Edible Cities Network (EdiCitNet) – Integrating Edible City Solutions for social resilient and sustainably productive cities
EdiCitNet is an innovation and research project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program (H2020) that addresses the need for more sustainable urban food systems. The project works to increase community input and participation, create thriving entrepreneurial environments, and improve market competitiveness.
A multitude of initiatives around the World, however fragmented, are prospering, forming a global movement of Edible Cities. Their products, activities and services – the Edible City Solutions (ECS) – empower local communities to overcome social problems by their inclusive and participatory dynamics and to create new green businesses and jobs, and thereby generating local economic growth and fostering social cohesion.
EdiCitNet will leverage the substantial benefits that ECS effect today at local level and catalyse their replication EU- and world-wide by launching a fully open and participatory network of cities, by empowering their inhabitants. To make this happen, EdiCitNet will close knowledge gaps in the effective implementation of ECS and their transformation into sustainable, innovative business models. This new insight will feed into a openly shared and globally accessible knowledge base and methodology to enable sustainable and evidence-based integration of ECS into the long-term urban planning of cities covering a large spectrum of urban, climatic, social, environmental and cultural contexts.
Five Front Runner Cities, among them Oslo, supported by a highly interdisciplinary consortium of city authorities, SMEs, NGOs and academia, will demonstrate their unique experience with their own Living Labs and transfer their knowledge to seven dedicated Follower Cities, determined to replicate ECS for the benefit of their inhabitants.
Norwegian partners in the EdiCitNet project are NIBIO, OsloMet, Nabolagshager and the City of Oslo – Agency of Urban Environment. A number of other cities are participating, including Berlin, Rotterdam, Andernach, and Havana. EdiCitNet is a five years project coordinated by the Humboldt University of Berlin.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 776665.
Linderud Community Garden – Living Lab in Oslo
As part of this project, Oslo Municipality (Agency of Urban Environment) and Nabolagshager collaborate on using a “living lab” methodology to establish an open and accessible space for innovative urban food production, sustainable business models, and circular resource use in the Bjerke district.
The physical site of the activities is Linderud farm, a historical farm dating back to the Middle Ages. Where previously there was only restricted access to the public, the farm is now opening its gates and welcomes the surrounding neighbourhood to enjoy this spacious green oasis. Today, the farm is run by Museums in Akershus (MiA), which has dedicated an area of about 2 acres to local residents, the municipality, local businesses and organizations to begin growing food and communities together. All these actors have formed the Linderud Community Garden, which will bring diverse user groups to pilot sustainable business models, connect local residents to create social cohesion and expand their networks, addressing barriers that undermine the success of urban agriculture initiatives.The project will focus in particular on entrepreneurship among vulnerable groups such as single parents, women, and youth, with a focus on residents with minority backgrounds.
Nabolagshager is collaborating with MiA, Oslo Municipality and the Urban Renewal Program for Bjerke district to activate the local community in Linderud and Bjerke district. Nabolagshager’s role in community engagement at Linderud Community Garden cover the following tasks:
- engage and ensure participation of target audiences in the Linderud Community Garden, including local women’s groups, kindergartens, schools, high schools, local senior groups, youth groups, local media, and immigrant cultural organizations.
- co-create activities and events with local partners for the Linderud Community Garden and share information about these activities with the target audiences.
- co-create baseline indicators for measuring the impacts of the community engagement process.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
In addition to the local living lab, Nabolagshager, together with Wageningen University, is conducting research that focuses on business opportunities and job creation around edible city solutions. The work includes exploration of business concepts and opportunities, and a coordinating and supporting function between the different participating cities and firms participating in EdiCitNet.
For questions about this project, contact project manager Laura Martinez.