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Urban farming, Ghent



SumResearch, ILVO and Paul de Graaf developed a vision on urban farming fort he city of Ghent. This research provides input for the chapter "agriculture" in the new structure plan "Ruimte voor Gent – Structuurvisie 2030" and has a spatial approach. With the new structure plan, the city of Ghent wants to cope the new challenges in spatial planning. The city also aims to be climate neutral by 2050.


There is a need for a supported, clear and workable framework with a clear vision on agriculture in the urban environment of Ghent, were innovative and sustainable initiatives can take place. Policy recommendations are made to implement the vision and to make a spatial translation.


A clear mapping of different aspects of agriculture in Ghent is made. What are the needs, trends, threats, opportunities of agriculture in general and in particular for the urban region in Ghent? The general vision of "safeguarding the open space for and by a more sustainable way of agriculture" has been translated and refined for different subspaces. The typical spatial characteristics, the problems, the potentials, are examined in detail. On the basis of field research, literature, interviews, and in close consultation with stakeholders through workshops, a new vision and desirable development for each subspace was created.


Parallel to the research process an intensive participatory process was conducted to reach a shared vision and policy recommendations.

The spatial policy of agriculture hasn’t got a real place inside the administration of the city. The preservation of open space where agriculture activities can take place, is a mayor task when a city wants to stimulate urban farming and a more climate neutral agriculture. International research shows clearly that just defining some open space is not enough. To develop a strong and achievement-oriented vision, alternative methods are necessary. The city of Ghent can be a pioneer in Flanders, setting up an open space collective is a priority for Ghent.


Client: Stad Gent - dienst Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Planning, Groendienst & dienst Economie

In collaboration with: ILVO, Paul de Graaf



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