joe Nasr did provoke a response from me!

I have enjoyed the many contributions to this debate, especially the conprehensive and analytical points set out by my old friends Jac Smit and Beacon Mbiba.
Regarding the "so what?" question about poor urban farmers being squeezed out when UA is recognised as a legitimate land use, I would like to point out the following.
Take the urban setting in an economy with highly skewed income distribtion, and compare this with the global situation; namely that there may be (at present) enough food to go round. So how come some people don't get it? Remember Amartya Sen's argument? Poor people cannot afford to buy food at the price it is being sold.
The study carried out in Kenya in the eighties reported that 40 percent of urban farmers said they would starve if they were stopped from doing subsistence food growing. The answer to "so what?" is that people go hungry and maybe starve. That is a planning issue. And it ought to be part of any poverty reduction strategy.
If income levels are below the amount needed to buy food, people will use available land to grow it. It is all very well to say that people with more capital and know-how will grow more food more efficiently. We all know that perfect markets are wonderful on paper. The fact is that large numbers of the urban poor are surviving off subsistence food, and that they cannot afford the food that is being sold right now.
Planners, urban and economic, if they are serious about effective strategies for poverty reduction, ought to factor in income and employment levels and food prices before deciding whether the urban poor should have their subsistence food rights protected and enabled, or the market should dictate land allocations for urban food production.
Some of us in the Habitat Urban Secretariat are discussing the need to look at some of the statistical predictions of the growing importance of urban agriculture in overall food security and how this links to poverty reduction strategies. However, it is not in our work plan at present. We are just an internal interest group, and glad to participate in this useful debate.

Diana Lee-Smith

Coordinator, Women and Gender, Norms and Policies
Urban Secretariat UNCHS (Habitat)
M-221 P O Box 30030 Nairobi,
Kenya Tel: 254-2-623987
Fax: 254-2-624250

From: Oliver Ginsberg []
Sent: 04 September 2000 18:22
To: Urban planning Subject: more than full stomaches
Re: UPA-PLanning/ Session2 Comment from Ginsberg to Lee-Smith


well roared lion! It is quite likely, that the introduction of market forces on urban land used for agriculture will help everybody but the poor. Insisting that UA land is mainly needed by the poor for food production however may proof to help neither the poor nor will it help to promote UA.

Figure this: political strategists may find, that it is cheaper to introduce some sort of social welfare system to prevent people from starving rather than let them occupy "precious" urban land. They also may find that it is cheaper to transfer the poor from urban to periurban regions, to let them do their farming there (until the price of land there will rise up to a level, that "justifies" another removal and so on). All the other important aspects of UA, like social interaction and integration, community identity, a place for children to play, grow up and learn about human-nature interaction, improvement of local ecological conditions etc etc. will get lost on the way.

We know from the Netherlands, that when farmers argued, that they had invested lots of time to build up "man made" soils, city authorities found ways to move the soil to other places. That is to say: we should be careful not to let promotion of UA be reduced to one or one major argument.

If we don't take into our arsenal of arguments the whole set of aspects of UA's contribution to sustainability we will probably fail to meet our goal. Poverty and starvation can become killing arguments if not handled with deliberance. From my experience working in a socalled "disadvantaged city district" poor people want more than a full stomache, they want to lead a happy life and that implies more than access to food or food production areas.

By the way high capital investment is not very "productive" in this respect, because it usually doesn`t allow for a variety of other uses, which are important social economy assets. It is not even very productive in terms of overall food output as several studies have shown. Low-capital three level planting systems (Trees, bushes, ground vegetable) have again and again proofed to be much more productive than high-capital industrialized monocultural systems - that is not even taking sustainability in terms of ecological side effects of land exploitation into consideration. We shouldn't be misled into ghost fighting, when arguing against strictly money market oriented proposals.
We should develop and stick to a more complex idea about UA "productivity" including all aspects of sustainability.


Oliver Ginsberg
BdJA educational consultant
Admiralstrasse 16 10999 Berlin

From: marielle []
Sent: 05 September 2000 01:20
To: PLANEAMIENTO - FAO 2000 Subject: urban planning session 2
Planning session 2

My name is Marielle Dubbeling. I am working for the Urban Management Programme in Latin American and the Carribean.

Last year 6 case studies were implemented to systematise municipal policies on UPA.

The studies show -in accordance with the statement made by Leo vd Berg- that the perception of urban planners and government officials with regards to UPA is becoming less negative, or rather more supportive. They also affirm van de Berg´s statement that the term agriculture is often not used in terms of "the objective is UPA", but seen as a strategy for park management, waste recyling, poverty alleviation or community development.

Unfortunately in the conference little municipal voices are heard. As such, I would like to do my best to give you some examples of how UPA in Latin America is starting to be taken up by local governments and in urban planning:

** Quito-Ecuador

The Municipality of Quito is acknowledging the potential of UPA for urban food security, income and employment generation and management of natural resources. It is developing presently 2 activities related to UPA. The first is that (exactly as stated by vd Berg) the Municplaity no disposes of sufficient funds to manage its green systems (especially parks). The Department of Parks and Gardens is thinking of including community managed UA systems in its Parks, and as such to assure community management of part of the public green areas, establish social control and save on municipal management costs.

The second activity is a very interested document written by the Urban Planning Department on UPA and land use planning, based on 3 proposals:

- productive use of all vacant municipal, statal and private areas by means of projects and incentive mecanisms

- incorporation of UPA in land use planning: norms related to soil us, planning and implementation of new housing areas and conservation of the historical centre.

- construct in and around Quito an ecosistem based on organic agriculture.

They state the importance of conceiving agricultura as an URBAN function to be recognised, incorporated and managed en relation to its effects on the quality of life (direct and indirect), environmental quality and urban aesthetics. This recognition and management should dissolve false incompabilities between different soil uses. Additionally it should develop institucionalised programmes for UA mangement.

They propose the following actions:

a) develop a system of identification, localisation and distribution of soils and water bodies
b) Identify fisical , socio-economic (land ownership and access) and productive caracteristics of these land and water areas
c) Analise and classify the land and water areas according to their most compettive use (including UPA)
d) develop a legal framwork and nnorms of control for agricultural land use
e) develop a credit system for UPA, especially focussed on the poorer people
f) develop systems and programmes for technical support in production, processing and comercialisation
develop the urban environmental management system: protection and preservation of soils, irrigation, hygiene, industrialisation

The coming 8 months, on the basis of a pilot project, norms and regulations for productive use of urban soils will be developed; a alternative credit system for UA will be tested and monitored and a Profile for an Municipal Urban Agriculture Programme (under control o the Urban Planning Department) will be formulated.

** Cuenca-Ecuador:

To recapture cultural traditions and diminish food insecurity brought about by Ecuador’s economic crisis, the Cuenca Municipality initiated in January 1998 the Cuenca Urban Agriculture Programme (CUAP), to be conceived as a collection of projects and activities that are identified and implemented by different institutions, community groups and individuals.

Co-ordinated by the Municipality, a Team of 28 different organisations is working with 833 persons (including students, disabled youth and retired persons) in the sustainable urban and peri-urban production and commercialisation of legumes, fruits, grains, fertiliser and small animals. Private, institutional and public lands are put to productive use. Considering the persons directly involved and the number of consumers of the local products, the total number of beneficiaries is estimated to count up to 3000 persons.

Existing problems with soil degradation urged to give priority to the production of compost so that actually organic plant material of 9 fairs and markets, slaughterhouses, and municipal graveyards, as well as all the material resulting from maintenance of green areas is being recycled. To support commercialisation, 4 fairs and markets have been established in the city.

In the search for better forms of citizen's participation, environmental management (productive green spaces) and food security, the production and commercialisation activities are being incorporated in land use plans and urban legislation:

1) creation of markets for local produce

2 ) promotion of (organic) agricultural and forestry use of vacant municipal, state and private (peri)urban lands (awareness raising, involving the media, technical assistance, set up of a permanent rotating credit system for UPA). For a next phase of the programme studies are being done to eliminate the property tax on lots that are used for organic production.

3) recycling of all "green wastes" into compost. It is proposed that in future a certain percentage of the tax that is collected by the Municipal Cleaning Office for collection of wastes will be re- invested in the municipal UA programme. At present, organic wastes are delivered free of charge to producers. A differentiated payment for waste delivery is considered (depending on the production levels); all to generate more funds to the permanent rotating support fund.

4) in the newly granted “Permits for new constructions”, it is established that the vegetal material that is discarded will have to be used in the composting project.

5) inclusion of UPA in zoning plans

More and more, the Municipality is converting itself into a body that not only satisfies or offers services to the community, but that also designates a human and material resource potential to the creation of a local government and community development.

** Teresina-Brasilia

The Municipality of Teresina, aiming to alleviate urban poverty, decided in 1987 to convert under utilsed urban lands for the establishment of community gardens. The Municipality -with additional funding from the national Development bank- buys under utilised land - for example under electricty lines- from the electricy company and install basic infrastructure (water system, fencing). The land is then being made available to the community for setting up community gardens. The municipality also offers technical support and is looking into commercialisation possibilities (on-site commercialisation is already taking place, the establishment of local markets is in progress. Over the last 10 years, 225 hectares of urban and peri-urban land have been converted into community gardens with more than 2000 families participating. The families are generally able to earn twice the monthly minimum wage in gardening. For the city, not only the contribution to income, but also the efffects on city environment and decrease in crime rates (the under utilised terrains often served as a place for crime and drug dealing) are very important social effects.

** Camilo Aldao-Argentina

Camilo Aldao is one of the smaller rural municipalities (5500 inhabitants) suffering from what we call "the new poverty". many citizens migrate to larger or the capital city (Rosario, Cordabo, Buenos Aires) in search for jbs and better income. Two of the inductries in Camil Aldao were forced to shut down, only accelerating the migration process. People staying behind are the elderly, young and women.The Municipality, in its search for socio- economic development decided in a participatory process and diagnosis (involving different urban actors) to embark on urban agriculture as a strategy to revive the economy and supported the following projects:

- organic waste recycling (with Eco-clubs and NGO´s)
- peri-urban dairy production and construction of milk cooling and storage plant
- horticultural gardens and small livestock (with NGO PRO-Huerta)
- production of sweets with help of 25 disabled youth (with a local school).

Support by the municipality is from a technical (training), financial (construction of milk plant), organisational (organising diary producers in a legal cooperation) and legal nature. Related to the latter, production of compost is legalised (differentiated seperation and recollection, regulations on quality control of compost (hygiene) . Another example is that by law they provide for the conversion of idle land into community gardens and cattle pastures by relieving the owners of such land from their plight to pay property taxes.

** Texcoco-Mexico

Texcoco is part of the Mexico Federal District (located at 20 km of the capital) and is designated as a future growing zone, so that its present population of 170.000 inhabitants is predicted to double over the next 10 years.

Texcoco´s Rural Development Programme was created with the overall objective to generate employment and at the same time guarantee food supply to the municipal population by promoting a rational development of the agricultural, animal husbandry, forestry and aquacultural sector, thus permitting the conservation and recuperation of the municipal natural resources and avoiding the accelerated change from rural to urban soil use.

The Programme marks a new political focus towards the rural environment and production activities; agriculture is being recognised as an urban function that deserves institutional support from the local government. THe programme is financed by re-investing municipal tax funds.

At the beginning of its political term, the municipality created a Department for Rural Development. It generated the first policies promoting agricultural activities, embarking the provision of micro-credits for production activities, training of producers (with support of the local University) supporting producer organisations and commercialisation, and integrating “rural culture” into daily urban life. Special attention is given to the inclusion of women in the programme.

The principal impacts of the Programme include:

-employment generation through 78 group projects (benefiting a total of 824 producers, including 100 female producers)
-decrease of sale of agricultural terrain for construction purposes (and therefore increased conservation of natural resources),
-increased supply of healthy food products,
-creation of small producer organisations and improved self- management capacity.


Trying to resume the conclusions of the case studies we learned:

- UPA is possible at municipal level in cities of different sizes and in different ecosystems and is being incorporated in municipal and land use policies
- UPA fits into the municipal agenda because they perceive agriculture as an urban function related to poverty alleviation, environmental management and urban governance ( for example an important aspect is the social inclusion of "rural citizens" and their culture : Texcoco, Camilo Aldao)
- all case studies together provide us with a set of instruments and mechanisms for facilitating the incorporation of UA in land use planning
- the instruments and mechanisms apoint to the need for integrality: political (laws and regulations), technical (training, assistance, market infraestructure, link to waste and water recycling) and financial (credit systems, economic incentives)
- equally the instruments and mechanisms point to supporting all different elements of the production chain: productive reuse of water and wastes, production, processing and marketing
- there is a strong emphasis on organic production
- in several cases associations between different urban actors (municipality, reserach organisations, NGO´s) are set up to coordinate activities and use in a most efficient way human resources and capital funds (Texcoco, Cuenca, Camilo Aldao)

Questions were also raised:

- what is the key theme for UPA development: land access, credit, social development and related how best to focus development efforts?
- what is the best municipal unit for coordinating UA, and should it be a technical (agriculture, environment, planning) or more integrated unit (multi- departamental working group)?
- what is the best entry point for supporting UPA: the individual famers or producer groups?
- how to finance municpal UPA activities (re-investing taxes, permanent credit fund or looking for private investment)?
- what type of economic incentives are available and can be used to support productive use of vacant and under utilised lands (property tax exemption, acces to credits, ....)

And an overall but important question- as raised by the Conference as well:

"what tools, mechanisms, strategies could be formulated to help municipalities integrating UPA in urban planning" (use of GIS?, zoning policies, tax policies, etcetera) ?

I would welcome participants points of view and experiences related to the above questions.



NB: The case studiies are in summarised form available on the information market.


Marielle Dubbeling
Asesora en Agricultura Urbana PGU-ALC/IPES
Dirección: Garcia Moreno 751 entre Sucre y Bolivar Casilla 17-01-2505
Tel./fax 593-2-583-961, 282-361/364/371

From: Anne Bellows
Sent: 05 September 2000 10:54
To: ''
Subject: UPA-planning/ session2 Contribution from Anne Bellows

This message was copied to our group.

4 September 2000

Hello. My name is Anne Bellows. I'm a geographer, working as a post-doctoral associate in the Nutritional Sciences Department at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in the US. Please excuse this late response to so many interesting discussions. I am responding from experience in the urban gardening and peri-urban agriculture tradition in Poland.

I have noted references to heavy metal contamination in foods in contributions from Henk de Zeeuw, Leo van der Berg, Karen Lock, Oleg Moldakov, and others. It appears clear that little information is available on actual risk and sometimes it is concluded that the risk is not overwhelming. I would like to respond briefly with an overview of how an activist group in Silesia Poland has responded for more than a decade to concerns of heavy metal contamination in foods on public health.

In my following discussion, I would like to address the following points in particular: 1. air-, soil-, and water-borne heavy metal contamination originating from industrial contamination and traffic 2. strategies to minimize risk

I would like to bring the conference members' attention to the work of the City of Gliwice Chapter of the Polish Ecological Club (PEC-G) located in the Upper Silesia region of Poland. This group has addressed food contamination of locally grown and consumed produce in southwest Poland. The region of Upper Silesia is the most densely populated, highly industrialized, trafficked, and intensely polluted area in Poland. Nevertheless, regional residents raise 40-50 percent of the locally consumed, yet often highly contaminated, fruits and vegetables. The greatest problems are in heavy metals (especially lead, cadmium, and to some degree zinc and nickel) and inorganic inputs from conventional agriculture also have posed measurable threats. Members of the PEC-G bring expertise as chemical engineers working in Regional Agriculture and Chemical Testing Stations, educators, and other disciplines to assess the risk levels and to propose risk management strategies to residents. Some of these include: *assessing heavy metal contamination not only through analyses of soils and water, but also from fruits and vegetables. *collaborating with a regional environmental research institute to grade and map more and less safe regions in Upper Silesia. *developing an alternative marketing system to bring organic and IPM (integrated pest management) produce from safer regions of Poland. *working with local governments to: a) provide educational programs to residents, often to parents and pupils through the school system; b) subsidize nursery school and hospital budgets for the additional cost of buying organic vegetables. *providing educational programs for gardeners on how to minimize risk by, e.g., a) understanding and self-assessing risk levels by estimating distance from most major contamination corridors (large roads, factories, etc.); b) concentrating on crops that absorb lower levels of heavy metals (e.g. more ornamentals and gourds, beans, and berry bushes, and fewer leafy green plants);. *working with community groups to educate them on regional environmental risks, health prevention strategies, and civic organizing and lobbying strategies to provide them with more ways to lobby local and national governments as well as private polluters.

I attach here information on how to reach the group. Note that the staff is small and the ability to work in English is augmented by limited volunteer support. Polskiego Klubu Ekologicznego, Kola Miejskiego w Gliwicach (Polish Ecological Club, City of Gliwice Chapter) ul. Kaszubksa 2 44-100 Gliwice tel/fax (48) (32) 231 85 91 email:

I have also written on the work of the group and issues of gardening and environmental health risks in Silesia. Selected examples include: 2000. "Balancing Diverse Needs: Risks and Pleasures of Urban Agriculture in Silesia, Poland." TRIALOG. Special issue on Urban Agriculture. June (Darmstadt, Germany). pp. 18-23.

2000. "Alimentation, sante et environnement en milieu urbain: l'exemple de la haute Silesie, en Pologne." Mustafa Koc, Rod MacRae, Luc J.A. Mougeot, Jeffifer Welsh (eds.) Armer les Villes contre la Faim: Systemes Alimentaires Urbains Durables. Toronto: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and The Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson Polytechnic University. pp. 139-143.

1999. "Urban Food, Health, and the Environments: The Case of Upper Silesia, Poland." (Original version of translation above.) For Hunger-Proof Cities: Sustainable Urban Food Systems.. pp. 131-135.

1997. "Urban Food Security in Poland." Ecology and Agriculture. Special issue on Urban Agriculture. No. 16. Sept. pp. 24-25.

1996. "Where Kitchen and Laboratory Meet: The 'Tested Food for Silesia' Program." in D. Rocheleau, B. Thomas-Slater, and E. Wangari (eds.) Feminist Political Ecology: Global Perspectives and Local Insights. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 251-270.

In response to Marielle Dubbeling's idea of a municipal agriculture, I believe the idea is valuable, but insufficient by itself. In thinking about the development of planning strategies, it appears necessary to have larger scale legislation that can buttress local activity and local codes. Consider a situation faced by the Polish Ecological Club of Gliwice, Poland (PEC-G). The PEC-G negotiated with several local governments to develop policy to help local schools and hospitals with additional funds to acquire safer food sources for their pupils and patients. However, some of the supportive local governments lost subsequent elections on the argument that "all the city officials thought about were carrots." When the helpful governments ceded, the school and hospital subsidies were also lost. In other words, when an elected local government develops new and/or risky policy, they place themselves and the programs in particularly vulnerable positions if there is no tangible policy support at higher levels or scales of government to reinforce their efforts. Attempts to cultivate non-local government representatives are especially time-consuming, expensive, and also subject to periodic changes in political administrations. Nevertheless, this is part of the PEC-G's ongoing strategy, orchestrated in cooperation with other NGOs and research centers.

-- Anne C. Bellows

Geographer and Post-doctoral Associate
Department of Nutritional Sciences Rutgers University
26 Nichol Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901
ph/ 732-932-3835 fax/732-932-6522

From: Malongo Mlozi
Sent: 05 September 2000 10:58
To: ''
Subject: UPA-Planning/ session2 Contribution from Malongo Mlozi

From: DAEE [mailto:] Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2000 1:25 PM Subject: Urban and Peri-urban Conf.

Dear Participants in the UPA and Urban Planning,

I want to respond to Drescher's three questions addressed in his Discussion papers with experience from Tanzania as follows:

Question No.1: UPA integration in urban planning.

In Tanzania UPA has been integrated in urban planning theoretically. The thing is that because almost everyone in Tanzania is doing UPA there are deliberate efforts to integrate it in urban planning. However, practically there are no efforts to zone areas within the towns specifically for urban agriculture. This appears to stem from the fact that most urban planners are 'western trained' and for most there exists a contradiction between what they learned and what is existing on the ground. For example, an urban national survey of agriculture conducted in 1996/97, with respect to urban agriculture found that one of the reasons for the existence of UPA was "In an attempt to supplement their real incomes which have depreciated over the years due to inflationary pressures, many poor resource urban dwellers have resorted to various aspects of agricultural activities such as gardening, poultry farming and animal husbandry. So UA has become a survival strategy among urban poor and especially women heads of household."

Because of the aforesaid reason, urban planners in Morogoro town (about 3000,000) have negotiated with the government and surveyed about 3,000 hectares in the peri-urban areas so that urban dwellers can go there and farm. However, this policy is seen again to favour the elite because the urban poor cannot afford to travel to the farms and nor pay the survey fee (about T. shs. 64,000/ha (divide by 800 to get $). This move has partly bee taken to lessen the extent to which urban dwellers can farm in town and to increase their earnings.

Second Question: Use of underutilised land for UPA. In most parts in town there exists land that is not immediately used for urban development. The town planning allows people to use these lands for agriculture, these include the swampy lands, along the rivers, and other open spaces. Urban dwellers have a emporary ownership of these areas and they know that th town will not compensate them when it needs them back for other development. In fact,there are no written policies for people to use such lands.

Question No. 3. Examples in which policy should be incorporated.

Firstly, is the example of deliberaretly allocating land fr urban dwellers to go and farm there. This is possible in townships with enough land around them--example of Morogoro and other towns in Tanzania. Secondly, urban dwellers should be allowed to farm areas that are currently not used by the town councils. Thirdly, town councils should start credit schemes for urban farmers--because in a country like Tanzania, town dwellers could increase their income hence the town councils through taxation. Improvement of the urban the infrstructure, especially houses depend on the income of individuals in a town. Also, is the burning issue of food security and nutrition. The thing is that people in towns do UPA even without the supprt of town councils, and this is both by rich and poor alike.

Best regards to all.

Prof. Malongo Mlozi
Sokoine University of Agriculture,

From: Charles McKelvey
Sent: 05 September 2000 12:43
To: ''
Subject: UPA-Planning Announcement by

The Office of Urban Planning of the City of Havana and the Center for Development Studies invite participation in the Seventh Annual International Conference on Urban Planning and Urban Development, to be held in Havana, Cuba from November 6 through November 9, 2000. The central theme of the conference will be Urban Planning at the Dawn of the New Millenium. More information is available on the Information market

From: Joseph H. Batac []
Sent: 07 September 2000 05:06
UPA-Planning/Session2 Contribution from Joseph Batac

Dear Collegues,

Here is my input for sessions 2.


Here in the local government unit of Marilao (in the Philippines), the NGOs are included in the process of preparing the annual investment plan of the municipality. The NGOs constitute mapority of the local development council. The development council is the body that crafts the comprehensive development plan (3-5 year plan with renewal and updating), including the land use plan. This plan is the anchor to reckon the investment priorities for the year and for translating this priorities into budget items. For Marilao, the annual investment budget is between 10-15% of the total budget. In addition to the investment budget, the rest of the budget items of the municipality is also being reviewed by the NGOs within the Municipal Development Council (MDC). These NGOs consitute the urban poor, the dwellers of the housing projects, and the business sector.

Every year, the NGOs take on a series of consultation workshops in several areas of concern or issues. These workshops were meant to provide the indicative investment priorities for funding by the local government and augmented by counterpart fund from the members of the NGOs. All of the results of the workshops are presented to the MDC.

For the last five years, one of the area of concern is on solid waste management, specifically in ensuring the sustainability of the household level segregation system, the supportive collection of segregated waste by the municipality, the processing of the biodegradable waste stream into compost and the application of the compost for selected crops. The investments that were given funding by the municipality of Marilao, based on the inputs of the NGOs, included the machinery and equipment for composting, the collection vehicle, the acquisition of the land for developing the model urban farms, and the education campaign for both solid waste management and urban agriculture. In addition, the budget items for the personnel support as well as the maintenance cost for the operation of the investment were identified with subsequent funding allocation from the municipality. The personnel support are for the office of general services, GSO, (to handle solid waste management), health and nutrition office, MHO and MNO, (to handle education), and agriculture, MAO, (to handle the technical aspects of agriculture). In addition, technical assistance for urban agriculture was provided by the national government agencies, notably the Department of Science and Technology.

The five year total will amount to approximately PHP 18.0M or USD 300 thousand.


The degree to which Marilao had been suceessful is related to the intensity of the NGOs to be engaged in the process of planning as well as the open-minded and progressive spirit of the leadership. In Marilao, there had been a more or less orderly fashion for consensus building since all the NGOs are federated into an umbrella organization that is the Marilao Federation of Service Organization, Inc.

In addition, there is the civic consciousness that may have been brought along by the urban setting. Then, there is the given local governance framework for partnership with the local government. The law on local government in the Philippines enshrined the participation of civil society in the whole process of planning and managing development. This framework for partnership had been translated into reality with the art and style of local governance. I may have to say that Marilao is unique in such that we have a mayor who is open and accepting the idea of people's participation. In the Philippines, there is still the predomination of the mind-set of the mayor that NGOs are there to grab power. In Marilao, power is shared to address and overcome issues together by the NGOs and the local government unit as represented by the mayor.

There had been very many forms and initiatives on urban agriculture in the Philippines. But very few are working in partnership with the local government unit. Still, fewer have strong civil society involvement. This component of civil society involvement is important since the substance and meaning of urban agriculture is defined by this broad base of clientele, a minimum guidance from outside consultants and/or bureaucrat. With this, the level of social acceptance assures the sustainability of urban agriculture. The process and content of the activities are driven more by the need and desires of the community residents as represented by their leaders. The mayor is there to provide interventions, in the form of local government resources, that will cater to these needs and desires, mostly done in phases as agreed upon during the consultation process.


Public land in Marilao is limited to the open spaces of subdivisions, the easements of the road and the riverbank. To showcase UPA in these areas, the policy that guided the local government is to provide the compost substrate in order to improve and standardized the soil. A showcase of the municipality is the Ecology Center where the once existing clay soil was not suited for use in UPA. Instead, plots were put up with compost substrate as material (from the solid waste management project). In addition, potted vegetables were developed using the compost substrate. As to the vegetable that will grow in the substrate, the municipality had the policy to identify crops that will address malnutrition and deficiencies in micro-nutrient, specially those that have high prices during the off-season.

The crops in pots were developed with the urban poor in mind. Since the poor does not have access to land, if not are settled in land that are marginalized or hazard prone, the municipality developed the compost substrate, determined the quality of the substrate to grow the specific vegetable (specially during the off-season) and establish the number of pots that can alleviate, if not eliminate, the nutritional deficiency of families living in poverty.

In the open spaces of subdivisions as well as in easements of the roads, some homeowners association have worked horticulture and fruit trees in addition to the vegetables.


Based on my experience in this urban municipality of Marilao, policy for UPA was a result of the need to utilize the compost (by developing the compost substrate) that was produced by the solid waste management project. Since each household in an urban area will generate solid waste and the local government will have to collect and dispose them in a periodic and regular manner, the content and context of such an activity should be included in the municipal plan. In Marilao, this is the development plan (including the land use plan) and the annual investment plan. The stakeholders should be involved and provide inputs in the plan formulation. These stakeholders include the waste generators - the households. Their involvement had been meaningful, relevant and substantive. The process was one that built more consensus and reinforced power sharing for moving forward with solutions.

It has only been five years of my involvement in this project. Within those years, the people of Marilao has proven that their participation in local governance enabled the solution for an urban issue such as solid waste and turn this into an opportunity to the pursuit of food security in an urban setting. Everyday, the 10,000 households involved in segregating their waste individually find meaning into the practice knowing that the benefits full well. Of course, there is a need for local ordinances. But more important is that solid waste management and urban agriculture is a way of life, owned and sustained by each stakeholder.

Joseph Batac Marilao Ecological Solid Waste Management Project Marilao Federation of Service Organization, Inc. 139 Nagbalon, Marilao 3019 Bulacan Philippines Telfax 63 44 711 1456

From: Oleg Moldakov <>
Sent: 07 September 2000 11:03
To: ''
Subject: UPA and urban planning policy in Northwest of Russia

Reaction on "Most of the contributions from the North as well as from the South discuss the lack of recognition for UPA in the urban planning process. But there are exceptions. O. Moldakov in St. Petersburg says that an office for management on development of gardening has been established to deal with the administration . We would like to learn more about how this office was created and with what prompting."

Generally in Russia the all this movement began with desire of the townspeople to have an off-town site of land with a holiday apartment (summer house). Townspeople wanted spend holiday/ vacation there, collect mushrooms and berries in a forest, bathe and have a rest on coast of the rivers and lakes, catch a fish, to give children fresh air and (but among others!) organize little bit of rising beds with fresh vegetables, berries and fruit. The authorities have reacted to such wishes and began to give such sites in rural area up to 100 kilometers from cities. At first it was the picturesque sites, then simple sites, located in forests near roads (sometimes swampy). That's because applicants became more and more and the picturesque places became deficiency. And only then, when the economic situation began to be worsened (1989-1992), the agriculture for the townspeople became a part of survival strategy, main activity and hard work. Here I agree with Mr. Iaquinta' idea about peri-urban definition (in our cases peri-urban areas are very often reach 100 km from downtown, but with questioned proximity to market)

Organization of such sites (plots) in our so-called peri-urban area was result of negotiation and agreements between City administration and Region (oblast) administration. Region is administrative units authorized rural and small town area around city. Those time the regional planners have allocated a part of rural lands for the townspeople.

In 1989-1992 years, during radical economic changes, Russian townspeople was afraid of famine in the winter and amount of the people, involved in agricultural activity on their UPA plots (sometimes we call them "dacha's") was maximal. Reforms were "slightly" shock-therapy oriented. Most food was produced for subsistence consumption. Half of urban population became the "supplementary income urban farmers", if Frieder allow me say so. And I have to add our country (1991-1992) to PUA examples of response to crisis.

Yes, from those time the most of Russian city administrations still consider agricultural activity of the townspeople as important social factor (additional source of more cheap, fresh and healthy perishables or food preserved for winter use, like pickles, etc). More then half townspeople in Russia involved in this to more or less extend. Some columnists say food safety of the country depends on the urban gardeners. I think it is nearly true. Anyway now again a basic motive goes from subsistence-oriented to subsistence/recreational , but to not farm-oriented. It is mainly because of very bad credit policy.

Thus City and Region administrators were sensible and clever enough to regulate, formalized and organized the process. But all the time we have to keep in mind very important thing about different policy of two involved administrative units. City authorities have interest in PUA because of social problem solving, but they interest in PUA located outside official city boundaries. They are trying to organize such plots at closest places to city, just not inside city. Regional administration has other policy. The regional administration not so welcomes new plots and new summer inhabitants on the lands because of occurrence of unorganized dumps, extra pressure on roads' covering, needs to increase public transportation, lot of pipe line water discharge, etc. Regional administration wants financing of such charges from urban administration. They require/demand compensation , indemnification from urban administration on of the social charges as well. They require/demand to organize waste removal from urban citizens' clusters of plots, medical service, police patrol at the expense of the urban budget.

To reach the consent and policy coordination , both administrations conduct long and difficult negotiation. In 1995 they have created "Office on development of a gardening in St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast(Region)".It is a local government organization. Thus establishing of office was idea of decision-makers. Office funds from city budget. Is it example a sort of re-investing taxes or not, Mariella?

Office handles issues such as: "coordinating the activities of state agencies and local government agencies in Saint Petersburg, that of enterprises, institutions and organizations of Saint Petersburg with respect to issues of organizing, equipping and servicing gardening collectives, gardening communities and cottage construction cooperatives; other functions of the Saint Petersburg administration connected with the development of horticulture and gardening in accordance with acting legislation." 0,01 % from the urban budget goes on needs of the city gardeners

Actions of support for PUA practioneers on city authorities level includes:

1. Every year best PUA gardeners awarded by city administration on traditional competition "Most and best" (as well as in Tanzania ), and best PUA issues mass media persons also awarded.
2. Peri-urban public transport subsidize for retired urban citizens(suburban train ticket free of charge on 4 million USD for 1,245,600 people from 4,715,700 total population)
3. The urban administration has released the Order requiring to give 5 % from all trade places in the city food markets at disposal of the urban farmers and special trade zones for urban gardeners only (40 in St-Petersburg) near most profitable market place
4. "Union of the Gardeners of St. Petersburg", NGO carrying out advices on technologies of cultivation and other kinds of the technical help in Gardener House (House was founded in April 2000). All this goes under umbrella of city authorities
5. Regional holiday - Day of the Gardener was established two years ago, International exhibitions (AGROS, " Agro week ") and fair "Gardener" at the Russian Village Center, all necessary for a gardening and kitchen gardening sale for the moderate prices in one place (seeds, fertilizers, building materials, etc.)

In the future prospect the private organizations want to organize the food markets for the urban farmers on the squares of city, which would work only on Saturday and Sunday, as it takes place in some countries of Western Europe

That is all good and useful deals but not very close connect with urban planning and land functional zoning. The emphasis of our urban planners is made on appeal of city to the investors in an industry, tourism, and sphere of services, science and education. The agricultural land areas for the townspeople are superseded in a suburban zone. Yes, for this 10 years period quantity of lands belonging to the gardeners and kitchen gardeners within town boundaries has increased (with 0.7 up to 1.4 % and with 1.5 up to 1.9 % accordingly) but generally agricultural lands within town boundaries diminishes from 17.7 to 14.9 %

There was not and there are no functional zones for development of urban agriculture in the urban plans (as well as in Tanzania). Exceptions are best agricultural lands of large commercial farms (ex-state, now stake-holders) on outskirts plus some community gardens (154 on 1,439 square kilometers total city size) They are historically located inside city which were established in Stalin era (1948). Arable lands and community gardens inside city still possible to defend, at least our urban planners have no action plans to convert it to build up areas during nearest 20 years. Yes, they are separate functional zones. Thus our planners' best and constructive idea is leave them alone.

City authorities don't mention or they don't care and at least not ban un-official plots along not important road-side verges, under electricity line, and land-bordering railway track (often with ugly view) and on open spaces, because it is not immediately needed. But such places have no agricultural future

At the same time 30 000 plots of urban farmers in peri-urban area are already abandoned and many gardeners refuse land plots, belonging to them. There is it basically because of the high prices on their maintenance and on travel expenses to reach most distant from St. Petersburg.

However urban farmers in Russia can act even as political force. First congress of an Interregional Party of the Urban Farmers has passed September 1 and the following example was given in one of participant speech: In Krasnodar Krai (south of Russia), "Services of collection and purchase of non-ferrous metals from the private persons" was forbidden on demand of the urban farmers, because thieves simply stole aluminum and copper electrical wires from summer houses/plots and sold them. The urban farmers have declared, that they will vote against the governor on forthcoming election and the Order about an interdiction of such services was made after one week.

As you see UPA policy of our city authorities are positive and integrated into urban planning up to the certain limits only.

Small remark on Gender and UPA

In Russia key PUA players are mid age and especially retired persons, both man, and woman. The life expectancy of the men 10 years less (63.9) , than women (74.3) and accordingly older women is engaged more than men in urban agriculture. It is interesting, our Academy of Medical Sciences has carried out researches and they approve life expectancy of the urban farmer 1.5 times more than urban non-farmer.

Warm regards

Oleg Moldakov
Researcher on Urban agriculture
St-Petersburg Urban Gardening Club, Russia <>

PS. By the way we have the same problems with public gardens as in Portugal. City has no money enough for their maintenance except most famous ones. It is another Department of City Administration and another budget line.

From: Petra Jacobi <>
Sent: 07 September 2000 11:04
Subject: UPA-PLanning/ session2 Contribution from Petra Jacobi

My name is Petra Jacobi, working in the Urban Vegetable Promotion Project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

I would like to share some information regarding Integration of UPA in planning and possible reasons why it happened in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is probably a case were the Integration of Urban Agriculture in Urban Planning Documents is quite advanced. City by-laws guide urban agriculture (e.g. 1989 and 1992) and an updated version of a "Strategic Urban Development Plan" exists. One issue in Dar es Salaam, which was included in the plan, was the Management of Open Spaces, Hazardous Land and Urban Agriculture

The following is part of the mentioned strategies for "Managing Urban Agriculture" in Dar es Salaam:

"A. Adopt a mixed land-use approach in urban planning, thus providing a legal basis for agriculture in areas formerly designated for residential purposes only. To operationalize this approach, develop standards specifying agricultural activities that are permissable in the various density-zones. For example a high density area where open spaces at the backyard and front garden can be used for growing vegetable and keeping small livestock. Where new plots of at least three or four acres should be allocated for residential purposes to those who intend to grow crops and/ or keep livestock. Livestock rearing in high-density areas should be discouraged, zero-grazing in low-density areas should be encouraged and open grazing should be allowed in per- urban areas only.

B. In the mixed land-use strategy, residential areas and public institutions with enough open spaces should grow some vegetables and fruits were appropriate......."

(taken from: Strategic Urban Development Planning Framework - Draft for the City of Dar es Salaam, Stakeholders' Edition, 1999)

My colleague Mlozi has stated yesterday "almost everyone in Tanzania is doing UPA, there are deliberate efforts to integrate it in urban planning", that is definitely an important answer to the "why?".

There has been the chance through the Sustainable Cities Programme to bring together Stakeholders on policy level to think about a vision for the city (Strategic Urban Development Plan) , this created the forum for the discussion, and it included UPA. I think it would have been impossible to discuss the topic UPA on its own.

In addition there have been continuous efforts of a variety of people, amongst them mostly researchers, who fuelled the discussion with research findings and tried to create awareness among policy makers.

There have been implementation activities, e.g. re-orientation of the urban extension service to deliver better services for urban farmers, renovation of some of the city gardens on the ground, which backed up the development.

The integration of UPA in the development plans is one very important step. Now we have to make the difference from theory to practice. Mlozi stated yesterday that "UPA has been integrated in urban planning theoretically". It now can and has to be filled with life.

Best regards

Petra Jacobi
Urban Vegetable Promotion Project (MAC/GTZ)
P.O.Box 31311
Dar es Salaam,
Phone: ++255-22-2700947

From: GREIF, Franz []
Sent: 07 September 2000 17:38
To: ''

UPA-Planning session 2/ Contribution from Franz Greif Dear colleagues,

first I want to express my gratitude for that magnificent opportunity to collect information about UA&PUA from all over the world. Although through this discussion aspects and problems of developing and reform countries take higher importance I try to introduce some "experience" from Vienna/Austria with some reference for greater parts of Central Europe. It is quite clear that the actual situation here cannot be compared with Central Africa or Latin America or the U.S.A. as well.

Today the level of agricultural productivity is thus high that it is easy to abandon land in peri-urban areas from agricultural use, to set it aside (for official gratification) or to offer it for official use by the public (recreation, or improvement of the environment). In spite of this the city of Vienna is deserved by some 100 horticulturers who efficiently produce around 60% of fresh vegetables for a market of 1,5 million people.

But during the decades between the two World Wars and 20 years after 1945 there existed huge problems of unemployment (more than 700,000 or about 30% of total labour force). During these years the municipality f.i. of Vienna offered land as so-called "Grabeland" for subsistence purposes (small parcels, different types and size, most in a tenant scheme for 99 years, the maximum about 1 to 2 ha per family, but normally much smaller). These so to say "planned scatters" produced their vegetables, potatoes, eggs, poultry, rabbits etc. I estimate very roughly that the total surface of this type of U&PU land use during the thirties covered about 2,500 to 4,000 ha (that was between 6 and 10 per cent of the area of Vienna. This phenomenon has been widespread in Austria and Germany (over there wellknown as "Schrebergärten", whose roots are in Berlin). I would like to add that in the years of food shortage and hunger in Vienna's urban households about 150,000 pigs (p.a., without any land) were fattened, in huts in the backyards, or even in bath tubes, furthermore thousands of goats and others.

All other types of U&PU agriculture are * either market oriented (farms on arable land, vinyards, horticulture), whose existence problems consist of the incertainty of useable land: if they are tenants they often have to accept to move to another place, if they are land owners they often speculate themselves with higher non-agricultural values in the urban vicinity; * or they belong to "socially requested" types of open space like parks, protected areas or other components of the "green belt", normally without agricultural use but sometimes of great economical importance (as f.i. forests which are hunting areas). But these areas we can theoretically consider as "urban production reserves" too.

Under these premises let me try to formulate some thoughts to the questions set by the organisers:


In industrialised agglomerations the "social green" is fully integrated into urban planning. As far as real agricultural land is part of this "social green" it is also protected (against parcelling and construction). This is the fact in Vienna where forests are "two times" protected (by the state's and by the municipality's authorities), and where vinyards, meadows and parts of arable land in Vienna are components of the green belt also are under full legal protection.


The reason why the protection policy f.i. in Vienna could be successful is that agricultural markets for many years are oversupplied, and farmland close to the capital like other land and open space has got more and more the aspect of recreation and so became a new political necessity for the people in the city. It is a fact that in Central Europe a phenomenon like "blight areas", wellknown f.i. from Chicago, never appeared and if, only for a short time before "evaluation by construction". One important contribution to a fairly good land use management in Austria is the tight forest law, which in the whole country claimes for agricultural land out of use to tranform it legally to woodland (if 30% of the parcel are already forested). This forces most of the land owners to care for a better use of their arable and grassland.


At the time being in Central Europe under-utilization of agricultural land is of more interest than its secure use. What concerns the situation in overcrowding cities with immense immigration I can imagine that parcelling of public land and delivering it to the responsibility of families for subsistence purposes can help a part of people concerned - smaller or greater. But I think that planning in favelas, slums, bidonvilles or gecekondular must be a comprehensive process including

* the realistic setting of ownership rights * reasonable zoning of areas concerned as "urban" or "metropolitan" districts, not only with agricultural land but also residential areas, industrial and handicraft areas, and centres and markets * help for income and employment of others who cannot act as "self-supplying urban farmers"

and other concerns.

Finally I want to state that planning in these peri-urban zones must simultaneously become a participative process of the people there. If people get the feeling that they are enabled to care for themselves good co-operation with official authorities is imaginable, and much work in executing "peri-urban planning" can be done very cheap for the planning budget.


In an Interreg-II-C project in which German, Austrian, Hungarian and Greek agronomists and regional scientists are collaborating, the trial will be made to set a systematic of land use planning which should integrate three main aspects: forest protection, "socially requested functions of agricultural land" and the conservation of nature. The aim is finally to formulate a tool of "land use planning" under circumstances given in the European Union. Unfortunately I cannot present a result until now (perhaps at the end of 2001).

Please, take these comments as an attempt to contribute some ideas from a more (technically) advanced viewpoint, but I be glad if you do not forget that the development of great cities in Europe knows very well all the problems you have to deal with - maybe now after a period of great disturbancies and strong improvement and from a more remote standpoint. Although the topic is of course more located in the "Southern World" this might be a small contribution to complete the large spectrum of peri-urban agriculture.

Cordial regards,
yours sincerely,
Franz Greif

From: Oliver Ginsberg []
Sent: 07 September 2000 19:42
To: Urban planning Subject: Input session 2
UPA-Planning/Session2 Contribution from Oliver Ginsberg


Let me give you some background information on integration of UA in Berlin's urban planning.

Some 80.000 allotment gardens, serving some 10% of the whole population exist in Berlin. They cover some 3.500 ha (35 km²) or 4,5% of the city's administrative area. Most of them originated in the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century partly from grass root action and squatting of open land, partly as patronized gardens for the poor. They are protected by national law since 1919. The law strictly controls the level of land rent and provides basically that nobody can be driven of her/his plot. This also goes for privately owned land as long as it is used for acknowledged gardening purposes. Additionally the allotment gardens were defined by general development plans since 1910, which then tried to fix two rings of urban green and some green radiants to ensure a balanced city development. Modern land use plans (Flächennutzungsplan) basically have perpetuated this idea.

On the first glance it looks like Berlin has done a good job with integrating UA into urban planning. In fact however the reason for protection of the land was not due to integration into urban planning, but the formation of a powerful organisation, which again and again was able to decide elections on the local level. The last time this happened was in 1987, when a new general plan suggested the transformation of some of the garden areas into construction and business zones, which resulted into an electoral shift from Conservative to a coalition of Social democrats and the Green party. Land used for allotments gardens nevertheless has been reduced by almost 50% since after the war and the loss of other agricultural land (ordinary private or state run farms) which used to cover more than 12% of the city's area was just as dramatic especially in the western part of the city where 75% of this agricultural land was sacrificed to city development. (from 4.000 ha to just over 1.000 ha). This happened despite the fact, that areas are defined by and integrated into urban planning. In the end plans are just paper and planners are not a very powerful species within the city administration unless supported by a strong popular movement.

Interestingly forests seem to enjoy more protection. They still cover some 17,5% of the city's area and have diminished only little since after the war. That is probably due to a special cultural heritage in Germany.

According to the experiences in Berlin, the best policy in terms of securing UA is to help urban farmers and gardeners to organize themselves and form powerful coalitions which can exercise political power.

Originally a lot of the gardens were helping to secure food supply during economic crises especially during war times, even though from the very beginning they also had a strong social and cultural meaning and several were primarily founded on the premise of health promotion and to supply better play environments for children (Schreber gardens) rather than food security. Since food supply is often a short term problem (not in terms of days or weeks, but perhaps in terms of a few years) it is difficult to make food supply a major argument if we are talking about a long term sustainable development, which includes UA as continuos element of the urban area.

The needs of children could be developed as a major argument to secure urban garden and agricultural areas. Adults may be able to travel some 100 km to produce food (Even though I doubt, that many will like to do so). Children certainly do not have such a long distance mobility. Since the needs of children are still often considered more by women than men. The support of women's organisations appear to be crucial in that respect.

Ecological aspects from micro-climate and protection of water regimes (Control of herbicides and pesticides provided) to local solid waste treatment are another crucial factor.

Berlin's allotment gardens are now required to strictly compost organic waste, not use chemical fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides and use at least one third of the territory for gardening (the last rule became necessary, because a lot of the gardens were transformed into 100% recreational facilities with swimming pools and a lot of the surface sealed with concrete and stone). Many of them still incorporate a central community facility with play areas.



PS.: Sorry for not strictly sticking to the questions suggested
Oliver Ginsberg
BdJA educational consultant
Admiralstr. 16
10999 Berlin
fon: ++49-30-614 02 172 fax: ++49-30 614 02 173

From: Drescher, Axel (SDAR)
Sent: 08 September 2000 11:12
To: ''
Subject: UPA-Planning/Session2 Paper submission by Aileen Robertson

Re: UPA-Planning/Session2 Paper submission by Aileen Robertson

Dear Participants of the UPA-Planning Group,

the mentioned paper will soon be available on the Information market It deals with the urbanisation process and the role of city-farms in urbanised Europe.

"At the City Farm, agriculture and horticulture are practised a relatively small scale, giving opportunities for children, young people and adults to become familiar with the food and natural resource cycle".

It was submitted by:

Dr Aileen Robertson Acting Regional Adviser for Nutrition Food and Nutrition Policy Unit WHO Nutrition Copenhagen Tel: 45 - 39 17 12 26 Fax: 45 - 39 17 18 54 email:

Best Regards
Your Moderators

Sent: Friday, September 08, 2000 2:25 PM

In our research into both intra-urban and peri-urban agriculture in Kumasi, Ghana, the constraint most commonly mentioned by farmers was lack of funds or lack of credit.

In the peri-urban studies, the constraints of land scarcity, reduced soil fertility, high land rents and theft of produce could be seen as the result of the increased competition for resources in the proximity of Kumasi, but were raised by only some villages and not necessarily those nearest the city. Thus it appears that there is evidence of a general conception that the problems of near-urban farmers are not very different to those of rural farmers but that peri-urban-ness does contribute some extra problems to the farmers' portfolio. So this supports Paule Moustier's hypothesis.

An additional problem in peri-urban Kumasi is that of insecurity of land tenure. Increasing amounts of peri-urban land are being effectively sold off to individuals by the traditional authorities for urban development, principally high-income housing. Due to the insecurity over family land tenure, the ability and incentives for indigenous farmers to intensify and improve their farms may be constrained (for example, planting trees, investing in long term improvements). Incomers with individual rights to land may be in a better position to invest as their land is more secure.

In the intra-urban agriculture we also found that the most commonly named cosntraint was lack of funds, but that theft of produce was a more serious constraint than that in the peri-urban studies. Insecurity of tenure seems not to be perceived as so much of a problem in the intra-urban area, perhaps mainly because these are often the low-lying and partly seasonally waterlogged areas (not dambos sensu stricto) less suitable for housing development. Crop-cutting by the municipality has only been an irregular habit, and for the same reason advanced in Harare : the crops are thought to conceal illegal activities and robbers. In contrast to the peri-urban, where women predominate in terms of dependence on farming for livelihood, the intra-urban agriculture is dominated by men.

If we are to consider "pro-poor" UPA policies, maybe we need to look not only at support for the production of crops and livestock but also the encouragement of livelihood opportunities in associated processing and marketing / vending of the products. Livelihoods inevitably change with urbanisation and the whole picture of natural-resource-related livelihoods needs to be considered.

Martin Adam Martin Adam, Natural Resource Management Department, Natural Resources Institute, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK.

Tel.++44 1634 883414 Fax.++44 1634 883959

From: Evan Fraser []
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2000 7:06 PM T
Subject: response to Tanya Bowyer-Bower; Environmental Implications...

Greetings all, My name is Evan Fraser; having worked in urban forestry for some time I am now completing a doctoral on peri-urban agriculture in Vancouver Canada. I am also a project manager for an urban greening project in Bangkok, Thailand and have helped teach a soil science and conservation course.

I was extremely interested by Tanya Bowyer-Bower's comments on the environmental implications of UA, and, if she doesn't mind, would be extremely interested in more details and information on this research.

Dr Bowyer-Bower highlights three specific problems, namely, ground water runoff, erosion (leading to siltation) and the fact that UA reduced ground water recharge.

With regard to the ground-water recharge, it is a global fact that agriculture competes with urban uses for water. Given the massive demand that agriculture puts on our global water supplies, water efficiency will probably become a dominant theme in agricultural policy in the future.

The other two problems - surface runoff and water erosion - have to do with the soil's ability to hold and transfer water. Unless damaged, soils that are covered with vegetation will normally store enough water to prevent any surface runoff, which occurs when the rainfall exceeds the "water-storing capacity" of the soil it is falling on. In addition, normally, soils with vegetation will not erode much; the force of the rain is slowed by the vegetation, and roots support soil aggregates. Of course, this all will vary with soil type - clays and organic soils will have a higher water holding capacity while sandy soils will be inherently more prone to erode.

In an urban situation, however, soil structure is almost always damaged. Research in British Columbia (which is, admittedly a long way from Africa, though the lessons should still apply), has shown that problems of nutrient loading and siltation in urban water ways are directly related to the "hard surfaces" ( buildings, roads, pavement, etc) in that area. In other words, in an urban environment, the roads, compacted soil, buildings and pavement all prevent the soil from storing water and allowing it to trickle slowly into the nearby streams. In an urban environment rainfall races off roofs, along roads, over compacted soil and floods drain sewers. Not only does this rainfall pick up debris that is lying on the ground it can also be fast enough moving that it erodes the soil it passes over.

As Dr. Bowyer-Bowers suggested there are many local, low-tech solutions to problems of surface runoff, erosion, siltation and nutrient loading. In places where I've worked and flooding and erosion are problems I have tried to support replacing hard surfaces with vegetated ones, establishing dykes, or baffles so that water runoff cannot build up enough speed to cause erosion, and promoting urban greening. Also I've tried to encourage people who are doing UA to subsoil; after repeated agriculture you often see a compacted layer of soil immediately below the "tillage depth" or the depth that people are digging to. In this situation water will not be able to penetrate very deeply, the soil will fill up, and you will have problems with runoff. By digging deeper every few years, it is possible to break up the compacted layer. Also, I've encouraged people to plant legumes that they do not harvest every fourth or fifth year. Finally, an active composting programme in the neighbourhood will help build up soil organic matter, which will increase water-holding capacity.

Of course all of these proposals requires a certain amount of support. In situations where UA is actively repressed it will be virtually impossible to take the long-term perspective on soil management that is required to ensure the soil health and sustainability of UA.

All the best, and thanks for this excellent discussion.

Evan Fraser

Ph.D. Candidate, Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of British Columbia

Project Manager, International Centre for Sustainable Cities Vancouver, Canada and Bangkok, Thailand


From: Berg, dr. L.M. van den []
Sent: 08 September 2000 16:56 To: ''
Subject: coalitions, blighted zones, crop theft, etc.

UPA-Planning/Session2 Contribution from Leo van den Berg

A few points of emphasis and clarification, 1. I am glad that Oliver Ginsberg emphasized from Berlin experience "the need to help urban farmers and gardeners to organize themselves and form powerful coalitions". Oleg Moldakov gives a nice example from Southern Russia. I think this has proved to be essential all over the world and is something NGO's in the South could feel encouraged by. The other side of the same coin is, however, that such farmers should be responsive to requests and concerns from their non-farming urban neighbours, who want to consume not only their produce but also the landscape (green open-ness) they maintain. 'Organic farming' is just one way of doing that. 2. Oliver also points at the dynamic nature of allotment gardening: what is important subsistance farming at one time (like in Sofia or Harare now and in Berlin, Vienna or Amsterdam during WW2) could develop into flower gardens and weekend resorts within a decade or two (or vise versa, like Russia's datcha's). Such dynamics are part of the fun of an urban environment. 3. When Franz Greif states that in Central Europe "blight areas" never appeared or only very briefly, I think he presents too rosy a picture. Not only in the Ruhr area, but also within the older industrial parts of other cities (Katowice, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, etc.) there are these areas that are very hard to redevelop. My earlier point from North American cities (see also the contribution by Jerry Kaufman) was, that urban agriculture can take part in the reclamation of such blighted areas. 4. I like Anne Bellow's reaction to Marielle Dubbeling with her story about Polish pro-UPA city officials losing elections afterwards because they were accused that "all they thought about were carrots". I think that the 'strategic coalitions' mentioned under '1' above should take care of providing politicians with the right arguments for supporting UPA in the face of temptations such as making money with the land by turning all of it into building sites. These arguments need to be kept upt-to-date all the time. Perhaps Marielle or others could give us examples of how local politicians have benefitted (politically!) from supporting UPA. 5. Jacobi and Mlozi gave some encouraging information on UPA in Tanzania, where national and local governments seem really pro-UPA. But they also raised the problem of setting aside new, large plots (more than 1 ha!) in an urban environment. How to avoid that such 'agricultural smallholdings' are subdivided (be it officially or illegally) for residential or other urban purposes? The opposite extreme would be that no building whatsoever is allowed on much of the urban and peri-urban farm land and this ruling is strictly adhered to. (I know it from Jos, Nigeria). This has raised the problem of supervising the crops and equipment against theft I just saw that this a major constraint in peri-urban Kumasi (Adam Martin). I wonder who knows of ways in which this theft problem has been solved elsewhere? I am looking forward to the answers you will have to questions like this. Greetings, Leo van den Berg

Dr. L.M. van den Berg ALTERRA,
(tel: 31-317-474435)