Finding Spaces for Urban Food Production – Matching Spatial and Stakeholder Analysis with Urban Agriculture Approaches in the Urban Renewal Area of Dortmund-Hörde, Germany

Michael Roth, Miryam Frixen, Carlos Tobisch, Thomas Scholle


Using the case of an economically declined neighbourhood in the post-industrial German Ruhr Area (sometimes characterized as Germany’s “Rust Belt”), we analyse, describe and conclude how urban agriculture can be used as a catalyst to stimulate and support urban renewal and regeneration, especially from a socio-cultural perspective. Using the methodological framework of participatory action research, and linking bottom-up and top-down planning approaches, a project path was developed to include the population affected and foster individual responsibility for their district, as well as to strengthen inhabitants and stakeholder groups in a permanent collective stewardship for the individual forms of urban agriculture developed and implemented. On a more abstract level, the research carried out can be characterized as a form of action research with an intended transgression of the boundaries between research, planning, design, and implementation. We conclude that by synchronously combining those four domains with intense feedback loops, synergies for the academic knowledge on the potential performance of urban agriculture in terms of sustainable development, as well as the benefits for the case-study area and the interests of individual urban gardeners can be achieved.

Key words: urban renewal, urban agriculture, model project, participatory planning, network approach

Data of the article

First received: 13 January 2015 | Last revision received: 19 April 2015
Accepted: 21 April 2015 | Published online: 20 May 2015
URN : nbn:de:hebis:34-2015031947816

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