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UA Magazine: “Urban Agroecology”

November 2017 – UA Magazine issue now online

RUAF Foundation
The Netherlands
Nov 2017

This issue has been a collaborative effort of the RUAF Foundation and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, UK. It aims to articulate and document the emerging field of urban agroecology. As you will see from the contributions in this Magazine, definitions differ and tend to reflect the various ways the term agroecology is understood in different countries, by different organisations, or according to different political economic preferences. As usual, the Magazine shares a diversity of perspectives from a wide number of geographical contexts. The Magazine is organised in 4 blocks: 1) Conceptualising urban agroecology; 2) Practices and city initiatives; 3) Urban policies supporting agroecology; 4) Citizen and social movement-led initiatives.

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The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher and self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) Stephen Ritz shows you how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom.

By Stephen Ritz (Author)
Rodale Books (May 2, 2017)
304 pages
(Must see. Mike)


What if we taught students that they have as much potential as a seed? That in the right conditions, they can grow into something great?

These are the questions that Stephen Ritz?who became a teacher more than 30 years ago?sought to answer in 2004 in a South Bronx high school plagued by rampant crime and a dismal graduation rate. After what can only be defined as a cosmic experience when a flower broke up a fight in his classroom, he saw a way to start tackling his school’s problems: plants. He flipped his curriculum to integrate gardening as an entry point for all learning and inadvertently created an international phenomenon. As Ritz likes to say, “Fifty thousand pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crop is organically grown citizens who are growing and eating themselves into good health and amazing opportunities.”

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Singapore: More urban farms, rooftop gardens in Singapore with enhanced greenery scheme

Click image to see larger file. Urban farms, like this one at Raffles City, help to optimise under-utilised roof spaces. (Photo: Edible Garden City)

The Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) programme, which aims to replace greenery lost during a building’s development or redevelopment, will be enhanced to improve both the quality and quantity of urban greenery, said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee

By Wendy Wong
Channel News Asia
Nov 9, 2017


This includes encouraging property developers to house urban gardens and communal rooftop gardens in their buildings, and increase landscaping on walls and roofs – which can also help lower ambient temperature.

“Such features have been gaining popularity in our urban landscape, as many Singaporeans have a keen interest in farming and gardening,” said Mr Lee, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development.

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Germany: Roof Water-Farm in Berlin

The German research project Roof Water-Farm (2013-2017) explores ways of combining building-integrated wastewater treatment with urban food production

From their website:

Roof Water-Farm demonstrates paths towards innovative city water management and urban food production. Potentials and risks of redesigning across sectors of infrastructure are explored and communicated.

The research association investigates opportunities for building-integrated water treatment systems to irrigate and fertilize roof-top greenhouses. Technologies for water treatment and aquaponics (plant and fish cultivation) will be examined at a demonstration and test site in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The research focuses on a hygienically safe usage of rainwater, greywater and blackwater as both a strategy for city water management and a potential for urban food production.

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