Sixth Newsletter1) The Garden of the Future Exists!
It is located in Angers, France, and is a virtuous example of Urban Agriculture
You no longer have to wait to discover what the garden of the future looks like. It already exists in
France and is located on the outskirts of Angers – in the Northwestern part of the country – and it
is a virtuous example of Urban Agriculture. Maybe that’s why it bears the futuristic name of “Jardin
de L’Avenir” (“garden of the future”). In all there are 14 cultivated hectares dedicated to organic
production: here you will find common vegetables, aromatic plants and many flowers to cut. The
products can be selected directly, harvesting them from the plant itself (according to the method
known as “pick-your-own”), or can be bought at the store next to the agricultural area. The
business is completely focused on the market of the city of Angers since all the production is sold
within the urban area: 80% is sold directly on site (pick-your-own e shop) and the remaining 20%
through an organic reseller, which is also local.
Jardin de L’Avenir owes its business to the dedication of ten people who work on the farm and in
the store, very precious human capital that has been one of the strong points of the success of this
initiative: the varied professional background of the partners has in fact made a wide range of
diverse but complementary skills available which have turned out to be really useful and
Learn more about this interesting case study by visiting the page dedicated to Jardin de L’Avenir
on the Urban Green Train site and watching the video that tells the story of this business.
2) Urban Green Train Student Interview
Having finished the second part of the Urban Green Train course, the
students attended classroom lectures
Enthusiastic faces filled the classrooms of the University of Bologna during the initial lectures of
the Urban Green Train course. After having gotten to know each other and having discussed Urban
Architecture online in an animated fashion on the dedicated forum, some of the students met in
class for two weeks of in-person lectures.
The course, designed for an international audience, brought together students from various
European nations, in particular those involved in the Urban Green Train project (Italy, Germany,
France and Holland).
Speaking with Gwenaelle, Robert, Pietro, Alessia and Joaquim and gathering their first impressions
of this learning process, the main benefit they perceived was the ability to have a discussion and
exchange of ideas between people with different backgrounds, nationalities, ages, roles, visions
and professional interests. The lectures and classroom exercises were thus particularly
appreciated as moments of encounter, discussion and networking on a theme that was very welldeveloped
and at the same time young and truly rich with potential.
To stay up to date on new versions of the Urban Green Train course, visit the project site at
3) How Sustainable is Urban Agriculture?
SustUrbanFoods Will Tell Us
. A new international project will study the overall sustainability of Urban
Agriculture initiatives for the first time.
There have been numerous studies proving the usefulness of Urban Agriculture initiatives, and the
benefits are clearly visible in some cases. We are speaking of ecological and environmental
advantages tied to the increase in green space and biodiversity in the city, to urban reclamation,
and to the reduction of environmental impacts; of social benefits such as the ability to include and
integrate, the ability to cure (gardening therapy), or even only to facilitate socialization; of economic
benefits such as the creation of new jobs or providing incentives for the efficient use of urban
Even if many of these advantages have been analyzed, what is missing today is an overall view
able to quantify and evaluate correctly the entirety of the benefits and therefore the overall
sustainability of interventions of this type.
This is the goal of the SustUrbanFoods project: to define, for every form of urban agriculture, an
overall weighted value of sustainability: ecological, economic and especially social, the latter being
difficult to quantify and on which few studies have been conducted to date.
SustUrbanFoods, recently presented at the 6th World Sustainability Forum
in Cape Town, South
Africa, is a project by Marie Skłodowska-Curie, financed in the context of the Horizon 2020 for
Research program. Started in 2016, it will last for two years and its results will be useful for
recommending the most suitable forms of urban agriculture for specific situations, a point of
reference which is particularly valuable and effective during urban planning and programming
processes. For more information, visit susturbanfoods.com.