Looking back at Flevo Campus Live
Almere is a unique place for generating ideas and novel solutions for urban food issues, as it is located in the Amsterdam metropolitan area and surrounded by agricultural areas. To help organize the food agenda in Almere, Flevo Campus organizes Flevo Campus Live and the Think Tank. On December 8th 2017, 100 ambitious students, young professionals and experts, gathered in Almere’s city hall to come up with ideas for the agenda during Flevo Campus Live. Janno Lanjouw (host of the day) opened the event by stressing the importance of today’s brainstorm: “How are we going to feed all these people living in cities?”
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A city with high potential
Various speakers were invited on stage to give an idea of the importance of an urban food policy and Flevo Campus’ role. René Peeters (alderman of Almere) explained that Almere needs a food policy due to its special position. “We believe we can be an example for Europe and the world in how to deal with food logistics in the city.” Joep Houterman (board member of the Aeres Group) discussed the progress of the Flevo Campus and the role of the Aeres Group in the project. “Feeding the city is close to our faculty. We believe we will exhilarate knowledge by cooperating with institutions and people.” Sigrid Wertheim-Heck (professor Food and Healthy Living at Aeres University of Applied Sciences) introduced the audience to the different perspectives of food organization and food policy. “Where does the food we consume come from and how does it enter our place? This is an interesting complexity based on three main angles: food, city and citizen.”
Six different perspectives
During six interactive brainstorm workshop the subject of food organization was approached from different perspectives: cities in the countryside, countryside in cities, cities defining people, people defining cities, people as consumers and people as producers. Visuele Notulen illustrated several solutions within each group. During the plenary closing of the event each group presented their best solution on stage as a headlines that you can find in the papers in 5 years.
1. Cities in the countryside: ‘Major of Almere only eats Flevo Food!’
How can we ensure that a city is better connected to its hinterland, and that surrounding businesses can offer a larger portion of their production to the city directly? The group came up with a platform for all actors in the food chain. The major of Almere functioned as the role model in this idea as he is connected to most of these actors.
2. Countryside in cities: ‘Ditch your backyard and rush to the roof’
Urban food production projects are becoming popular, but how can urban food production be stimulated and which solutions are available? The participants pitched their concept of using rooftops as areas to grow fruit and vegetables on.
3. Cities defining people: ‘Use your OV-card for shopping local food’
How can we make sure that cities in the future are set up in such a way that they contribute to a healthier society? The participants included our public transport system in their solution: placing vending machines with local dishes at train stations to bring local food to the people and make healthy food easily accessible.
4. People defining cities: ‘50% more healthy foods are sold in Almere, due to free advertising space for healthy food’
We are encouraged to consume unhealthy food through marketing efforts, which has led to an obesity epidemic. In this workshop participants came up with the solution of providing healthy food producers with free advertising space in the city. Resulting in more awareness for healthy food.
5. People as consumers: ‘Eat the change you want to see’
How can we make the citizens aware of health risks and help them improve eating habits? The group came up with solutions such as: providing better signing in supermarkets, teaching kids how to cook and creating ‘food temptation free zones’, to set the right example.
6. People as producers: ‘50% less insurance costs in Almere with a ‘personal food plan’
With a growing world population and less agricultural land available, it is important to think about innovative techniques to supply people with food. The participants in this workshop came up with an idea to get people involved in food production, to stimulate people to eat together and to give the city of Almere a better insight in the consumption patterns of their citizens.
‘Food suppliers do not know about health’
Canadian food policy analyst and food activist, dr. Wayne Roberts was invited to discuss the ideas and shared his perspectives on food policy. “People who produce food and sell food don’t know anything about health and people who know everything about health, don’t know anything about food. That is where policy comes in between. When we want to think about a solution for our problems in relation to food, we have to think about where they fit in the world. This is what we call the concept of adjacent possibility. Most ideas presented here today fit this concept.”
Before heading back home, participants could enjoy a healthy and local lunch prepared in collaboration with the municipalities caterer and Almere citizen Nadia Zerouali, known for tv-shows such as Binnenstebuiten en her cook books.
These ideas and possible solutions are just the first step in creating the Urban Food Agenda. Join the Flevo Campus Think Tank, help take the brainstorm ideas to the next level, and help create the Urban Food Agenda together with students and young professionals from different backgrounds. Check the Think Tank page for more information and make sure to subscribe before December 20th.