Making the Edible Landscape: integrating urban agriculture into urban development and design

RUAF partner ETC cooperated with the School of Architecture of McGill University, Canada to elaborate housing and neighbourhood designs that include urban agriculture; implemented slum upgrading-cum-urban agriculture demonstration projects in Rosario (Argentina), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Kampala (Uganda); and trained local design professionals and local government departments to incorporate (intra- and peri-) urban agriculture in their urban plans and designs.

Duration: 3 years

Funding: International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada)

Partner organisations: School of Architecture of McGill University, Canada (coordination); RUAF partner ETC Foundation (the Netherlands); the Urban Management Programme (Ecuador); Municipality of Rosario (Argentina); Kampala Municipal Council (Uganda); Colombo city council (Sri Lanka)


  • Organisation of a design studio at McGill University during which students developed proposals for urban agriculture designs in the project’s participating cites, based on collected data and communication with each site.
  • Organisation of an international workshop that explored planning and design related to urban agriculture and validated the proposed project methodology with visiting project partners.
  • Three participatory city consultations involving local and national governments, urban planners and architects, urban producer groups, social movements and slum inhabitants, that identified requirements, characteristics, physical location and potential implementation and funding mechanisms for planning, designing, upgrading or constructing open spaces in inhabitants’ neighbourhoods.
  • Development of three urban/architectonic design plans, based on appropriate land use, housing, urban and agronomic design principles.
  • Elaboration of three technical dossiers that plan and describe the public investment and intervention in three garden neighbourhoods.
  • Implementation of proposed designs and upgrading plans in each of the partner sites.
  • Dissemination of project results to urban planners/architects, governments, social movements and international urban agriculture networks through various media and in a session organised at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada.

Results obtained:

  • A methodology for participatory design and planning processes around urban agriculture
  • Strengthened capacities of local government departments, local institutions and social organisations in participatory processes of urban planning and design.
  • Training materials and course curricula on participatory planning, design and construction of garden neighbourhoods were developed, illustrated with maps, plans and photos.
  • Three marginal neighbourhoods were upgraded/improved (by including urban agriculture) in each of the participating cities.