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Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11040966

Urban Commons for the Edible City—First Insights for Future Sustainable Urban Food Systems from Berlin, Germany

1
Lokale Agenda 21 für Dresden e.V., Schützengasse 18, 01067 Dresden, Germany
2
Integrative Research Institute THESys Transformation of Human-Environment-Systems, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
3
Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstr. 42, 10099 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Agriculture)
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Abstract

Urban planning is facing multi-layered challenges to manage the transformation towards a more sustainable and inclusive society. The recently evolved concept of an “urban commons” responds to the crucial need to re-situate residents as key actors. Urban food commons summarize all initiatives that are food-related (e.g., cultivation, harvest, and distribution), aiming at a visualization and utilization of value chains and the commons-based linkage between them. We explored first insights of food commons in Berlin based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Urban food commons strengthen identification, participation, self-organization, and social resilience, are steered by bottom-up processes, and can be a powerful tool for a transformation towards urban sustainability. However, a viable political integration of existing initiatives lacks due to structural implementation problems. Respondents recommend a pooling of all initiatives in a strong network and a mediation interface to coordinate between food commons and city administration and politics. A combined approach of commons and edible cities will be helpful for the development of future prove food systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizens engagement; cross-sectoral coordination; co-creation; sustainable urban development; urban agriculture; urban farming; urban gardening; urban transformation citizens engagement; cross-sectoral coordination; co-creation; sustainable urban development; urban agriculture; urban farming; urban gardening; urban transformation
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Scharf, N.; Wachtel, T.; Reddy, S.E.; Säumel, I. Urban Commons for the Edible City—First Insights for Future Sustainable Urban Food Systems from Berlin, Germany. Sustainability 2019, 11, 966.

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