Sustainable Food Planning Spring 2021

The Spring Seminar started on April 1, and the last session took place on May 27, 2021. All the presentations and the recordings of the sessions can be (re)viewed by clicking on the links below.


Ir Jeroen de Vries, landscape architect, is a researcher at the LE:NOTRE Institute. He researches the design of foodscapes in metropolitan areas, the productivity of different typologies of UA and strategies to integrate these in the spatial design of urban and peri-urban areas. Jeroen combines work as a professional practitioner, lecturer and researcher. He co-ordinated the theme of foodscapes in the LE:NOTRE Landscape Forums in Rome, Zagreb, and Bratislava. His mission is to foster the development of local food systems.

Roxana Triboi is a Romanian urban planner with experience in urban and landscape planning in Romania and France, and a Ph.D. in Architecture on urban pastoralism.  Her professional experience revolved around the urban-productive-nature paradigm, currently in charge of Territorial Food Project for the Urban Agency of Clermont-Ferrand and Sustainable Food Planning Research for the LE:NOTRE Institute. Amongst other things she held and contributed to a series of conferences and seminars on food planning and urban pastoralism like the international conference “Food Urbanism” in Tartu (2018), Decolonizing food systems and food research (2017) and AESOP sustainable food planning conference (2015).


The LE:NOTRE Institute –share its expertise, network and e-learning facilities and thus support substantially the implementation of all planned activities. Its expertise includes methods and tools for democratic planning and design, co-creation of landscape knowledge and landscape objectives, and the implementation of student-centered and highly interactive e-learning courses. This expertise will be required for designing and implementing the course development and designing the blended learning elements.

Lecture: you can download the presentation here.

The recording is divided into four videos:
Part 1: Introduction and overview of the series
Part 2: Food challenges: the context and recent strategies
Part 3: Food resilience: indicators; informal and formal resilience
Part 4: the assignment for food mapping, with the references

Sustainable food planning is a thriving transdisciplinary research and policy field bringing together policy makers, academics, community workers and practitioners across the globe. Food charters, food strategies and food policy councils have multiplied, ‘alternative food networks’ have gained significant and growing shares of the food market and new forms of reallocation of food production, including urban agriculture, are gaining ground and becoming central components of new food policy strategies. Planning for sustainable food production and food provision is more than ever urging us to look for more effective, equitable and just approaches that radically change not only the way we grow food, but the very core of our living space. This seminar starts with an overview of the aspects of sustainable food systems and the planning that aims to foster the development of these systems. In the following lectures an overview of recent developments and themes will be presented. First we will have a look on mapping of local and regional food systems. Participants can work on an assignment to map and evaluate their own local food system and develop an approach to improve it.


Dr. Coline Perrin, human geographer, is a researcher at INRAE (Umr Innovation, Montpellier, France). She works on urban agriculture and urban food planning, with a focus on the influence of urban planning on farmland management and foodscapes. She combines cartography and qualitative survey methods, with the goal to assess, compare, and design innovations in urban food systems. She has coordinated several research projects (JASMINN) and designed innovative knowledge dissemination tools (e.g. an urban food system mapping, an educational game, and an online land innovations platform). She co-edited the book Toward Sustainable Relations Between Agriculture and the City (Springer, 2017). She loves to roam the cities in search of new culinary experiences, a sensitive understanding of the food environment and its influence on consumers’ food provisioning practices.

Damien Conaré, agronomist, is the Secretary-General of the UNESCO Chair on World Food System, at Montpellier SupAgro (The French National Institute of Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences). This Chair has specialized around city-region food systems through educational training, the valorisation of research projects (URBAL and Foodscapes), and the dissemination of knowledge through conferences and publications. Damien was one of the co-editors of the book « Designing Urban Food Policies ” (Springer, 2019).


INRAE is the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment. As the world’s top institute for research on these three key topics, INRAE is committed to finding solutions for related challenges using science, innovation, and support for public policies. Its objective is to permanently transform how we grow food, produce food, and interact with the environment. At UMR Innovation laboratory, Montpellier, researchers in agronomy and social sciences (economics, sociology-ethnology, geography, law, management sciences) work together to inform private and public actors’ decision-making by producing knowledge on the processes of innovation and development in agricultural and food systems.

The UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems, based at Montpellier SupAgro (The French National Institute of Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences) develops science-society dialogues activities around three axes: dissemination of knowledge (conferences, seminars, publications); the valorization of research programs (more specifically on the topic of sustainable urban food systems), and training programs (in particular for a master degree on innovations and policies for sustainable food).

Lecture: the presentation of Damien Conaré can be seen here, and the presentation slides of Coline Perrin here.

The recording of the session can be seen here.

Cities have been propelled into the forefront of the debate about sustainable food policies because, with rapid urbanization, the urban realm has become a locus for three of the main challenges to the conventional food system: multifunctionality, co-governance and re-localization. Since the early 90’s, many cities have engaged in food and agricultural policies as a way to reduce distance between producers and consumers. Using different levers, among which urban planning, local authorities are tackling many issues related to food. A case-study will be presented: the research program Foodscapes, which analyzes the effects of the urban food environment on food styles and their sustainability, in the city of Montpellier.


Marian Simón-Rojo is Dr. architect, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid). She has participated in different R&D projects dealing with spatial planning of ecosystem services and sustainable food systems: PAEC-Sp (Periurban Agrarian ECosystems in Spatial Planning), COST Action Urban Agriculture Europe, or the EraNet2 DIVERCROP. She oversees the Operational Group PAUSA (Research Platform on Organic Agriculture, Urbanism, and Food Systems). As an urban planner, she was responsible for the design of Madrid’s Food Strategy 2018.2020 and works with the Regional Government of Madrid in the recovery of abandoned agrarian land in peri urban areas.

Jorge Molero Cortés is an Agricultural Engineer, MSc in Agroecology. Member of the Entretantos Foundation (Valladolid, Spain) and Technical Coordinator of the Red de Ciudades por la Agroecología (Spanish Cities Network for Agroecology), where he works since 2018 supporting Local Governments to achieve their Food Policies Strategies and Planning. During his professional life, he has combined consultancy, research and training with organic food production. He is specialized in economic, environmental and social sustainability of Associative and Cooperative Short Food Supply Channels,working through participation with governance and technical procedures, practices and tools.


Universidad Politecnica de Madrid- focused on “Urbanism and Agrarian Systems” in which practical tools to integrate peri-urban agrarian areas in urban and territorial planning, as well as models and methodologies to assess and guide the design of sustainable food systems have been developed.

Red de Ciudades por la Agroecología – (funded in 2018 and composed by 22 municipalities) is an association of Local Authorities to promote sustainable and healthy food policies aligned with Agroecology. The network brings together policymakers, politicians and social organizations in order to support cities in the development and implementation of local food policies, through creating multi-actor Communities of Practices on different issues (e.g., health and right to food, green public procurement, legal protection of peri urban agricultural land or participatory governance processes and also enhancing P2P cooperation and political engagement. It also develops a strong activity on awareness raising oriented both to politicians (at local and national levels) and citizenships, and on sustainable food advocacy international levels, promoting processes such as the Glasgow Declaration on ‘Food and Climate’ (COP26, Glasgow 2021) or the World Sustainable Food Capital Barcelona 2021.

Lecture: you can download the presentation on the Spanish Network here and the presentation of Marian Simón-Rojo here.

The recording of the session can be seen here.

The emerging interest in sustainable agriculture and short food supply chains could drive an agroecological renewal in the agri-food sector. Based on an existing typology of urban farming and sustainable agro-environmental farming systems, we present some case studies that frame which functions and roles different areas may play, depending on factors such as size, property structure, ecological connectivity, agro ecological conditions, soil quality location, and relation to urban areas. 

We present also the Spanish Network of Agroecological Cities, as a powerful tool for change. It is conceived as a space of exchange and knowledge transfer between technicians from local governments, and also has a Committee with Social organizations.


Chiara Tornaghi (1972) is Associate Professor in Urban Food Sovereignty and Resilience at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, UK. She has a background in Politics (Lauream, State University of Milan, 2001), and Sociology (PhD, University of Milano Bicocca, 2005) and Planning (PgCert, University of Newcastle, UK, 2006). Her research interests include grassroots contestation and reappropriation of public space, politics of urban land, political pedagogies, indigenous cosmologies and knowledge of plants as food and medicine, feminist political ecology and urban agroecology. Since 2016 she is the elected Chair of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning group. Beside academic life, she is also an allotmenteer, a community food grower, and working towards reskilling herself in medical herbalism.

Michiel Dehaene (1971) is Associate Professor in Urbanism at the department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Ghent University where he leads his own research group and teaches courses in urban analysis and design. He holds a master’s degree in engineering-architecture (KULeuven 1994), a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (Harvard University 1996) and a PhD in Architecture and Urbanism (KULeuven 2002). His work focusses on sub-urban renewal, the (planning)history of dispersed urban development, sustainable cities, and food planning. His long-term research has been structured around the incorporation of urban theories and theories of urbanization within the fields of planning and design, moving away from normative design theory. This includes systematic work on urban development models and territorial strategies that support the agroecological production of food. With Chiara Tornaghi he leads the JPI SUGI Urbanising in Place project on the development of an Agroecological Urbanism.


Ghent, University, Dept. Architecture and Planning – incorporation of urban theories and theories of urbanization within the fields of planning and design, moving away from normative design theory. Including systematic work on planning and design models to address the urbanisation of food.

Coventry University with the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) drives innovative, transdisciplinary research on the understanding and development of resilient food and water systems and the pivotal role that communities play in developing resilience and playing an active role in shaping sustainable food strategies and practices.

Lectures: you can download the presentation of the first lecture on Agroecological Urbanism here. The recording of this session can be (re)viewed here. The presentation of the second lecture can be seen here. The recordings of May 6 can be (re)viewed here.

April 29: Agroecological Urbanism: challenging the status quo of sustainable food planning: in this lecture, we would like to discuss the way in which an agroecological perspective is instructive to push the boundaries of sustainable food planning.
May 6: Agroecological Urbanism: a programmatic agenda in a second lecture we would like to construct a forward-looking agenda for agroecological urbanism, building on urban political ecology and feminist social reproduction informed critique of urbanism.

May 12 GOVERNANCE -DEVELOPING NETWORKS for AGROECOLOGY with a CASE STUDY of the Netherlands (and other countries)

Piet Rombouts’ mission is to support the development of agriculture and food production in a profitable and sustainable way with good corporate social responsibility. Motivated by climate change and worldwide occurring soil problems he focuses on agro-ecology, water and soil management, and improving green-blue infrastructure. He combines great experience in the process of policy making with the skill to translate this knowledge to the grass root level, aiming to get policies implemented, and empowering and informing farmers and other stakeholders. He was closely involved in rural development and sustainable agriculture in Latin America (Colombia, Honduras and Brazil). In the Netherlands he works with farmers and environmental organizations, e.g. for the development of regional Agroforestry networks.

Ir Jeroen de Vries, landscape architect, is a researcher at the LE:NOTRE Institute. He researches the design of foodscapes in metropolitan areas, the productivity of different typologies of UA, and strategies to integrate these in the spatial design of urban and peri-urban areas. Jeroen combines work as a professional practitioner, lecturer, and researcher. He coordinated the theme of foodscapes in the LE:NOTRE Landscape Forums in Rome, Zagreb, and Bratislava. His mission is to foster the development of local food systems.

Lecture: Here you can (re)view the complete presentation and the recording of multi-level, inter-sectorial, and multi-stakeholder governance and the case of developing regional farmers’ networks for the transition into agroforestry in the Netherlands.

The IPES report on the Advice on a Common Food Policy states that multi-level governance is essential for developing sustainable food systems. While social innovation and experimentation are emerging rapidly at the local level, from community-supported agriculture schemes and farmers’ markets to the creation of local food policy councils and urban food policies. These initiatives are highly promising in terms of sustainability (e.g. reducing environmental impacts and reclaiming value for small-scale farmers/food businesses) and in terms of reconnecting actors (e.g. producers and consumers, citizens and local policymakers) in a way that restores democracy, accountability, and trust in food systems. A different type of policy – a governance framework for transition – is needed to overcome these path dependencies. Only an integrated policy with a long-term vision and a mandate to address the whole system can drive the coordinated shifts that are required across food production, processing, distribution, and consumption (i.e. overcoming the systemic lock-ins). It is apparent that individual consumers and producers feel not empowered to change the food system in a sustainable way. To be seen as a partner in the dialogue with policymakers and authorities they need to organize themselves. Examples of this are Food Councils and Networks of Producers.

We will start to give an overview of policies on an international level and connect these to regional an local levels with examples of governance that can support this integral transformation. Then we present two cases: the organisation of a local food council and the development of a regional network for Agroforestry.

May 20 Research Methods on sustainable food planning

The AESOP-Sustainable Food Planning group aspires to improve the integration of PhD students and young professionals and to grow the “next generation” of experts in the field of sustainable food planning. Part of this intention is a formalized PhD-Young Professionals (PhD-YP) group to acknowledge the achievements of early career scholars in SFP and foster networking among them. It brings together not only academics but also policy-makers and practitioners at the beginning of their career and organizes regular exchanges. More information on the group can be found at the website, facebook and linkedin pages.

Content of the session

This session will consist of an Overview of Research Methods on sustainable food planning. The presenter is Dr. Mark Spires of the Centre of Food Policy, City University of London.

You can view the presentation here, and (re)view the session including the Questions and Answers here.