Contributions to the Discussion

Contributions September 23 - 30, 2000
From: Axel Drescher (SDAR) 
Sent: 26/09/99 10:56 
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 weekly summary weeks 1
This message is sent in English and Spanish. 
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Este mensaje està enviado en inglès y español.


Dear participants of the UPA-Planning group,

Last week's discussion started with a debate on space requirement and availability in urban settings. The original questions on how to integrate UPA in Planning processes and who are the stakeholders to be involved were only touched on at the end of this past week.

Lena Jarlov is of the opinion that lower-density housing areas are needed, especially for the urban poor, so that they can grow more of their own food on their plots. Leo van den Berg reacted to this by saying that we should not aim with UPA at most of the urban poor producing most of their food around their homes. That would make the urban infrastructure far too expensive. A better way to enable those urban poor (and others!) who have the relevant skills and/or commitment to do agriculture is to plan and build new urban neighbourhoods in strings, following wherever possible the slightly higher grounds, leaving "green corridors" between them for agricultural production, forestry, water conservation, sport fields, etc. This is the well-known urban planning model of "fingercity".

Lena Jarlov agreed with the idea of a planning structure with green strings but pointed out that a great number of the potential gardeners are women and mothers and for them even a relatively short distance to the vegetable land causes great problems.

Land titles

The contribution of Mandiou Gassama from Mali referred to the following:

Land titles are rarely delivered in urban and peri-urban agriculture. Even if they exist, they do not concern small and middle producers, those producers who represent the majority in urban and peri-urban agriculture. The common characteristics are that these groups can be cleared off their plots at any time when authorities need to develop the area occupied by the producers: this is what we call land insecurity. In this context each new day can be considered as a new test for producers.

In Harare, according to Bacon Mbiba, one of the problems is land shortage as well as control and ownership of land. There is not enough open space and therefore people tend to use other available space to cultivate.

Politics and Policy

The original question of this session was touched by Bacon Mbiba as well: The different institutional roles around the activity are key factors in the planning process. With respect to any City Council there are various groups involved, town planners (who do in Harare consider UPA as a land use), and the environmental health experts, who are concerned with diseases and land degradation. Town planners are not involved in the allocation of land to individuals. That is a domain of council through the councillors working with the administrators (Town Clerk) and at times with a section of a department such as Department of Housing and Social Services. In Zimbabwe a new generation of young planners has appeared, who appreciate UA and who prepare land use plans that are pro-active. Training programmes at the University of Zimbabwe have made a positive contribution to this.

Dagmar Kunze, talks in her contribution to the food group on the various stakeholders involved in UPA. [Questions from the moderators in parentheses]. In short: the consumer side, with low cost, safe products by food control mechanisms; marketing infrastructure; the producer side, with development of farmer associations, capacity building of individuals and groups, low cost inputs [which institutions?], distribution systems establishment [which institutions?], tenure arrangements [which institutions?], marketing and market information support (export), specialised extension, business planning; the governmental side in agricultural policy planning, town planning, legal support, extension, marketing (infrastructure). Due to the obvious lack of information on the "how and who" of integration of UPA in planning the moderators rephrased their question in one contribution:

* Which stakeholders should be involved in the development of a plan that includes UPA? This connects to the question: How to modify efficiently the traditional hierarchical systems of city management? If we try to plan decentralized, participatory and on a people-based decision system: who are the stakeholders and how to mobilize them?

The second question: * Which planning principles should apply to integrate UPA into city planning poses some more questions: are planners aware of parallel planning systems? What are the conflicts resulting from this and how can solutions be mediated? How can major stakeholders like the urban farmers themselves be involved in planning processes - what steps to still need to be taken ?

An example from Paris shows a possible way how UPA can become an important factor in planning processes: Urban agriculture has to be negotiated. Based on growth of local projects, all stakeholders involved will have to qualify and negotiate tomorrow`s agriculture, before it is too late. Discussions are currently taking place for building local experiments of "patrimonial management". More details can be found in the submitted paper.

Marielle Dubbeling finally came up with a detailed list of steps to take to integrate UPA in city planning for the Latin American situation: * Describe the actors and the urban planning process, its objectives, strategies and policy instruments in for example 4 cities in the LAC region. * Construct in each of the cities a "urban territorial map", including a spatial classification of different (peri)urban land and water bodies and its uses: (Actors: Municipality + research institute ). * Elaborate a classification and land use map of different urban and peri- urban spaces (using GIS) * Identify the characteristics of productive land use (production, transformation and commercialisation, type of production, temporal or permanent land use, access and land tenure). * Do an analysis of existing and future municipal planning ideas, norms and regulations for land and water use (land use plans, territorial plans, strategic plans). Actors: Municipality * Analyse and classify spaces where UPA could be converted into a sustainable and viable land use (compared to other forms of land use). * Do a participatory analysis of demands and ideas for land and water use. Actors: farmers, consumer groups, agro industry, market-cooperations, NGO and community based organisations. * Do an analysis of potential land and water use for agricultural production, processing and marketing and its implications for urban planning: Actors: research, NGO and Municipality. * Reflect on the implications of a productive land and water use for urban planning. * Propose structures, mechanisms and practical instruments for a better incorporation of UA in urban planning. * Validate the results of the research with a group of 30 cities interested in the topic and working with UMP.

Thank you for your participation and we welcome any contribution for the last week of our conference. Please use the time to pose your questions, make contacts and tell us your opinion.

Your moderators UPA-Planning 



Resumen de la semana 1 de sesion 3

Estimados participantes del grupo AUP-Planificación,

Las discusiones de la semana pasada comenzaron con un debate sobre los requisitos y la disponibilidad del espacio en entornos urbanos. Las preguntas originales referentes a la manera de integrar la AUP en los procesos de planificación y quiénes son los grupos de interés involucrados fueron recién comentadas a finales de la última semana.

Lena Jarlov opina que se necesitan áreas residenciales de baja densidad, especialmente para los grupos urbanos pobres, a fin de que puedan cultivar una mayor parte de sus alimentos en sus parcelas. Leo van den Berg respondió opinando que no deberíamos perseguir el objetivo de lograr que, con la agricultura urbana, la mayoría de los sectores pobres urbanos produzcan la mayor parte de sus alimentos alrededor de sus viviendas ya que esto encarecería demasiado la infraestructura urbana. Una mejor manera de permitirles a esos sectores pobres urbanos (¡¡y a otros!!) que poseen los conocimientos relevantes y/o la dedicación para ocuparse en tareas agrícolas es planificar y construir nuevos barrios urbanos en cordones, siguiendo en la medida de lo posible los terrenos un poco más altos, y dejando "corredores verdes" entre ellos para la producción agrícola, silvicultura, conservación del agua, campos de deportes, etc. Este es el conocido modelo de planificación urbana llamado en inglés "fingercity". Lena Jarlov está de acuerdo con la idea de una estructura de planificación con cordones verdes pero señala que una gran parte de los potenciales agricultores son mujeres y madres y para ellas, incluso una distancia relativamente corta a los huertos puede causarles grandes problemas.

Una contribución de Mandiou Gassama de Mali se refería a los títulos de propiedad de la tierra: rara vez se extienden títulos de propiedad en la agricultura urbana y periurbana. Incluso cuando existen, no se aplican a los pequeños y medianos productores, que representan el grueso de los productores en la AUP. Las características frecuentes son que estos grupos pueden ser expulsados de sus terrenos en cualquier momento cuando las autoridades necesiten desarrollar el área ocupada por los productores: esto es lo que llamamos inseguridad de la tierra. En este contexto, cada día es considerado como una nueva prueba para los productores. En Harare, según Bacon Mbiba, uno de los problemas es la escasez de tierra y también el control y la propiedad de la tierra. No existen suficientes espacios abiertos, por lo que la gente suele usar otros espacios disponibles para los cultivos. La pregunta original para esta sesión fue comentada también por Bacon Mbiba: Política y Gestión. Los distintos roles institucionales en torno a la actividad son factores clave en el proceso de planificación: Respecto a cualquier Concejo Municipal existen varios grupos involucrados, planificadores urbanos (que, en Harare, toman en cuenta a la AUP como un uso de la tierra), y los expertos del medio ambiente y la salud, que se ocupan de las enfermedades y la degradación de la tierra. Los planificadores urbanos no se ocupan de la asignación de terrenos a los individuos. Este es el dominio del concejo a través de los concejales que trabajan con los funcionarios de administración (funcionarios municipales), y a veces con una sección de un departamento, como el Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Sociales. En Zimbabue ha surgido una nueva generación de jóvenes planificadores que aprecian la agricultura urbana y preparan planes de uso de la tierra que la fomentan activamente. Programas de formación en la Universidad de Zimbabwe han constituido un aporte positivo para este fin.

Dagmar Kunze, en su contribución para el grupo de alimentos, se refiere a los diversos grupos de interés involucrados en la AUP. [Las preguntas de los moderadores van entre paréntesis]. En síntesis: la parte del consumidor, con bajos costos, productos seguros mediante mecanismos de control de alimentos; infraestructura de comercialización; la parte del productor, con la creación de asociaciones de trabajadores agrícolas, incremento de la capacitación de individuos y grupos, insumos de bajo costo [¿qué instituciones?], establecimiento de sistemas de distribución [¿qué instituciones?], disposiciones sobre la tenencia [¿qué instituciones?], apoyo a la información sobre comercialización y mercado (exportación), servicios de extensión especializados, planificación comercial; la parte gubernamental en la planificación de políticas agrícolas, planificación urbana, apoyo legal, extensión, comercialización (infraestructura).

Debido a la evidente falta de información sobre el "cómo y el quién" de la integración de la AUP en la planificación, los moderadores reformularon su pregunta en una contribución: * ¿Qué grupos de interés deberían ser involucrados en el desarrollo de un plan que incluya a la AUP? Esto se relaciona con la pregunta: ¿Cómo modificar eficientemente los sistemas tradicionales jerárquicos de gobierno municipal? Si intentamos planear un sistema de decisiones descentralizado, participativo y basado en los intereses de las personas: ¿quiénes son los grupos de interés y cómo movilizarlos?

La segunda pregunta: * ¿Qué principios de planificación se deberían aplicar para integrar la AUP en la planificación urbana? plantea algunas preguntas adicionales: ¿los planificadores tienen conocimiento de sistemas de planificación paralelos? ¿Cuáles son los conflictos que resultan de esto y cómo se puede mediar para encontrar las soluciones? ¿Cómo se puede involucrar a los grupos de interés más importantes, como los propios agricultores urbanos, en los procesos de planificación - qué pasos se deben seguir?

Un ejemplo desde París muestra una posible manera en que la AUP puede ser un factor importante en los procesos de planificación: la agricultura urbana debe ser negociada. Basados en el desarrollo de proyectos locales, todos los grupos de interés involucrados deberán ser habilitados y negociar la agricultura del mañana antes de que sea demasiado tarde. Actualmente se están manteniendo discusiones sobre la creación de experimentos locales de "administración patrimonial". Más detalles se pueden encontrar en el documento remitido.

Finalmente, Marielle Dubbeling presentó una detallada lista de pasos a seguir para integrar la AUP en la planificación urbana en el caso de la situación latinoamericana: - Describir los actores y el proceso de planificación urbana, sus objetivos, estrategias e instrumentos de políticas en, por ejemplo, 4 ciudades de la región. - Construir en cada una de las ciudades un "mapa territorial urbano" incluyendo una clasificación espacial de los diferentes terrenos urbanos y periurbanos, masas de agua y sus usos: (Actores: Municipalidad + instituto de investigación) - Elaborar un mapa de clasificación y uso de la tierra de los diferentes espacios urbanos y periurbanos (empleando el SIG, Sistema de Información Geográfica) - Identificar las características del uso productivo de la tierra (producción, transformación y comercialización, tipo de producción, uso temporal o permanente de la tierra, acceso y tenencia de la tierra) - Realizar un estudio de las ideas de planificación municipales existentes y futuras, normas y regulaciones para el uso de la tierra y el agua (planes para el uso de la tierra, planes territoriales, planes estratégicos) Actores: Municipalidad - Analizar y clasificar espacios en los que la AUP podría ser convertida en un uso sostenible y viable de la tierra (comparada con otras formas de uso de la tierra) - Realizar un análisis participativo de demandas e ideas para el uso de la tierra y el agua. Actores: agricultores, grupos de consumidores, agroindustria, cooperativas de mercado, ONG y organizaciones de base comunitaria - Realizar un análisis del potencial uso de la tierra y el agua para la producción, procesamiento y comercialización de productos agrícolas y sus implicaciones para la planificación urbana: Actores: investigación, ONG y Municipalidad - Reflexionar sobre las repercusiones de un uso productivo de la tierra y el agua en la planificación urbana - Proponer estructuras, mecanismos e instrumentos prácticos para una mejor incorporación de la AU en la planificación urbana - Convalidar los resultados de la investigación con un grupo de 30 ciudades interesadas en el tema y que trabajan con UMP

Agradecemos su participación y tenemos mucho interés en recibir cualquier contribución para la última semana de esta conferencia. Le invitamos a emplear el tiempo restante para formular sus preguntas, entablar contactos y hacernos conocer sus opiniones.

Sus moderadores AUP-Planificación


From: Mona Chhabra <>
To: Urban Planning Cc: 
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2000 5:56 PM 

Subject:UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Mona Chhabra 

I have been trying to keep up with the steady flow of contributions in the  conference and was beginning to wonder like Chambers. ...'whose  reality?...where do the people - men and women come in?  Drawing from Joseph Batacs email, I would take this opportunity to  introduce our work on Strategic Environmental Planning and Management  (EPM)of the Peri-urban Interface (PUI). As a part of this project, research  has been conducted to identify key components and principles of a workable  strategic approach to planning and managing environmental dimensions of the  rural-urban interface in the developing world which will benefit the poor.  We are advocating a Strategic - long term outlook rather than short term and a process approach to EPM especially considering the complex- ever  changing nature of the PUI. As is obvious, the research has a clear focus  on the livelihoods of the poor and sustainability of the natural resource  base in the PUI.  In the project, besides other lessons, we have learnt that over and above  the hardware of GIS and other systems, it is crucial to use human  software such as the analytical frameworks that research produces to be able to think strategically while being realistic. In the PUI project we have used DfIDs Sustainable Livelihoods Framework and the web of  Relationships as tools for diagnosis and also for guiding the Strategic  approach for EPM for the PUI. These tools have provided a link between the  most basic of realities to the seemingly impenetrable spheres such as  policy. The web of relationships has helped inform about the possible  synergies and existing relationships that can be built upon for the EPM  Process.  And now a quick word about the project-  The research on Strategic EPM of the PUI began with reviews of current  knowledge among practitioners and researchers, drawing heavily from  literature and the Internet. Particular attention was given to new  knowledge of unprecedented depth on the peri-urban interfaces of Kumasi,

Ghana and Hubli-Dharwad, India created by major research projects of  another research programme funded by the DfID of the British Government  aimed at improved management of natural resources. These efforts produced a  clarification of concepts and issues of the peri-urban interface which were  relevant to environmental planning and management and to delivering benefit  to the poor. More importantly, they have provided lessons and thinking from  which strategic principles and components could be extracted.  The principles and components assembled were evaluated for their capacities  to formulate and operationalise pro-poor environmental policies and  strategies for the peri-urban interface. Those most important have been  synthesised into a framework for strategic environmental planning of  peri-urban areas to benefit the poor.  Using workshops conducted with local collaborators, the appropriateness and  practicality of this framework has been assessed in the circumstances of six city-regions: Kumasi in Ghana, Hubli-Dharwad and Chennai in India,  Manizales in Colombia, Curitiba in Brazil, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.  These workshops involved a cross-section of key actors and stakeholders.

The project is making final assessments and revisions of the framework. The  next steps are to formulate and execute a strategy for dissemination of  knowledge of the final framework of principles and components for strategic  environmental planning and management (EPM)of the peri-urban interface to  benefit the poor.  Formulation of these guidelines was prompted by the increasing recognition  that urban and rural links are neglected in development practice. Nowhere  is this more obvious than in environmental management, where cities and  towns pursue activities and policies which severely alter aspects of their  rural and natural surroundings. The processes of change involved create  major problems for countless urban and rural lives, affecting those who are  poor particularly strongly. They also produce major opportunities for urban  development - such as the use of sink capacities to absorb wastes - and for  rural households - such as the healthier environment made possible by  access to piped water.  The research has distinguished qualities which characterise the peri-urban  interface in developing countries. The guidelines have been formulated to  respond to these: the changing and scattered locations affected by the  meeting of urban and rural activities; the changing composition of the  populations suffering and enjoying these effects; the absence of  institutional structures able to negotiate fairly the competition for  natural, financial and human resources involved in both the activities and  the environmental planning and management they spur; and the poverty  created or deepened by the destruction of livelihoods and living conditions  as urban activities expand into the countryside.  The guidelines focus on processes. Chief among these are processes to bring  the benefits of environmental planning and management to those who are  poor. These are concerned to identify the poor affected by the changes  brought by the peri-urban interface, obtain knowledge of their livelihoods  and the changes wrought to these livelihoods, and to involve the poor and  the champions of their interests in that decision making which chooses the  problems and opportunities to be managed, the ways they are managed, and the distribution of costs and benefits. However, much attention is also  given to processes which help actors and stakeholders recognise the  peri-urban interface, how it is affecting aspects of the environment, and  the possibilities for collaboration to better manage the consequences.  More information on the different stages of the project is available on the  project's website:  

Best wishes  

Mona Chhabra  

Research Assistant  
University College London 
 9 Endsleigh Gardens 
 London WC1H 0ED  
United Kingdom  
Tel +44 171 388 7581  
Fax +44 171 387 4541


From: Petra Jacobi <
To: <
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2000 10:08 PM
Subject: UPA-Planning session 3 Contribution from Petra Jacobi 
Dear colleagues,

obviously everybody is apologizing that he/ she can not contribute as much as it is desired. Please include me in this group as well!

I ' d like to come back to the questions for this session. Let me take once more the chance to point on Dar es Salaam, Tanzania before this conference comes to an end.

a.. Which stakeholders should be involved in the development of a plan that includes UPA? What did we learn in Dar es Salaam?
a.. Dar es Salaam had the advantage that a "variety of stakeholders from various levels" approached the topic UPA from different sides. I have to admit not always co-ordinated!
b.. There was the Sustainable Cities Programme (policy) who supported the Dar es Salaam City Commission, now the municpal authorities to elaborate a Strategic Urban Development Plan. UPA was identified as a field of interest combined with open space management, hazardous lands and recreational areas. As I have stated earlier in this conference UPA is accepted as an urban land-use.
a.. Some early research was available (1980') and research activities continued throughout. Some of these researchers/ research results paved the ground for fruitful discussions. (research).
b.. The Urban Vegetable Promotion Project supports the government extension structure in the city to deliver services directly for urban farmers (action).
Based on the experiences of the last years a model, how UPA could be integrated in urban planning was put together. It is very much based on the situation in developing countries focussing on poorer parts of the population. Proposals for stakeholders are made, but more important the paper lists tasks to be fulfilled. The responsibility for a certain task will determine the relevant stakeholders.
The model is based on three main intervention areas (policy, research and action). We believe that only a combination will give good results. Another precondition for the impact is that there is a co-ordinating body to guide UPA. It is not necessary that this body is dealing with UPA alone, but it has to be clear, who has the mandate for UPA. We made the experience that this co-ordinating body is very crucial, because it has to formalise many of the otherwise "informal" activities of urban farmers. Unfortunately this body in Dar is not fully operational at the moment and we still struggle to get it going, but we are confident! This co-ordination "unit" is most likely linked with the policy level (e.g City Commission, Municipal Authorities).
For anybody who is interested, the document is available as an input to this conference: JACOBI, DRESCHER & AMEND 2000: Urban Agriculture - Justification and Planning Guidelines. We would love to get as much feedback as possible on it! We are happy to share the practical experience, which lies behind the model. This invitation goes of course especially to Marielle Dubbeling.
a.. Which planning principles should apply, to integrate UPA into city planning? Procedures?
Policy makers, experts in their specific fields and of course people involved in UPA should have the chance to participate in the elaboration of strategic plans and development of programmes. Very likely they will come in on different levels.
In Dar es Salaam it was tried to fulfil some of it by setting up a working group on UPA (policy level). Members of the working group came from different ministries (Lands, Agriculture), of course from the city commission and the local authorities, a few oustanding (large) farmers were invited, NGOs, researchers from the university and project staff were able to particpate. Here a proposal for the strategic plan was elaborated and fed back to the City Commission. It was a lengthy process and even so the attempt was made some of the momentum was lost in administrative procedures (1993 - 2000!). I have to admit that "participation" of a resource poor farmers was almost impossible. Through NGOs and project staff with a direct link to farmer groups also through research findings some of it could be integrated indirectly.
Other steps confirm very much what Marielle had proposed on 22.9. (at least part of it, the water issue is not fully covered!) Identification of the actors, mapping of the actual urban land-use & the potential future land use, including very much a development vision for the city and city expansion (using GIS). In this land-use exercise even different urban farming systems were included (backyard farming, livestock, forestry etc.). Many of the results were confirmed in stakeholder meetings and so on...
We are currently at the stage to transfer the practical application of the "plan" on local level. Implementation partners (NGOs, CBOs, projects) are invited to support. Here the local leaders (ward, street) have to join in strongly to make things happen. Basic democratic principles, community participation and development of a vision on local level are some of the key issues.
Let us be realistic, many of the participants of this conference come from developing countries and know that this is not as easy as it sounds. Even if a discussion forum is provided not all groups in the community can raise their voice. We have the experience that urban residents , especially the poorer ones and this includes many of the urban farmers, do not stand up easily. To include women in this process is even a more challenging task.
It needs a lot of complementary activities, facilitation empowerment of community groups to make them active. This facilitation of community participation is essential not only for UPA, but for all planning processes in urban areas and therefore links UPA with overall city development. Despite the "difficulties" the principle of community participation and planning on local level holds true and is successful!. (One could think about community committees/ meetings with a certain representation as precondition for funding of activities)
Coming back to practise: In the project we tried to contribute to this process by using urban (government) extensionists. Farmers - female and male- assess and plan jointly activities to improve urban vegetable production. Technical advise on production techniques can be provided by the extension agent, but when it comes to access to resources (e.g. land, capital) the extension agent can only facilitate. A number of informal urban farmer groups have managed to get access to land on a temporary basis through successful negotiation with their community leaders, others applied for loans from credit providers, in few cases informal farmer groups have complained about environmental pollution of surface water through local industries (the water is used for irrigation of crops by the farmers). This facilitation role - however very often with a limited coverage - could be taken over by NGOs, CBOs or any community based initiative, if extension agents or community workers are not in place or not suitable. Let me stop for now.

I hope these contributions are useful. Any feedback is highly appreciated.


Petra Jacobi

Urban Vegetable Promotion Project 
P.O.Box 31311 
Dar es Salaam, 
Phone: ++255-22-2700947


From: Paul Muwowo <
To: Sent: 26/09/99 11:04 
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Paul Muwowo

Dear All,

I must say I have been following the discussions on all the topics. I would like to state that I had some technical problem with my service provider. Hence the silence.

Urban agriculture in Lusaka dates back to the to the mid 1930s when the first plan for Lusaka was done. In this plan Lusaka was intended to be a garden city with small cities linked with good transport network. As years past by, as the councils argues, squatters started settling in these areas.

A great deal of research has been done in the area of Urban and Peri-urban agriculture in Lusaka. Some of the topic include:

· Bowa et al 1979 The Gardening in the city. · Jaeguer et al (1986) The Garden city of Lusaka: · Rakodi Carol (1985) Self reliance or survival? Food production in African cities with particular reference to Lusaka · Sanyal B (1987) Urban Agriculture: A strategy for survival · Drescher A. W. (1994) Urban agriculture in the seasonal tropics of central Africa - A case study of Lusaka/Zambia · Drescher A. W. (1997) Management Strategies in African Home gardens and the need for new extension approaches. · Drescher A. W. (1998) Urban Microfarming Southern Africa - Opportunities and Constraints. · Drescher A. W. and P Muwowo (1999) Environmental Problems and Gardening in Urban and Peri-Urban areas of Lusaka In Insight-Lusaka city News. · Drescher A W (1999) Gardening on Garbage Opportunity or Threat?

Note: I cannot write more details because I am using Dial up network.

These and many more have been done to illustrate the magnitude of this activity in Lusaka. Needless to say that many people look at this activity differently. Some Politicians have been trying to facilitate change in the federal laws which prohibit this activity (Urban agriculture). Although this is so growing of maize is done with fears as the councils throughout the country threaten to cut down the maize because it is believed that Maize create an enabling environment for mosquitoes breeding.

Last year there was an interesting event. For those who have been to Lusaka will recall that the area between Chainama College and NRDC along Great East road was an open space. This is now a Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) site. When The Project was commissioned, The areas had maize crops. This ment that if the project had to takeoff, they had to start by clearing/destroying the maize. A crop damage assessment was done and the owners of the fields were compensated. This to me was an indication that the Politicians acknowledged the importance the urban farmers attached to this activity and the investment they had put in in terms of inputs.

As I indicated earlier, People view this activity differently. The rich or the well to do have little or no regard for Urban and Peri-Urban activities because the buy all the vegetable and fruits from the Supermarkets. On the other hand, The poor do gardening as a survival strategy.

This activity contributes very much to the nutrition of the families. Apart from the vitamins for the vegetables, most women buy Milk, Eggs, Milk and other things like medicines and clothes after their sales. Some people in Lusaka keep up to 500 Chickens in their backyards while some keep Goats and Sheep (Small livestock) as income generating activities. As a result of the laws and policies in place, The District Veterinary Office does not have statistics of small livestock in Lusaka.

The Papers/Case studies cover a wide range of topics (Health, Solid Waste management, Planning, Extension Dynamics, Nutrition, Household Food security, Marketing and many more) and provide a number of possible recommendations and solutions. There has been no opportunity to bring together all the stake-holder to discuss these issues of Urban Agriculture. I am therefore requesting from anyone who has information about Organisation or Institution who can assist to bring the stake-holder together.

A gathering like this will, in my view, bring together people with different views, backgrounds and professions who will in turn share ideas and plan how to include urban agriculture in the cities of Zambia. I believe that this could be the only way in which people attitude towards urban agriculture can be changed.

Paul Muwowo 

Tel: +260-1-312058 (Home) 
Extension Methodologist 
Tel: +260-1-311148 (Fax) 
Department of Field Services 
Ministry Of Agric., Food and Fisheries.
 Box 370189 
Kafue Lusaka Province Zambia 


From: Paul Muwowo < 
To: < 

Re: UPA-Planning/session3 second contribution from Paul Muwowo

Subject: Reaction to the moderators comments for session 3

Dear Participants, 

Please note that the answers in this reply refer to Lusaka Zambia.    * Which stakeholders should be involved in the development of a plan that  includes UPA?   ANSWER: The selection of stakeholders to be involved in the planning will  depend on many things. In Lusaka, The following organisations and groups  will be needed in the planning:  Lusaka city Council  District Agricultural office Lusaka District  District Administrator - Lusaka  University of Zambia - School of Agricultural Sciences  Institute of Economic and Social Research  Africare  Care International  Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice  Ministry of Lands  Ministry of Local Government and Housing  Ministry of Community Development and Social welfare  Zambia National Farmers union  Swedish Co-operative Center  Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries Dept. of Field Services and  Dept of Policy and Planning  Agricultural Consultative forum  Food Reserve Agency  Sustainable Lusaka Programme (UNDP Supported Project)  Urban Farmers   The above mentioned organisation/individuals constitute some of the major  players to be included in the stakeholder planning session.    This connects to the question: How to modify efficiently the traditional  hierarchical systems of city management? If we try to plan decentralized,  participatory and on a people-based decision system: who are the  stakeholders and how to mobilize them ?   ANSWER: In my view, The cities of the world are different and the cultures  are different. The best way to modify and how to come up with solutions can  be through a workshop where different issues can be discussed through plenary sessions, group discussion and group presentations etc etc. Otherwise  choosing tool as it were may not be correct. In some cases if the tool is  predetermined, other stakeholders may cry foil or may not commit themselves  to the action plan. I must also say stakeholders to this  meeting/workshop/conference should be open minded.   The second question: * Which planning principles should apply, to integrate  UPA into city planning?   THIS HAS BEEN ANSWERED ABOVE.   is closely related to the second cited sentence of  the panos briefing above and poses the next questions: are planners in the  South aware of parallel planning systems ?   ANSWER: Not only are planners aware of the parallel system are constantly  trying to solve problems left by the colonial administrators. Lusaka  Developed from a Village called Lusaaka of Chief Lusaaka. This therefore  clearly indicates that there was at one time a traditional administration  in place. As time went by the place was chosen to be the capital of Zambia  by the white settlers. These settlers had their own plan of the town. when  the planned city was growing the people were also building their shelters  which were later classified as Squatter compounds/unplanned settlement and  other variant names. After independence some of these places were upgraded  to site and services (Councils legalized them and provided services such as  water, electricity and roads).   What are the conflicts resulting from this and how can solutions be  mediated.   ANSWER: In Zambia, there is a lands tribunal and the arbitration court.  These institutions also mediate in some conflicts.   How can major stakeholders like the urban farmers themselves be involved in  planning processes - what steps to go?   In my view I feel That including the farmers as part of the group to  discuss the way forward is the only way forward.    Thank you for reading through   

Paul Muwowo

Extension Methodologist 
Tel: +260-1-312058  
Department of Field Services 
Fax: +260-1-221755/311148  
Ministry Of Agric., Food and Fisheries.  
Box 370189  
Kafue  Lusaka Province  
From: Jacky Foo <
To: <
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 9:25 PM 
Subject: UPA-Planning session3 - comment on contribution from Marielle Dubbeling

Marielle Dubbeling message of 22 Sept on the development of a specific  project on integration of UPA into land use and urban planning is of great  interest to me. My interest is projects in Small Island Developing States  (SIDS).   I am the coordinator of the Integrated Bio-Systems Network  ( which also has a strong  focus on agriculture (including urban agriculture). IBSnet also covers topics  related waste utilisation and management in agro-industries, indoor  eco-habitats, and sustainable forestry (including urban forestry).   As a general observation, there is a stronger focus on the poorer urban  community and urban agriculture. Activities are also limited e.g. to making  composts, growing crops and livestock for food and cash. Much of it is  conducted on an individual basis. The IBSnet has taken at least a step ahead  into coordinated efforts. A case effort is the future project in Samoa (South  Pacific). see   Briefly, the Department of Lands, Surveys and Environment of the Government  of Samoa will provide 10 hectares of peri-urban land to establish an  ECO-FARM. Through different IBS models, it will demonstrate how land,  rainwater, wastewater, solid wastes, agricultural wastes, agro-industrial  wastes (brewery and coconut industry) can be used efficiently and will  convert wastes into intermediate and final products (livestock, crops,  mushrooms, compost, vermiculture, biogas, etc) via biological systems.   We are at the stage of developing projects for submission to funding agencies  and welcome partners who are interested to jointly apply for funds and  willing to work in Samoa. IBSnet members represent 72 countries. What would  also be interesting is to develop comparative studies with those in Latin  America and the Caribbean, as well as others.   


Jacky Foo (IBSnet) 

 Partner in ECO-FARM Project, Samoa  (offline: 27-30 Sept).  


From: Joseph H. Batac <
To: <
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 7:10 PM

Re: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Joseph Batac

 Dear Collegues,   

Here is my contribution to the third and final session of this conference:   A. WHICH STAKEHOLDERS SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PLAN THAT  INCLUDES UPA?   Based on my experience here in Marilao (The Philippines), the political  leadership had been high on the list. The level of interest of this  stakeholder had been directly related to political will. This political will harnessed the organizational, material and financial resources of the  local government unit from conceptualization, planning, implementation,  monitoring to evaluation. The resources for these activities defined the  breadth and depth of UPA.   The political will for UPA happened as a result the outputs of the solid waste management project - community groups had been mobilized for  household level segregation, the production of the compost and the  application of the compost for UPA, currently and specifically focused on  growing crops to correct micronutrient malnutrition as well as for urban renewal (potted flowers and ornamentals).   Equally, I would say that the households had been another primary  stakeholder in planning UPA. UPA made sense and had been acceptable since  it has been related as one of the result of the solid waste management  activity. I wish to think that UPA in Marilao had been planned in a  pro-active fashion since we generate the compost on a daily basis in as  much as the generation of the biodegradable waste from households is also  collected periodically.   The interface between the political leaders and the households, through  their association, had been formalized into local resource planning  processes for UPA within the existing legal framework of decentralization  and devolution.   

A.1 HOW TO MODIFY EFFICIENTLY THE TRADITIONAL HIERARCHICAL SYSTEMS OF CITY  MANAGEMENT?   As mentioned, the involvement of Marilao in UPA came as a result of the  solid waste management project. In the Philippines, the tasks of solid  waste and agriculture had been the functions of municipal local government  for the last nine years. In order to deliver these functions, Marilao went  beyond the traditional and predominant collect-and-dump practice in solid  waste and the low-technology and land intensive agriculture. The link to  change the two had been the compost that comes from biodegradable household  waste. The practice of household level segregation had been installed and  supported by a predictable and reliable collection system. The  installation process involved the local government and the NGOs extending  at least eight sets of community group interfaces over a two year period.  In all of them, the mayor served as the champion. As champion, he sought  for household level action on segregation as a good behavior that  contributed to minimal waste to be disposed in the dump thus saving on  space since Marilao has a small land area. For UPA, his messages for the  poor had been along the philosophy to "know how to fish, instead of being  given the fish." As champion, he included the household associations and  urban poor in the annual planning processes in order to identify the  capital and operational investment within the solid waste/UPA continuum.

 Thus, solid waste had served as one entry point to UPA and over time gave  us the chance "to modify efficiently the traditional hierarachical system  of city management." Solid waste/UPA capital investments by the  municipality had been complemented by those of the NGOs and the smallest local government unit, the barangay. Note that the more active NGOs of the  last four years had been new urban settlers who work in Metro Manila (only  five kilometers away). These settlers are only too glad to segregate their  waste given a more predictable and reliable collection system and/or, in the case of the urban poor, grow vegetables as food supplement in potted compost media (provided by the project).   Where once capital investment of the municipality had traditionally and  predominantly included roads and similar infrastructure, Marilao was able  to change this with a larger share within the solid waste-to-UPA continuum.  This happened due to community involvement in decision making.   Where once the decision making processes for local resources where confined  to a close circle of political leaders and their supporters, Marilao's  investment plans and the organizational responsiveness of the local  government in the implementation of these plans are reflective of the  content of the different consensus building exercises with community groups.   Where once local plans only considered projects that responds to basic  services, Marilao is increasingly becoming conscious of understanding and  in some cases qualifying and quantifying the impact of the plan on  ecological balance and local economic development.   A.2 IF WE TRY TO PLAN DECENTRALIZED, PARTICIPATORY AND ON A PEOPLE-BASED  DECISION SYSTEM: WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS AND HOW TO MOBILIZED THEM?   I hope I had been clear during the duration of my involvement in the  conference that Marilao is already practicing this multi-sectoral  participatory decision making system given the reality of decentralization  and devolution (both in powers and financial resources) in the Philippines.  Both the NGOs and the municipal leadership used this democratic space to  push forward the agenda of solid waste/UPA. Community mobilization  happened because we use the tool of social marketing (within the concept of  change in knowledge, attitude and practices) in different modes on  interfaces. These include television, audio, print, cross visits,  workshops, brainstorming sessions and model showcasing.   In terms of mobilizing them, one should consider a municipal mayor who is  open to such an idea as people's participation. Otherwise, there maybe a  need for a strong civil society who can push the twin agenda of solid  waste/UPA.   With our knowledge that household waste is one of the best source of the major material for UPA (the compost as soil or media), the household  associations had been our primary stakeholders. As time went by, we  started to involved the urban poor in terms of the municipality providing  the collection service for their solid waste and as target clientele for UPA. In Marilao, these are the transportation workers, the laborers and the out-of-school-and-unemployed youth.   On reflection, our experience may reveal that solid waste/UPA was  undertaken in response to an environmental problem. It is one of the  situation at the moment. In the enrichment of this truth, the community has the courage to discuss and think through the issue of liquid waste and  sewerage as additional inputs into UPA.   B. WHICH PLANNING PRINCIPLES SHOULD APPLY, TO INTEGRATE UPA INTO CITY  PLANNING?   The first planning principle that is also a guiding truth for us in Marilao  is "to see is to belive." Early on, most of the capital investment of the  municipality, the barangay and civil society had been in showcasing  numerous small good practices. We, the municipal leaders and the NGOs,  learn from these good practices.   From these learnings, we planned the next step - scale up the practice.

A  good example is on the solid waste project. We started segregation in five  households, then one street, then five streets, then one housing area, then  severla housing areas, then one barangay, then contiguous barangays. The  same scale-up principle is now being applied to UPA, starting with, again,  five households, then 10, then 20...until we reach a critical mass (maybe  in two to three years). When one does scaling, one needs to have some plan  on the level of scales after a period of time in order to guide the level  of investment of the municipality, the barangay and the NGOs.   The third principle is to be consistent and stay focus on the provision of  service. I mean here that for municipal local government, stay focus on service delivery. For Marilao, it was very tempting to put the compost  into commercial business. But the community and the leadership thought  this to be just short term. There is resulting thinking that the compost  can be utilized as another inputs for a service. This thinking gave birth  to UPA. Further thinking refined and focus UPA - that of growing  vegetables to supplement micronutrient malnutrition as well as urban  renewal (increase greeneries with potted flowers and other ornamentals).

Please note that in Marilao, all of these principles work within the idea  of pursuit of genuine local autonomy where the people define the problem,  analyse them, formulate strategies and install programs and activities to  address the problem.   B.1 ARE PLANNERS IN THE SOUTH AWARE OF PARALLEL PLANNING SYSTEMS?   I am not so sure I understand this question fully. But let me try and  answer them in my mind set and context.   At least for Marilao, this is a Yes. I can think to two examples.   The one big obstacle is the cost of these planning system. A good example  is a system that have GIS as a tool for land use planning. Most  municipalities in the Philippines cannot afford to have this system due to  the perceived prohibitive cost for the investment, the technical skills, and the maintenance of such a system. Since Marilao cannot afford this, we  worked on what we do best - gather together, make inputs, plan and arrive  at consensus on small doable actions. We design these gatherings to be  sessions of changing mind-sets to come out with new practices and doable actions. While we were made to appreciate that GIS will provide more  technical understanding of our situation and thereby make the process less  prone to traditional politicking or inaccurate decisions, the supply for this technology is still confined to big time consultancy firms who, in  most cases, does not have a clear understanding of the multiple needs of local government and the communities thereat. Relatedly, land use planning  in the Philippines is quite a technically driven task requiring high priced  consultants who, again in most cases, cannot translate or relate to the  reality of planning involving community interfaces.   Another example is to plan the investment based on the acquisition of fixed  assets. Marilao had numerous offers for highly automated composting  facility that cost a fortune. While this will definitely improve the  composting process, most of them are offered without consideration of the  type of biodegradable waste and to have operating conditions in a tropical  country. For Marilao, such a high capital investment for solid waste/UPA  facilities, including machinery and equipment comes with high knowledge  content that still has to be localized. Marilao has yet to see and hear an  agent of such a facility listen first and investigate, before coming up  with a design reflective of something that build on what is already in place.   In addition to these two examples, let me share some inputs on local  development planning in the Philippines. Before the decentralization and  devolution, this had been done by technical personnel within the confines  of their room and utilizing the reference materials produced by the  academic community if not the national planning agencies. With the  devolution came the mandatory consultative processes for local development  planning. Reconciling the inputs from people's participation with that of  the technical guidebook has only started to happen in areas where there is  a strong NGO presence (with open mind for cooperation with local  government) and/or a leader who appreciate and understand the need for  involvement of civil society. Add to this burden of change the GIS tools  that will have to be used to enrich the understanding of development by a  broad spectrum of stakeholders. These are challenging times for local  development planners in the Philippines. Perhaps, there is also the need for the question: are planners in the north aware of these processes? Do  they appreciate these processes that can speel the difference on  sustainability, impact and long term enrichment of the spirit of innovations?   B.2 WHAT ARE THE CONFLICTS RESULTING FROM THIS AND HOW CAN SOLUTIONS BE MEDIATED?   Planning for solid waste/UPA involves predominantly local actions initiated  voluntarily by local folks rooted on community spirit and sense of  ownership. Those who seek to make interventions from outside should  consider respecting and working with local champions. Those communities who  wish to go into solid waste/UPA should always think that they will be in this process over a much longer period of time. It took us one year "know"  the character of our waste and plan thereto, another two years to install  the segregated waste collection and another for the scale-up at the same time start UPA. Within that time, outside assistance had worked silently  behind the scene, supporting the champions, ever conscious of the social and cultural dynamics of the community rather than drive the process in  prodominant terms based on their technical expertise. Developing local  champions endears spontaneous community actions that tend to contribute to  stronger and sustainable local organizations.   B.3 HOW CAN MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS LIKE THE URBAN FARMERS THEMSELVES BE  INVOLVED IN PLANNING PROCESSES- WHAT STEPS TO GO?   As you can tell, the urban farmers in Marilao were not intensively involved  in the planning and implementation processes in the last five. I can think  of major two reasons for this based on the numerous community interfaces.  The first is simply, given that most of them are in their early sixties, old habits die hard (or you cannot teach old ones with new ideas?). The second is that these are the folks who are not too comfortable of local  government involving them in planning with the recent reality of  decentralization and devolution. For most of them, government is there to  provide dole-outs. New ideas related to capacity building, change  processes and empowerment are new, if not alien to them.   Given this, Marilao went to work with urban growers and households to  set-up model farms. The farms utilize compost from the solid waste  project. One even had a drip irrigation system. Another had rain shelters  for off-season crops. Still another had netting structures, also for  off-season crops. All use locally available materials. In addition to the  one in the backyard, model farms were put up in the open spaces of housing  areas, the riverbanks, and even in the road easements.   Recently, the urban farmers had a cross visit to these model farms.  Although still skeptical, most requested that replication be done in a  small area of their own farm. There are trial runs. The replication had  been slow but surely. They involve higher value crops and in some cases  growing during off-season for price/profit considerations.   In the current investment planning processes, these urban farmers had  started to be involved after getting excited on the potentials of UPA. For  them, the economic considerations does matter more than the environment.

Joseph Batac 

Marilao Federation of Service Organization, Inc.  
139 Nagbalon, 
3019 Bulacan  
Telfax +63 44 711 1456 


From: "Lena Jarlov" <
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 12:41 AM 
Subject: Re: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Lena Jarlov

Dear participants! 

Now. when this interesting conference soon will come to the end, I will take the chance and recommend "Permaculture" as a fruitful way of thinking, designing and acting for food production in urban and peri-urban areas (as well as in the countryside). I am sure that many of you already know about it, but for those who do not, I will shortly tell you a little about it. I think that when looking for stake-holders it is important for planners and others to identify and use the knowledge and engagement with groups like these. The concept of "Permaculture" was evolved by Bill Molison and David Holmgren at the University of Tasmania in the 1970'es. It is a framework for a sustainable agricultural system based on a multi-crop of perennial trees, shrubs, herbs (vegetables and weeds), fungi and root systems. It developed as a design system which combined architecture with biology, agriculture with forestry, and forestry with animal husbandry where the principles from natural, ecological systems are used. From the beginning "Permaculture" meant a beneficial assembly of plants and animals in relation to human settlements, mostly aimed towards household and community self-reliance. Successively it has developed as a design method, which includes as well appropriate legal and financial strategies, including strategies for land access, business structures, and regional self-financing. It is a whole human design system. Today there is a global network of people, organised in the Permaculture Association. The activities of the local and regional groups around the world differ according to the economical and biological conditions of the country and whether it is working in rural or urban areas. One of the most interesting activities based on the "Permaculture" philosophy, which I have met, is in the district of Teyateyaneng in Lesotho. It is food production on the schoolyards, both in peri-urban and rural areas. The activity started about eight years ago by a teacher, Molly Lethela, who realised that many of the children who came to the school could not concentrate and do well because of bad nutrition. So she decided to try to achieve a meal of food for them every day. To afford that, she had to start growing vegetables on the schoolyard. Then she came into contact with the "Permaculture" ideas from a person in Botswana, who inspired her to developed an integrated food producing system with chickens, pigs, vegetables and fruits and to use water saving systems and constructions to collect rainwater. Many parents became involved and they even helped the school to keep some cows. The idea spread to other schools in the district, and Molly Lethela and her group traveled around and teached other school people how to do. Even the government of Lesotho started to become interested. I first met Molly on a "Permaculture" conference in Copenhagen in Denmark in 1994, and in 1998 I visited her in Lesotho. Then it had not rained for three months and most of the fields in the countryside were brown. But the schoolyards and Mollys own garden were green because of the watersaving methods and the integrated growing systems. In Port Elizabeth in South Africa, were I worked for a short time in 1998 with urban agriculture in connection to a comprehensive urban plan, I saw many schoolyards were the parents were growing vegetables. The schoolyards often have fences and lots of space, which the schools cannot afford to use as sports fields even if they would like to, so the parents can have it. I also met some people there who had heard about "Permaculture" and were interested to learn more about it. In Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, "Permaculture" mostly is a sort of ideology for people who want to change the prevailing wasteful lifestyle into a more responsible and sustainable one by reducing the use of energy and other resources by local ecological food production in urban areas as well as in the countryside. In Copenhagen in Denmark, the local "Permaculture Association" has designed a food garden on a rented piece of land outside the city, and has organised a group of unemployed urban dwellers, who go there regularly by a common bus and grow vegetables. This association also work with design ideas to develop cooperation between cities and the countryside, as a city alone never can be sustainable in itself. Specially for people in developing countries, I think "Permaculture" really can mean a lot for bettering the living conditions and in the long run for survival as it combines very practical ecological methods of intensive growing, collecting and saving water etc with a deep conciousness oflong-term responsibility of life on earth. Those who do not already know about "Permaculture" can read "Introduction to Permaculture" by Bill Mollison, Tagari Publications, PO Box !, Tyalgum NSW 2484, Australia. Tel (066)79-3442, Fax (066) 79-3567. You can also look for permaculture at Internet, and you will find lots of information.

Best wishes Lena Jarlöv 

Dalarna Research Institute 
PO Box 743, 
79129 Falun, 


From: "Elisheva Ruth" <
To: "Urban Planning" <
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 7:13 AM 
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Elisheva Kaufman

As an IDRC Agropolis PhD Researcher in Urban Farming Education, I would like to share experiences, project summary and resources, with the hope of stimulating networking to advance education for community-based ecological food systems solutions. Our project was initiated in summer, 2000, and will produce year one of a demonstration bio-intensive urban educational garden in Jerusalem, a Palestinian family eco-farm in the West Bank, and supporting educational workshops and activities in regenerative farming addressing water, soil and biodiversity restoration.

The soil and water restoration curricula and site photos will be posted on the IDRC website in summer, 2001.


Project Summary:

The Sword and the Plowshare - School Gardening as a Strategy to foster Community-based Sustainable Food Systems and Youth Empowerment

This project proposes to build educational capacity for regenerative farming and sustainable food systems, and will produce educational resources in :

1. School Composting 2. Natural Wastewater Treatment Biosystems 3. Restoring Biodiversity by Seed-Saving Heirloom Vegetables

Strategy Coordinated with a demonstration urban organic garden in Jerusalem and a Palestinian family eco-farm in the West Bank, a teacher-team process will pilot activities to empower young people to cultivate ecological school gardens. A developmental K-8 curriculum will integrate gardening within child's expanding world of nature, community and heritage. Integrated composting and natural wastewater treatment biosystems will create a hands-on laboratory for young people to investigate how to recycle nutrients and water for the gardens. Native drought and pest resistant vegetables varieties will be cultivated, surrounded by wild foods and herbs to restore biodiversity, and enhance natural habitats for beneficial insect predators. Sustainability and regenerative waste farming will be a core theme to integrate learning for young people , so that grade-by-grade, season by season, school gardening projects will help foster a restoration the fabric of a vital school-community on the land.

Project Partners: * Palestinian Hydrology Group: <> Pilot School and demonstration Palestinian eco-farm ( parents, 11 children and extended family) located in the West Bank, with composting toilet and greywater reuse, and dryland permaculture, focusing on soil restoration - composting, mulching and cover cropping

* Society for the Protection of Nature In Israel, Jerusalem branch, Pilot school and demonstration urban bio-intensive organic garden, using treated greywater and collected rainwater used for irrigation, and urban foodscraps vermicomposted on-site

Rationale Communities world-wide are facing an unprecedented environmental crisis that is acute in developing countries. The conventional response is to attempt to increase food and water supply with costly high input technologies, such as intensive use of agrochemicals, conventional wastewater treatment, or genetic engineering of food crops, that require high capital and energy investment. These sophisticated technologies have ecological impact, require centralized systems that are complex to manage, and are economically prohibitive for small farms and rural communities. A systemic solution to reduce critical food, land, water stress entails a shift in thinking to how resources are managed at the local scale, and the educational systems that generate the values and skills for local ecological management.

Typically used water and biological inputs are disposed as waste products. Water enters the home and disappears down the drain. Food comes in and is thrown away as garbage. Ecological waste management transforms this one-way flow of input-output to an ecological recycling system based on two basic principles:

Source Separation: Materials are separated from other materials in the home, or close by in the local community.
Ecological Recycling Separated water and organic materials are returned to nature close by harnessing natural processes.

By regenerating our water and biological Œwastes¹, we can recover abundant nutrients and water that can nourish a school garden or landscape - without need for any purchased fertilizers or additional water. In nature there is no waste. There is no pollution. The output of one organism is the food for another in an ever-renewing cycle of life. Regeneration is at the heart of a healthy living system.

How can we learn from nature to renew the cycles that sustain us?

Current science education is informed by assumptions of human-nature relationships that contribute to centralized corporate-based food systems. On the other hand, holistic participatory science can facilitate working in partnership with natural systems and the cooperative practical skills that empower young people to become pro-active problem-solvers for dynamic sustainable communities.

***** Educational Program: Growing a Sustainable School The Sustainable School Program invites young people on a journey of discovery that reconnects to experiences of working with nature that are rare in today¹s culture. A garden is a microcosm of the vast global lifecycles of nutrients and elements. Our food system is a microcosm of the social ecology of our community relationships. When we garden, we help restore the living cycles that sustain us.

Educational Modules:

1. SCHOOL COMPOSTING The Sustainable School program starts with composting. Over half of our solid waste can be composted to restore soil. By composting, we reduce the amount of waste thrown away and learn how food waste can be transformed into healthy soil. Starting with a school waste-watch, students investigate the importance of building living soil through compost, investigate forests and soil ecology, and how to maintain a school garden and compost system for hands-on learning. Earthworm composting too!

2. SEED STEWARDS Seed-saving, once an essential skill passed from generation to generation by master farmers, is almost a lost art. Seed Stewards teaches why and how to grow heirloom plants threatened by the globalization of our food system. Activities carry the young gardener through the cycle from seed to seed and highlight the importance of biodiversity for a sustainable farm ecosystem. By saving seeds, young people become stewards of biodiversity, and learn how to bred new varieties that nourish local sustainable food systems.

3. WATER STEWARDS Contamination from agrochemicals is the greatest source of water pollution today. Students investigate how water is cleansed in nature and how to work together for local watershed solutions. State-of-the-art ecological technologies are taught using a Solar Aquatic Garden laboratory developed with

4. GROW A SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL This teacher workshop examines the history of farming, food systems and technology in western civilization, and look at today¹s global challenges and potential ecological solutions. How can we transform education to create food systems and ecological technologies for a just and sustainable world?

Outcome: Teacher-generated K-12 Sustainable School grade-by-grade garden projects, with an action-plan for implementation, and evaluation and assessment guidelines.


K-8 Project Themes for Garden-based Learning
Kindergarten Developmental: Caring for Myself, Friends and Nature Garden: Growing Nature¹s Garden Inquiry: Journey through Our Seasons
Grade 1 Developmental: How do Homes and Families Nurture Individuals? Garden: Family Garden Inquiry: Discovering Plant Families Forest Soil as a Home Wheat: From Seed to Bread
Grade 2 Developmental How do individuals in natural and human ecosystems help each other? Garden: Growing a Nature Neighborhood - Wild Garden Neighbors Inquiry: Gifts from/to our Neighbors
Grade 3 Developmental: Working together to be a healthy community - Garden: Community Garden (ie: soil community) Inquiry: What is our heritage of farming in our community? How does our community heritage sustains to the future ? Community Mapping - Farm to City Exploring Farm Arts, Tools & Traditions School Composting
Grade 4 Developmental: How does diversity strengthen a healthy community ? Garden: Biodiversity Heritage Garden Inquiry: Exploring biodiversity dynamics for healthy plants, soil and water, Exploring, Mapping and making models of our Community Systems Restoring Garden Diversity
Grade 5 Developmental: Dynamics of People, Land and Technology. Explorers: Ancient & Modern, Garden: Ecosystem Garden (integrated biosystems with aquaculture, garden, earthworms so all is regenerated in a closed system) Inquiry: Exploring - Energy & Nutrient Foodwebs, Sunlight & Alternative Energy Industrial Revolution, Tools & Inventions
Grade 6 Developmental: Soil Stewards - Soil & Civilization Garden: Feeding the World - Bio-Intensive Garden Inquiry: Local Sustainable Food Systems, Gaia: Our Living Planet (nutrient cycling) Mapping & Restoring our Wasteshed
Grade 7 Developmental: Water Stewards - Integrated Watershed Restoration Garden: Aquaponic Garden Inquiry: Mapping & Restoring our Watershed Aquatic Ecology Biosystems - Water Quality Monitoring, Biofilters Greywater Garden Watershed Eco-Action
Grade 8 Developmental - Seed Stewards - Plants and Civilization Garden: Restoration Garden Inquiry: Saving Native & Heirloom Plants Genetics, Breeding Crops, Ecological Technologies for Sustainable Communities


From: Michael Leech <>
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2000 1:42 AM 
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Michael Leech

Greetings everyone,

I am Michael Leech, Senior Horticulturist in the Inner West Council of the Durban Metro. Part of my functions is being responsible for Urban Agriculture in this part of this Council.

I am extremely grateful being part of this process as I have learnt a lot even though a little intimidated by the calibre of the participants. With regards to Giulia Abbates contribution I would like to add our experience.

We started using the un-developed "Public Open Space" sites and portions of Green Belt sites to provide for our needs within the municipal boundaries. This is after we got a commitment from our Council to support this process and this policy, goals and objectives are so recorded in the minutes and cannot be changed unless by majority vote. Especially with our second national elections coming up shortly. We even have a clause which requires the Council to give use six months notice and even help us move to another site.

The funding for the development comes from the money we used to keep these properties clean in terms of the health by-laws. The Provincial Recreation Council has also contributed to this work as they recognise urban agriculture as a recreational pursuit.

Within the development plan we have provided for playground equipment for children of the gardeners, as in many of our cases these women are child minders for other women who are working. We also provide for each garden a half ships container with lockable tool racks fitted in as well as fencing material for each site to keep out animals and prevent theft. A water connect is also provided but the gardeners are responsible for the cost of the water.

We have also been able to arrange that all vegetative material cut by the Council in its service delivery is made available to these sites for the manufacture of compost.

Seed and seedlings are provided at cost for each garden through the supplier.

Courses are being run by myself with assistance from community members to train these gardeners in all aspects of gardening. Concentrating on teaching these gardeners to grow enough to feed themselves and sell the rest for profit. Conservation especially in the Green Belt areas is covered so as to prevent erosion and plant protection.

Once again thank you everyone for your contribution.

Michael Leech 

Senior Horticulturist 
Inner West Council 
Durban Metro 
P.O. Box 1878, 
South Africa.


From: Oliver Ginsberg <>
To: "Urban Planning" <
Date: 28 September 2000 17:57

Subject: Re: UPA-Planning/session3 Contribution from Oliver Ginsberg 

Dear participants of the UPA planning group,

I'm happy that Michael Leech has brought up the perspective of children / child minding into the discussion again and also for the contributions of Lena Jarlöv and Elisheva Ruth who nicely point out how urban farming systems and school education are or can be linked together. It is a hard struggle to keep children's needs visible in the discussion. I want to (re)introduce a comprehensive frame of aspects of UPA as far as contributing to sustainable city development. I believe it is vital to keep the diversity of contributions in mind to answer the question of "which stakeholders should be involved in the development of a plan that includes UPA":

a.. Economic services (producing crops and animal stock for sale/processing, providing jobs, income and training)

b.. Environmental services (transformation of organic waste, stabilizing effect on water regimes, providing positive micro climate and air conditioning "green lungs of the city", preservation of biodiversity)

c.. Community building services (offering a neighborhood meeting place, organizing community activities and cultural events, diverse recreational opportunities for all age groups and neighbors from different ethnic backgrounds in culturally diverse environments)

d.. Educational services (In the sense of structured learning about agricultural and ecological themes)

e.. Youth services and play facility (Offering a reliable place for parents to take care of or have their kids be taken care of similar to day care centers, kindergartens etc, but with an emphasis on outdoor and agriculture related activities)

f.. Food / Health services (addressing lack of nutrition or bad nutrition among children and adults, garden or animal based therapeutical work or integrational work with disabled persons)

Involving administrative stakeholders this might mean involving people from the economic, agricultural, green space, waste management, social, youth services, educational as well as health department.

The same goes for involvement of stakeholders in the scientific field, who might be able to contribute research results on general development of UPA as well as positive effects in specific service fields. Scientists from different academic fields may also find a valuable base for future (interdisciplinary) research programmes on a local level.

Of course local urban farmers/ farm projects need to be involved. Small farmers/projects may need support to get organized and have their needs and interests represented in the planning process.

As far as which planning principles should apply, a mixture of both bottom-up as well as top-down procedures is helpful to connect local interests and needs with global aspects, such as environmental soundness. Diversity of agricultural systems and crops involved also appear to be vital to sustainability of UPA. That includes live stock as an important element in the food production and waste management cycle as well as for cultural and educational reasons.

For those who haven't followed the whole conference I attach a paper on "city farming and sustainability from the children's perspective" which is a mildly edited version of a paper submitted to the "People, Land and Sustainability" Conference in Nottingham earlier this month (also available on the following website: )

For those interested in research on European city farms and adventure playgrounds the following website might be worthwhile looking at:


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)" <
To: "Urban Planning" <
Date: 28 September 2000 18:24
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 Paper submission by Oliver Ginsberg 

Dear Participants of the UPA-Planning-Group,

Oliver Ginsberg submitted a paper which will soon be available on the Infomarket If you would like to receive the paper via email, please send an email to (submit paper Ginsberg).

Your moderators 

"City farming and sustainability from the children’s perspective" by Oliver Ginsberg, BdJA educational consultant, Berlin

Paper for: „People, Land & Sustainability: New directions in community gardening“, International conference, University of Nottingham, 13th-16th september 2000

Let me first share with you some thoughts on sustainability and what children have to do with it. We all know, that sustainable development is supposed to include social equity, environmental soundness, and economically viability, that it means „meeting our present needs in a way, that doesn’t compromise future generations‘ ability to meet their own needs“. Let us stay with the so-called „future generations“ for a moment and lets call them „children“ to make this abstract term a little more vivid.

Did you know, that within the 500 pages of the "Agenda 21" the world "child" or "children" appears just about 60 times, while the word "government" is used more than 1000 times! This is a first indicator, that perhaps children’s needs aren’t adequately reflected upon, even less met. Can we expect future generations of children to be able to meet their needs, if even today’s children's needs are not well considered? When you study sustainability papers, you will find, that their play needs for example are hardly ever mentioned, nor their need for adequate play provisions within the city. Play deprivation however is one of the major reasons for health problems among children living in cities.


From: John Butterworth and Sabine Gündel
To: "Urban Planning" <
Date: 28 September 2000 18:31
Subject: UPA-Planning/session3 Announcement by Sabine Gündel and John Butterworth 

I would like to bring to the attention of the conference, a parallel discussion forum on 'Training Needs in Urban Agriculture' hosted by NRI. A paper on this theme by Sabine Gündel and John Butterworth is available, and a discussion is underway at

But we like to hear from more of our colleagues!

We hope you will contribute to this forum with your views and ideas on training in urban agriculture. It is hoped that with contributors and other partners, the forum will lead to development of programmes to address some of the training development needs that are identified, and we are seeking partners who wish to collaborate in this initiative.

Sabine Gündel and John Butterworth 

Dr JA Butterworth 
Natural Resources Institute 
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime 
Kent ME4 4TB,
 United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1634 883615 (direct) 
+44 (0)1634 880088 
Fax: +44 (0)1634 883959