Design the transition II | New metropolitan agriculture

20 June 2019, 16:30 - 20:00   —  
The Eco-Century Project®
— Conferences
— Debates


Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

Limited places, registration mandatory by email (click here to register) before Monday June 17th.
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On January 27th, 2019, the medical journal “The Lancet” published a report on the “global syndemic of obesity, undernutrition and climate change”. It highlights that the globalised food system, agricultural policies, modes of transport and urbanisation are “the different links of the same chain, which strangles humanity and the planet” (AFP 28 January 2019).

While industrial agriculture is at the heart of this pernicious regime, alternative practices are, on the contrary, real niches that can help transform it. Among them, agroecology offers perspectives that go far beyond food production. It is not only a science and practice that takes care of the environment, but also a movement, a social project. This approach is the basis of numerous initiatives, both citizen and public, in metropolises where – while imagining a nourishing city – agriculture is regaining a presence and visibility that had gradually been lost over the past 150 years.

However, despite their dynamism and the prospects for sustainability that they offer, these new forms of agriculture are faced with paradoxes and socio-technical blockages which weaken them and slow down their deployment.

This situation raises numerous questions:

  • Can the cultivation of land in the city be considered as a service to society?
  • Which aspects of territorial logic would thus need to be rethought?
  • Which are the relevant criteria that will help arbitrate between the right to housing and the protection of the scarce resource that is fertile soil?
  • How to reconcile practices that have been disjointed for so long?
  • How to deal with an often vague or inadequate normative framework?
  • Is it possible to approach this phenomenon which seems to follow a rather organic logic through design?

In fact, hybridising radical choices and tinkering with standards, urban farmers invent new geographies that take shape in the landscape on a daily basis. It will be a matter of examining the mode of their description, and the relevance of thinking about them in terms of a project.


Case study 9


  • Roselyne de Lestrange, urban planning & landscaping, education & research, CULouvain, Metrolab Brussels
  • Jolein Bergers, architecte, PhD candidate KU Leuven

Case study 10


  • Marie Brault, head of culture, Budé Farm


  • Emmanuel Ansaldi, general directorate of agriculture, Geneva


  • Debate and conclusions on the various themes addressed during the series of conferences.

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